On this day, April 19

An aerial infrared image shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a boat during a manhunt. Picture: Reuters

An aerial infrared image shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a boat during a manhunt. Picture: Reuters

Published Apr 19, 2024


A cruel mother, Cook first sights Australia, a psychedelic trip home on a bicycle, and the Waco siege ends

797 Empress Irene moves against her son, Byzantine emperor Constantine VI and he is deposed and blinded and dies of his wounds; Irene proclaims herself ruler.

1506 The Lisbon Massacre begins, in which accused Jews are slaughtered by Catholics.

1762 Commissioner Van Overbeek buys the area between Hout Bay and Saldanha Bay from the Khoi-Khoi.

1770 British explorer Captain James Cook first sights Australia.

1897 The Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon (inspired by the success of 1896 Summer Olympics event) is won by John McDermott in a time of 2:55:10.

1900 Angus Hamilton of The Times criticises Colonel Baden-Powell’s harsh ‘leave here-or-starve’ policy towards Blacks during the siege of Mafeking.

1903 The Kishinev pogrom in Kishinev (Bessarabia) begins, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Palestine and the Western world.

1906 More than 7 000 British troops are called out to quell the Bambatha Rebellion.

1927 Mae West is sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $500 for ‘obscenity and corrupting the morals of the youth’ for her play, Sex. The publicity did much to launch her Hollywood career and make her one of the highest paid people in the US.

1943 Feeling strange after experimenting with LSD, Swiss chemist Dr Albert Hofmann takes a psychedelic trip home on his bicycle, giving rise to Bicycle Day.

1985 Two hundred ATF and FBI agents lay siege for three days to the compound of the white supremacist group The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord in Arkansas. Following a peaceful resolution, officers arrested and later convicted the CSA's top leaders, eventually causing the organization to dissolve.

1987 The Simpsons cartoon TV programme first appears as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show.

1993 The federal siege of the Branch Davidian cult’s building in Waco, Texas, finally ends after 51 days, but the cost is high. Four agents of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and two residents of the Mt. Carmel residence are killed at the start, while four sect members are later killed by ATF agents, before 76 members of Koresh's group, many of them children, die in a fire.

1995 A truck bomb in Oklahoma City kills 168 people and injures 500.

2013 Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed in a shootout with police. His brother Dzhokhar is later captured while hiding in a boat inside a suburban backyard.

2021 Nasa successfully flies its drone helicopter Ingenuity on Mars. It the first powered aircraft to fly on another world.

2023 At least 78 people are killed, crushed in a crowd waiting for handouts at a school in Sanaa, Yemen during a Ramadaan event.