On this day in history, August 18

Anyone for cheese? Picture: File

Anyone for cheese? Picture: File

Published Aug 18, 2023


Significant and interesting snippets of news with a South African angle, from this day in history

43BC Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (who becomes Augustus Caesar) forces the Roman senate to elect him consul.

AD14 After ruling for 44 years, Augustus, the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, dies. His stepson Tiberius takes over. On this death bed, he said: I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.

1612 The Pendle witch trials begin in England. The key witness is a 9-year-old boy.

1692 In Salem, Massachusetts, five people, one woman and four men including a clergyman, are executed after being convicted of witchcraft.

1769 A lightning strike in Brescia, Italy, ignites 90 tons of gunpowder, killing 3 000 people.

1825 Scottish explorer Alexander Gordon Laing becomes the first European to reach Timbuktu.

1903 German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made motor-driven aeroplane four months before the Wright brothers take off.

1940 Germany loses 69 aircraft, the RAF 68 on ‘The Hardest Day’, during the Battle of Britain.

1944 Paris rail workers strike against the Nazis.

1960 Downed U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers is jailed for 10 years in the USSR.

1967 The ANC and Zapu join forces.

1977 Steve Biko is arrested at a roadblock near King William’s Town. In police custody he is beaten to death.

1980 Saudia Flight 163 bursts into flames after an emergency landing at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, killing 301.

1988 At the National Party annual congress in Durban, president PW Botha rules out any possibility of a black majority government.

2005 A power blackout in Indonesia leaves 100 million people in the dark.

2018 Archaeologists confirm they have found cheese from Ancient Egypt in the 3 200-year-old in tomb of Ptahmes, who was the mayor of Memphis.

2019 US President Donald Trump confirms he is interested in buying Greenland for the US.

2019 Iceland holds a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change at the site of Okjökull glacier.

2022 A during a land survey for an avocado plantation, a huge megalithic complex of more than 500 standing stones, from 500-600BC, is announced as having been discovered in Spain and Portugal. Many of the stones (1-3m high) are partially buried.