On this day in history, November 20

A curious jaguar examines a camera set up in the Amazon jungle, which is under threat. Picture: WWF Australia

A curious jaguar examines a camera set up in the Amazon jungle, which is under threat. Picture: WWF Australia

Published Nov 20, 2023


What happened today, back in the day

1598 Cornelis de Houtman rounds the Cape for the second time (the first was in 1595) and lands in Table Bay to barter cattle from the local inhabitants.

1663 Zacharias Wagenaer (successor of Jan van Riebeeck) writes to his boses motivating for 77 families be sent back to the Netherlands because of debauchery, and that they be replaced in the Cape by industrious families.

1862 Anton van Wouw, the father of South African sculpture, is born in Driedergen.

1889 American astronomer Edwin Hubble is born in Marshfield, Missouri. He pioneers the concept of an expanding universe.

1917 The first use of tanks in battle occurs at Cambrai, France, with more than 300 tanks, commanded by British General Sir Douglas Haig, going into battle as Britain uses the new technology to break through German lines.

1945 The Nuremberg War Crime Trials begin in which 24 leaders of Nazi Germany are charged with crimes against humanity.

1947 England’s Princess Elizabeth, the future queen, marries Philip Mountbatten.

1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis ends as US President John F Kennedy announces he has lifted the naval blockade of Cuba.

1978 It is announced that all Cabinet ministers on the boards of newspaper groups are to resign their directorships.

1980 In China, Jiang Qing, the widow of Mao Zedong, goes on trial for treason.

1984 Constance Magogo Sibilile Mantithi Ngangezinye Thombisile kaDinuzulu (Princess Constance), daughter of Zulu King Dinuzulu and Queen Silomo, and mother of Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, dies.

1995 Britain’s Princess Diana admits in a television interview that she cheated on her husband, Prince Charles, the future king of England.

1998 A court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declares Osama bin Laden to be “a man without a sin” in regard to the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

2015 More than half of all trees in the Amazon are at risk of extinction according to the journal Sciences Advances.

2017 Chinese investment corporation Tencent’s market value hits $511 billion – the first Asian company to join the $500 billion club.

2018 Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan confirms that he has paid off the debts of 1 398 farmers who owed $560 000, amid the Indian agricultural crisis.

2022 The world's longest-serving president, authoritarian leader Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, 80, wins re-election in Equatorial Guinea, extending his 43-year rule.