On this day in history, November 15

The world’s population just got bigger.

The world’s population just got bigger.

Published Nov 15, 2023


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

1492 Christopher Columbus makes the first recorded reference to tobacco.

1720 Notorious pirates Anne Bonny, Mary Read and John Rackham are captured and brought to Spanish Town, Jamaica, for trial. Pregnant, both Bonny and Read ‘plead with their bellies’ and have their sentences commuted. Read dies in prision, but Bonny is released and lives to 82. Rackham, however, keeps his date with the noose.

1891 German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is born at Heidenheim, in Wurttemberg, Germany. During World War II, he led the 7th Panzer Division to victory in the Battle of France. His early victories in North Africa earned him the nickname, ‘Desert Fox’. However, in 1943, he was defeated at El Alamein by the British under General Montgomery. Rommel was implicated in the July 1944 failed assassination of Hitler and forced to commit suicide, aged 52.

1899 Winston Churchill, war correspondent of The Morning Post, is captured near Chieveley, Natal, when Boers ambush an armoured train.

1904 King Gillette patents the Gillette razor.

1919 Babu Bodasing, also known as Dulel Sing Boodasing, a prominent sugar cane farmer on the Natal North Coast who arrived in Port Natal on September 1, 1874, as an indentured immigrant, dies in Durban. He was probably the wealthiest Indian in Durban.

1926 Author Herman Charles Bosman is sentenced to death for murdering his stepbrother, but is freed after 4½ years in jail.

1943 Top Nazi Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies be sent to concentration camps. About 500 000 Roma die during the Holocaust.

1949 Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte are executed for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.

1988 Wit Wolf Barend Strydom kills seven non-whites and wounds another 16 in Pretoria. He is arrested by a quick-witted taxi driver. He was then granted amnesty in 1994 by the TRC.

2007 Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh, kills 5 000 people and destroying parts of the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans.

2017 Zimbabwe’s army detains Robert Mugabe and appoints sacked vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa as president.

2022 The world’s population reaches 8 billion, just 11 years after passing 7 billion, although it is slowing down, with the 9 billion mark only expected in about 2037, according to the UN. And although there are more people on Earth than ever before because we're living longer, population growth is at its slowest rate in more than 70 years. The most populous regions of the world are, are East and South-east Asia, home to 2.3 billion people, and central and South Asia, which has 2.1 billion people. The country’s with the biggest populations are: India (1.4 billion), closely followed by China, then the US, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico and Ethiopia. South Africa (60.4 million) is 24th in the global ranking The least populous independent state is also the world’s smallest – the Vatican has 510 residents, including the pope.