On this day in history, August 11

A sign on a car during the riots in Cape Town. Picture: Supplied.

A sign on a car during the riots in Cape Town. Picture: Supplied.

Published Aug 11, 2023


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

2492BC Traditional date of the defeat of the Babylonian lord, Bel by Hayk, the founder of the Armenian nation. Hayk was fleeing Babylon with his household of 300 souls, pursued by Bel and his men. A great battle ensued, during which Hayk’s arrow found its mark, killing Bel and marking the beginning of the Armenian nation. Yet Armenia is only the fourth-oldest nation in the world, after Iran (founded in 3200BC), Egypt (3100BC), and Vietnam (2879BC).

1771 Cape governor Ryk Tulbach, after whom the town Tulbach was named, dies in the Cape.

1772 A volcanic eruption blows 1 300m off Papandayan in Java killing 3 000 people.

1858 The Swiss peak Eiger is first conquered.

1904 German-Italian General von Trotha defeats the Herero in South West Africa.

1909 The international distress morse-code signal SOS is first used by a ship off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

1940 On a particularly fierce day of fighting during the Battle of Britain, 38 German aircraft shot down, many of them in dog fights.

1942 Laid down as a battleship for Chile, the British aircraft carrier HMS Eagle is torpedoed and sunk while escorting a convoy to Malta.

1951 The Mississippi River floods 100 000 acres in four states: Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois.

1969 The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from quarantine after their trip to the moon.

1972 The last US ground combat unit leaves South Vietnam, with Viet-Cong guerilla tactics winning the war.

1976 A Cape Town riot leaves 17 people dead.

1988 Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Dr Fadl form Al-Qaeda.

2003 A heat wave in Paris, with temperatures of 44°C, leaves 144 people dead.

2003 Nato takes over the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan – its first major operation outside Europe in its 54-year-history.

2017 Chinese crime writer Liu Yongbiao, after announcing a novel called Beautiful Writer who Killed, is arrested for the murders of four people 22 years previously.

2021 Sicily records the highest-ever recorded European temperature of 48.8ºC in the city of Siracusa.