What happened today, back in the day
1120 The White Ship sinks in the English Channel, probably because of a drunken party, drowning the heir to the English crown. The sinking sparks off a period of English history known as “The Anarchy”,
1491 The siege of Granada ends with the fall of the last Moorish stronghold in Spain.
1497 Vasco da Gama’s storm-battered ships sail into Santa Bras (Mossel Bay), sighting islands thick with noisy birds. They unload their damaged store ship and burn it, while Da Gama trades gifts with the Khoikhoi. However, they offend the locals when they take fresh water without asking the chief’s permission, and the Khoikhoi begin assembling in an armed mass. The sailors hot-foot it and take to their boats, from which a couple of cannon blasts disperse the Khoikhoi.
1667 An earthquake rocks Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80 000 people.
1835 American financier, philanthropist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie is born in Dunfermline, Scotland. He once wrote: ‘The man who dies rich dies disgraced.’
1846 American temperance leader Carry Nation is born in Kentucky. She was famed as a hatchet-wielding smasher of saloons.
1917 German forces defeat a Portuguese army on the border of Mozambique and Tanzania.
1981 Forty-five mercenaries from South Africa (The Memorable Order of Froth Blowers) under Colonel ‘Mad’ Mike Hoare land in Seychelles, to stage a coup, but they don’t get past the airport. Those who escape hijack a passenger plane and fly to Durban, where they surrender. One of them is Peter Duffy, a Daily News photographer. When he exited the plane, exasperated colleagues from other titles in the Argus group complained that Duffy had scooped them and wonder how he did it.
1992 Czechoslovakia’s parliament votes to split the country in two.
2009 Freak rains swamp Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing 122 people.
2020 The New York Times names its “25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (so far)”, with Denzel Washington at No 1.
2021 India has more girls than boys for the first time in its history and its population boom is ending, according to new government survey