On this day in history, August 8

The Sharpeville memorial precinct. Picture: Antoine de Ras

The Sharpeville memorial precinct. Picture: Antoine de Ras

Published Aug 8, 2023


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

1509 Krishnadeva Raya is crowned Emperor of Vijayanagara at Chittoor, India.

1843 Natal is made a British colony.

1854 Smith & Wesson patent metal bullet cartridges.

1865 King Moshesh (Moshoeshoe, Msheshwe) of the Basuto beats off an attack by Commandant Louw Wepener of the Orange Free State.

1918 The Battle of Amiens begins a string of almost continuous Allied victories with a push through the German front lines during the latter stages of World War I, leading to the celebrated newspaper headline: ‘French Push Bottles Up German Rear’.

1938 Great Trek Centenary celebrations begin.

1942 The Quit India Movement is launched against British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi’s call for swaraj, or complete independence.

1945 The USSR declares war against Japan in the closing stages of World War II.

1960 Charges are dropped against 53 of the 76 people held after the Sharpeville massacre.

1963 The storied Great Train Robbery takes place in England when a gang of 15 robbers steal £2.6 million in banknotes.

1966 Beatles records are banned by the SABC, due to John Lennon’s remarks that the band was “more popular than Jesus”.

1969 At a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan takes the iconic photo that becomes the cover image of the Beatles’ album, Abbey Road.

1974 President Richard Nixon, in a live nationwide television address to the US public, announces his resignation in the wake of the Watergate Scandal.

1975 The Banqiao Dam in China fails, resulting in the collapse of 6 million buildings and 229 000 human deaths.

1988 The ceasefire in the Angolan conflict between South Africa, Angola and Cuba is announced, ending 20 years of bush warfare.

1988 Russian troops begin to pull out of Afghanistan after a disastrous 9-year war.

2010 A mudslide in Gansu, China, kills more than 1 400 people.

2015 Argentine winger Juan Imhoff scores 3 tries as Pumas beat South Africa, 37-25 in Rugby Championship match at Durban; Argentina's first ever win against Springboks.

2017 South African President Jacob Zuma survives a no-confidence vote in parliament 198-177.

2019 A nuclear accident at a Russian weapons testing site kills five scientists/engineers who were testing a “nuclear isotope power source” for a rocket engine.

2022 Record downpours occur in Seoul, South Korea, with some areas receiving their highest rainfall in 80 years (141.5mm per hour). The torrents leave at least eight people dead.