On this day in history, September 5

Blink and you’d miss it, the prime minister who replaced Boris Johnson had ‘a shorter shelf life than a head of lettuce’. Picture: Reuters

Blink and you’d miss it, the prime minister who replaced Boris Johnson had ‘a shorter shelf life than a head of lettuce’. Picture: Reuters

Published Sep 5, 2023


Some of the more interesting things that happened on this day.

1661 Nicolas Fouquet, King Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances, is arrested by D’Artagnan, captain of the king’s musketeers.

1666 The Great Fire of London ends, leaving 13 200 houses destroyed and 8 people dead.

1698 Russia’s Tsar Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards. At first, he declared that all the men in Russia had to shave off their beards, part of his project to modernise, or Europeanise, Russia. It was a hugely unpopular policy and eventually he allowed men to keep their facial hair, but they had to pay a tax for the privilege.

1847 Wild West legend Jesse James is born in Centerville, Missouri. Following the American Civil War, Jesse and his brother Frank form a group of outlaws, robbing banks, trains, stagecoaches and stores. A member of his gang shoots Jesse, 34, in the back of the head and claims the reward. The killer, Robert Ford, is killed by a shotgun blast 10 years later. His killer dies while trying to shoot a policeman (you live by the gun, you die by the gun).

1851 Allen Francis Gardiner, a missionary in Port Natal during the reign of Dingaan, and later in Chile, New Guinea and Patagonia, dies of starvation, together with six companions in Tierra del Fuego, South America.

1889 The modern bra is patented.

1960 Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) wins gold at the Olympic Games in Rome.

1970 Jochen Rindt becomes the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship.

1972 Eleven members of the Israeli Olympic Team are killed by the Palestinian Liberation Army’s Black September faction.

1997 Mother Teresa, 87, dies in Calcutta, India, after a life spent helping the sick and poor.

2010 Canterbury earthquake: a 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes New Zealand’s South Island, causing widespread damage and power outages. The damage cost up to $40 billion and many in the South African insurance industry were flown out to help with claims.

2016 Mother Teresa is canonised by Pope Francis, making her a saint.

2018 Amazon becomes America’s second trillion-dollar company, after Apple.

2019 South African women march to Parliament in protest against gender-based violence after a month in which 30 died at the hands of their spouses.

2019 Erramatti Mangamma, 74, becomes the world’s oldest living mother when she gives birth to twins in Hyderabad, India.

2020 More than 50 people are arrested as Portland, Oregon, marks 100 days of protests against racism and police brutality.

2022 The UK's ruling Conservative party appoints Liz Truss as their next leader and prime minister, replacing the scandal-ridden Boris Johnson. She goes to see Queen Elizabeth II the next day at Balmoral Castle where she is appointed, only to hand in her resignation to King Charles III at Buckingham Palace less than two months later. At 49 days in office, she is the shortest-serving British prime minister. Talk show host Piers Morgan is quick to point out that a head of lettuce has a longer shelf life.