The Mercury



1204 Constantin­ople falls to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, temporaril­y ending the Byzantine Empire.

1613 Samuel Argall captures Native American princess Pocahontas in Virginia to ransom her for English prisoners held by her father.

1688 The first French Huguenots arrive at the Cape in the Voorschote­n.

1796 First elephant arrives in US from India. 1816 The first mail boat from London, The Eclipse, arrives in Table Bay after a voyage of 114 days.

1838 Voortrekke­r leader Louis Trichardt reaches Lourenço Marques after leaving the Zoutpansbe­rg in August of the previous year. 1846 Xhosa tribesmen attack British forces at Burn’s Hill in the Amatola, in the War of the Axe.

1909 Sir Donald Currie, the shipping magnate and donor of the Currie Cup sporting trophy, dies in Sidmouth, Devon, England.

1953 CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control programme, Project MKUltra. 1960 The US launches Transit 1-B, the world’s first satellite navigation system.

1964 Sidney Poitier becomes the first AfricanAme­rican male to win the Best Actor Oscar award for the 1963 film, Lilies of the Field. 1970 An oxygen tank on the Apollo 13 moon flight explodes, endangerin­g the crew and causing major damage. The crew radios: “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” The mission is aborted and the world holds its breath as the crippled spacecraft limps back. 1979 The longest doubles ping-pong match ends after 101 hours.

1997 Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.

2017 The US drops the largest ever nonnuclear weapon on Afghanista­n. Called the GBU/43 or Massive Ordnance Air Blast (Moab) it’s more commonly called the “Mother of all bombs”. | THE HISTORIAN

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