On this day in history, August 13

The stethoscope came about because of an awkward situation. Picture: File

The stethoscope came about because of an awkward situation. Picture: File

Published Aug 13, 2023


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

29BC Roman emperor Octavian, or Augustus Caesar – one of the more effective, but controversial leaders in human history – holds the first of three consecutive triumphs in Rome to celebrate his victory over the Dalmatians.

1521 Spanish conquistadors capture the Aztec emperor, marking the end of the Aztec Empire.

1792 King Louis XVI of France is arrested and declared an enemy of the people.

1814 The Cape of Good Hope is ceded to the British by the Dutch.

1826 Dr René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, dies. He invented the stethoscope in 1816, after he felt uncomfortable about placing his face on a woman’s chest to listen to her heart.

1838 About 10 Zulu regiments attack the Voortrekkers at Veglaer, next to the Bushmans River near Estcourt. The attack is repulsed after nearly three days of fighting, but the Zulus carry off nearly all the livestock.

1868 An earthquake in southern Peru causes more than 25 000 deaths and a destructive tsunami that is felt in Hawaii and New Zealand, an ocean away.

1882 Pedi King Sekhukhune I, and 14 of his advisers, are assassinated at the behest of Mampuru, Sekhukhune’s half-brother.

1901 The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (the future King George V and his wife) arrive in Durban for a quick royal visit.

1913 Stainless steel is invented.

1937 Japanese forces begin the Battle of Shanghai, involving 1 million troops.

1942 The ‘Manhattan Project’ begins, its aim – to deliver an atomic bomb for the US to help win the in Europe, although it wouldn’t be ready until after the Nazis had been defeated. Instead, it was used on Japan.

1961 East Germany closes the border with West Berlin and starts the Berlin Wall.

1970 Pamphlet bombs which scatter ANC leaflets explode in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

2004 Some 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees are massacred at a refugee camp in Burundi.

2014 Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win the Fields Medal in mathematics.

2017 Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, is accused of assault in Johannesburg.

2019 Measles cases have tripled worldwide.

2020 Israel strikes a historic deal with the United Arab Emirates to normalise relations, and suspends plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

2020 New details about the enormous ‘Terror Crocodile’ (Deinosuchus), which was the size of a bus, with teeth as big as bananas, that lived in North America during late Cretaceous period (75-84 million years ago) is published.