On this day in history, October 18

In happier times – Mr and Mrs Jeff Bezos before she became fabulously wealthy thanks to him.

In happier times – Mr and Mrs Jeff Bezos before she became fabulously wealthy thanks to him.

Published Oct 18, 2023


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

1009 The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who hacks the church’s foundations down to bedrock.

1540 Spanish conquistadors destroy the fortified town of Mabila in present-day Alabama, killing paramount chief Tuskaloosa.

1653 Abraham van Riebeeck is born at the Dutch Cape Colony to parents Jan van Riebeeck, commander of the Cape, and Maria van Riebeeck. He goes on to become governor-general of the Dutch East Indies.

1867 The Russian Empire transfers Alaska to the US in exchange for $7.2 million.

1913 Dinuzulu ka-Cetshwayo, King of the Zulu nation, dies. Succeeded by his son, Solomon.

1922 The BBC is founded.

1952 The widely imitated and influential, Mad Magazine, which affects satirical media, as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century, is first published as a comic.

1954 Texas Instruments unveils the first transistor radio.

1964 Pope Paul VI proclaims 22 new African saints – the Blessed Martyrs of Uganda, converts persecuted and martyred from 1885.

1966 Rand Afrikaans University is established. It later merges with several other institutions to form the University of Johannesburg.

1967 The Soviet spacecraft Venera-4 finds the planet Venus to be inhospitable.

1968 The US Olympic Committee suspends sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos for giving the Black Power salute from the winners podium in protest injustice against blacks.

1977 West German commandos free 86 hostages held on a Boeing 737 at Mogadishu, Somalia.

2007 After 8 years in exile, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan. On the same night, suicide bombers blow themselves up near her convoy, killing 149 people and injure 402 people. Bhutto escapes, but is assassinated in December.

2013 Saudi Arabia becomes the first country to turn down a seat on the UN Security Council in protest over geopolitical developments Syria.

2019 The first all-female space-walk by astronauts, Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, occurs outside the International Space Station.

2021 Flash foods and heavy rain kills more than 100 people after 328mm falls in 24 hours over the Indian state of Uttarakhand and in Nepal

2022 The Girl Scouts of the USA announces receipt of donations totalling $84.5 million from American philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The hefty divorce settlement left her as the third-wealthiest woman in the US and the 47th-wealthiest individual in the world, but promises to donate all of her vast fortune during her lifetime, or in her will. She has a net worth of $27 billion, owing to a 4% stake in Amazon.