On this day in history, September 15

Beer can improve with age, but who would have thought it could last 13 000 years? Picture: Reuters

Beer can improve with age, but who would have thought it could last 13 000 years? Picture: Reuters

Published Sep 15, 2023


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

1835 The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, reaches the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin made a lot of the observations that led to his groundbreaking theory of evolution and his book, “The Origin of Species”.

1879 Having lost the Anglo-Zulu War, King Cetshwayo is exiled and sent to Cape Town. The Zulu nation did not accept the pro-British chiefs and civil war reigned for decades. Cetshwayo was restored as ruler in 1883, but it did nothing for peace in the region.

1884 The sliver of land known as the Territory of Port St John’s – 3km wide on each side of the St John’s River and 16km upstream from its estuary – is annexed to the Cape as part of its divide-and-conquer policy over the amaMpondo.

1890 Mystery writer Agatha Christie is born. After initial disappointment, she becomes the best-selling novelist of all time.

1900 A Boer delegation issues an appeal at The Hague, Netherlands, that the major powers intervene in the war in South Africa.

1913 Kasturbai Gandhi, the wife of Mohandas Gandhi, leads the first batch of passive resisters from Durban – 12 men and four women – to cross the Transvaal border by train. The police arrest them.

1928 Bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin while studying flu.

1940 The RAF shoots down large numbers of German aircraft.

1947 Typhoon Kathleen hits the Kanto Region of Japan, killing 1 077 people.

1949 The son of the Zion Christian Church’s founder, Joseph Lekganyane, is installed as the leader of a divided institution. The position was disputed by his brother Edward and the church split in two, each brother leading a branch. At that time, Joseph’s branch of the ZCC had 6 000 members. He raised the membership to nearly 1 million.

1994 Muslim fundamentalists kidnap and behead 16 citizens in Algeria.

1997 Google.com is registered as a domain.

2012 Japan says that it will phase out nuclear energy by the 2030s.

2013 Twenty-seven people are killed after a coal mine collapses in Afghanistan.

2015 EU Migrant Crisis: Hungary seals its border with Serbia with a razor-wire fence, stranding thousands of migrants

2018 Archaeologists find the oldest-known brewery and the remains of 13 000-year-old beer in Haifa cave, Israel, belonging to the nomadic Natufian people.

2021 South African-born Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches the first all-civilian space flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, for three-day orbit around Earth. The price, $55 million.

2022 The European parliament says Hungary can no longer be considered a full democracy, saying Viktor Orbán’s government has become a “hybrid regime of electoral autocracy”. The government in Budapest has opposed EU sanctions against Russia because of Ukraine-Russia war.

2022 Chinese leader Xi Jinping meets Russian President Vladimir Putin and other regional leaders at a summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.