On this day in history, August 3

Brazilian soccer player Neymar leaves Barcelona on a world-record transfer fee. Picture: EPA

Brazilian soccer player Neymar leaves Barcelona on a world-record transfer fee. Picture: EPA

Published Aug 3, 2023


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

1492 Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña, trying to find a way to India by going because the route east was controlled by the Portuguese.

1881 The Boers and Britain sign a peace treaty ending the first Anglo-Boer War, and making Transvaal semi-autonomous.

1863 Lieutenant Simeon Cummings becomes the only Confederate soldier of the American Civil War to be killed and buried outside the US, after being killed while hunting in Saldanha Bay. He was from the raider Alabama, of which the Cape Malays still sing.

1901 General Smuts’ force finds a sheep kraal at Koot Krause’s farm that the British have filled with sheep and blown up with dynamite, leaving most mangled, but alive.

1936 Much to Adolf Hitler’s disgust, black US sprinter Jesse Owens wins the 100m sprint at the Berlin Olympics, the first of 4 gold medals.

1944 In a single day, 4 000 gypsies (Roma) are gassed at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

1956 The SAAF squadron that fought during the Korean War, is presented with the US presidential unit citation for ‘extraordinary heroism’ – a unique achievement.

1977 The Tandy Corporation introduces one of the world’s first mass-produced personal computers, the TRS-80.

1991 Reportedly in poor condition, the passenger ship Oceanos sets out from East London bound for Durban. Encountering 40kt winds and a 9m swell, she gets into difficulties off the Wild Coast and sinks the next day, but not before a herculean effort by the South African Air Force and SA Navy divers, which sees all 571 people on board saved.

1996 US General William Garrison ‘falls on his sword’ over the disastrous 1993 Black Hawk Down fiasco in Somalia.

1987 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says apartheid is doomed and calls for a settlement.

1988 Britain admits receiving 1 100 tons of uranium from Namibia despite a UN ban.

2014 An earthquake kills 617 people in Yunnan, China.

2017 Brazilian soccer forward Neymar transfers from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record transfer fee of €222M on a 5-year deal. Six years on, it remains the biggest transfer deal.

2018 Two burka-clad men kill 29 people and injure more than 80 in a suicide attack on a mosque in Afghanistan.

2022 Cells of recently dead pigs are brought back to life by researchers at Yale University in the US, with huge implications for organ transplants and stroke sufferers, as well as ethical questions over the definition of death.