On this day in history, November 6

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe axes his deputy. Picture: Reuters

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe axes his deputy. Picture: Reuters

Published Nov 6, 2023


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

1217 The Charter of the Forest is sealed by England’s King Henry III, which re-establishes for free men the rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs.

1528 Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca is the first European to set foot in what would become Texas.

1778 While exploring, Cape governor Baron Joachim Ammena van Plettenberg reaches a bay near Melkhoutkraal, which he names Plettenberg Bay, and erects a stone pillar.

1861 James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, is born in Ontario, Canada.

1869 Diamonds are first discovered at Kimberley, leading to the creation of the world’s largest open mine, the Big Hole.

1865 The ship, CSS Shenandoah is the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after the end of the American Civil War, having circumnavigated the world and sinking or capturing 37 unarmed merchant vessels.

1913 Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of miners in South Africa.

1917 After three months of fighting, Canadian forces take Passchendaele in Belgium. Their 8km advance cost 240 000 lives.

1941 The Japanese fleet readies for an assault on Pearl Harbor.

1941 During the Battle of Moscow, Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet people for only the second time since taking office in 1922.

1956 Building starts on the mighty Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River.

1962 Saudi Arabia abolishes slavery.

1965 Cuba and the US agree to an airlift so that a 250 000 people can go to the US.

1979 The Ayatollah Khomeini takes over after the collapse of the Shah of Iran’s regime.

1997 Rodney Petersen (12) of Clanwilliam, dies during a cricket match when struck by a ball.

2017 Emmerson Mnangagwa is fired as vice-president by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe’s wife, Grace, is touted as his successor with Mnangagwa as her rival, but the politically shrewd “Ngwena” (crocodile) will go on to have the last laugh.

2019 17 people die in attack on a checkpoint by Islamic State militants on Tajikistan’s border with Uzbekistan.

2022 A plane crashes into Tanzania's Lake Victoria, killing 19 people on board, with 24 survivors.