On this day in history, February 13

Comparisons have been made.

Comparisons have been made.

Published Feb 13, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts

1258 Baghdad, a city of one million people, falls to the Mongols.

1633 Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for trial before the Inquisition for saying Earth is not the centre of the universe.

1713 Smallpox breaks out at the Cape and wreaks havoc. Hardest hit are the Khoisan.

1779 A Cape Colony rule forbids any white from settling beyond the Gamtoos River.

1850 A 463-ton British ship, Childe Herold, carrying more than 1 300 pieces of ivory, is wrecked off Dassen Island.

1880 Work begins on the covering over of the Senne, burying Brussels’s primary river and creating the city’s central boulevards.

1941 The 1st SA Infantry Brigade, captures Kismayu, Somaliland.

1945 Allied planes bomb Dresden, Germany. A firestorm results and over 22 000 people die.

1981 Sewer explosions destroy more than 3km of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.

1982 About 15 000 people attend Neil Aggett’s funeral in Johannesburg.

1984 Notorious bank robber André Stander is killed while struggling for control of a policeman’s firearm in the US. As a bored policeman, Stander would sometimes rob a bank during his lunch break, only to return later as the investigating officer.

2004 Denis Hurley – Roman Catholic Vicar Apostolic of Natal and Bishop, and later Archbishop of Durban, from 1946 until 1992 – dies. Born in Cape Town, he spent his early years on Robben Island, where his father was the lighthouse keeper. A fierce opponent of Apartheid regime for 50 years, he was dubbed by opponents ‘the scourge of Apartheid’ and ‘an ecclesiastical Che Guevara’.

2008 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd makes a historic apology to the Indigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.

2018 President Jacob Zuma is told to step down.

2019 Australia’s Flinders River swells to 60km wide, creating its own weather system, after intense flooding in Queensland.

2021 Archaeologists announce discovery of oldest known beer factory in Abydos, Egypt, from early Dynastic period 3150BC–2613BC.