On this day, April 16

Masada, where the Great Jewish Revolt ends in mass suicide. Picture: Supplied

Masada, where the Great Jewish Revolt ends in mass suicide. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 16, 2024


The first recorded battle, famous gunfighter’s last duel, Great Train Robbers locked up, rapper wins literary prize

1457BC The Battle of Megiddo (in northern Galilee) between Pharaoh Thutmose III and a Canaanite coalition is the first battle to have been recorded in relatively reliable detail.

1178BC A solar eclipse marks the return of Odysseus, King of Ithaca, from the Trojan War.

AD73 The mountain fortress of Masada falls to Rome after months of siege, ending the Great Jewish Revolt. Masada’s 960 inhabitants commit suicide rather than surrender.

1746 The last battle on British soil, the Battle of Culloden (near Inverness) ends in a decisive victory for England over the Jacobite rebels.

1867 American aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright is born in Millville, Indiana. In 1903, the Wright brothers made the first recorded flight of a motor-driven aircraft.

1881 Gun-slinger Bat Masterson – Wyatt Earp’s contemporary – fights his last gun battle in Dodge City, Kansas.

1883 Paul Kruger is elected Transvaal president.

1922 American sharpshooter Annie Oakley, part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, sets a record by shooting 100 clay targets from 15m.

1943 Scientist Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers the hallucinogenic effects of LSD.

1945 At the Battle of Seelow Heights (aka the Gates of Berlin), the Red Army throws one million troops at the German forces.

1946 The 21-carat Eureka diamond, found by children on a farm near Hopetown, on the Orange River, and given to a visitor, is sold in London for £5 700.

1947 An explosion on a freighter kills almost 600 people in Texas City.

1950 Seretse Khama is reunited with his British wife in England.

1964 Nine men are jailed for Britain’s £2.6 million ‘Great Train Robbery’.

1990 ‘Doctor Death’, Jack Kevorkian participates in his first assisted suicide.

1992 The Katina P oil tanker runs aground off Maputo, spilling about 60 000 tons of crude oil.

2014 The South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsizes and sinks, killing 304 people.

2018 Kendrick Lamar is the first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize for music with his album, Damn. | The Historian

April 14, 2024, Graphics show birthdays and anniversaries on each day for the week. This week features the world’s first cloned camel, the first Ford Mustang, the first album of the Rolling Stones, Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, English romantic potent Lord Byron and SpaceX’s Starship