On this day, April 9

Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine makes startling accusations. Picture: Reuters

Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine makes startling accusations. Picture: Reuters

Published Apr 9, 2024


Apartheid mastermind escapes death, looting follows Baghdad’s occupation, the wolves return, and masses line the streets for a funeral

1483 Edward V succeeds his father, Edward IV, as king of England, but is never crowned, and disappears – presumed murdered after incarceration in the Tower of London with his brother, Richard (the ‘Princes in the Tower’).

1679 A census shows that, 27 years after white settlers arrived at the Cape, there were 87 free men, 55 women, 117 children, 30 white male servants, 113 officials, 290 soldiers (70 with wives) and 191 slaves at the Cape (indigenous inhabitants not included).

1829 A dyke fails and floods Danzig (modern-day Gdansk, Poland), drowning 1 200 people.

1820 The first 4 500, 1820 Settlers arrive in Algoa Bay aboard 21 ships. They were placed on the Cape Colony’s eastern border as a buffer against the amaXhosa.

1865 Confederate General Robert E Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to ‘Yankee’ General Ulysses S Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War, which cost half a million lives.

1914 One of the world’s first naval/air skirmishes takes place off Mexico.

1916 The steamer SS Libau (disguised as the SS Aud), leaves Germany with a million rounds of ammunition and 20 000 rifles for Irish nationalists. (Intercepted, she is scuttled.)

1942 Japanese planes sink the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes in the Indian Ocean.

1960 Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of Apartheid, survives an assassination attempt after being shot twice in the face at point blank range.

1963 Winston Churchill becomes the first honourary US citizen.

1967 The first Boeing 737 takes to the skies. Much used by SAA, it was the highest-selling commercial aircraft (15 156) until being surpassed by the Airbus A320 in October 2019.

1981 The submarine USS George Washington accidentally sinks the Japanese freighter Nissho Maru.

2002 The funeral of Britain’s Queen Mother has more than a million people lining streets in London.

2003 Baghdad falls, ending the US invasion of Iraq, but resulting in widespread looting.

2005 Charles, Prince of Wales and future king, marries his long-time paramour, Camilla Parker Bowles.

2019 Wolves have returned to the Netherlands after 140 years, say ecologists.

2021 The Uganda opposition party, the National Unity Platform Party, headed by Bobi Wine, claims 623 people have been abducted and tortured by the government of President Yoweri Museveni.

2023 Kuwaiti media outlet, Kuwaiti News unveils a virtual news presenter on Twitter speaking Arabic, using artificial intelligence (although China was the first in 2018). | The Historian