On this day in history, October 8

Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Picture: Reuters

Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Picture: Reuters

Published Oct 8, 2023


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

1714 A deadly riot breaks out in Alkmaar in the Netherlands because of a tax on beer.

1737 A cyclone causes 40-foot waves that kill 300 000 people in Calcutta, India.

1918 American soldier Alvin York single-handedly attacks a German machine-gun nest, killing at least 25 Germans and capturing 132 more in France’s Argonne Forest.

1944 The biggest and most spectacular mutiny and escape attempt in Auschwitz occurs when Jews set one of the crematoria on fire and attack SS soldiers. Some of the prisoners cut through the fence and reach the outside, but are hunted down and killed. About 250 of the prisoners died fighting.

1945 The microwave oven is patented.

1967 Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men are surrounded and captured in Bolivia by the country’s soldiers. A TV documentary, My Enemy’s Enemy, alleges that Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie advised and possibly helped the CIA orchestrate Guevara’s capture.

1978 Australia’s Ken Warby sets the current world water speed record of 511.09km/h.

1993 Acting on bad intelligence, army special forces raid an Umtata, Transkei home, killing five youths, including two 12 year olds, in their beds.

1993 The UN lifts all mandatory sanctions against South Africa, paving the way for the country’s re-admission to the organisation.

1999 The Khoi and San National Language Body is officially launched in Upington. Its aim is to promote and develop the languages.

2001 A Cessna and a Scandinavian Airlines jetliner collide in heavy fog during take-off from Milan, Italy, killing 118 people.

2004 Kenyan Wangari Maathai is the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2005 A strong earthquake in Kashmir kills 86 000 people and injures another 75 000.

2018 A UN report says the planet will warm by 1.5ºC with dire results by 2040.

2019 The FBI says Samuel Little is the US’ worst serial killer, with 93 confessed murders

2022 A landslide caused by unusually heavy rain kills at least 50 in Las Tejerias, Venezuela.

2022 The Kerch bridge, built to link Crimea to Russia, is partly and illegally blown up by Ukraine, allowing only light traffic to cross.