ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1616 The city of Belém in Brazil (the gateway to the Amazon) is founded on the Amazon River delta by Portuguese Captain-Major Francisco Branco.
1904 Several hundred mounted Herero invade Okahandja in German South-West Africa, setting fire to buildings and killing 123 people, mostly Germans.
1907 Britain grants responsible government to its former colony of Transvaal.
1913 After using other pseudonyms over the years, Josef Dzhugashvili signs himself as Stalin (“man of steel”) in a letter to the paper, Social Democrat.
1915 South African forces invade German South-West Africa at Ramansdrift.
1945 German forces in Belgium retreat in the Battle of Bulge.
1948 Mahatma Gandhi begins his final fast.
1954 Austria’s worst avalanche kills 200, and nine hours later a second kills 115.
1962 Operation Chopper, the first American combat mission of the Vietnam War, begins.
1967 Dr James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryogenically preserved for future resuscitation. He is still in this state.
1970 Biafra capitulates, ending the Nigerian Civil War.
1990 A seven-day pogrom breaks out against the Armenian civilian population of Baku, Azerbaijan, during which they were beaten, tortured and expelled.
2004 The world’s largest ocean liner,
RMS Queen Mary 2, makes its maiden voyage.
2006 A stampede during the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills at least 362 pilgrims.
2010 An earthquake in Haiti kills more than 100 000 people and destroys much of the capital, Port-au-Prince. |