On this day in history, March 6

Published Mar 6, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts

632 The Farewell Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad is given.

1799 Napoleon captures Jaffa, Palestine, from the Ottomans after a five-day siege.

1836 After 13 days of fighting, 1 500-3 000 Mexican soldiers overwhelm the Alamo, killing 182-257 Texans, including Wild West legends Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett.

1892 Isaac Wauchope is ordained as a pastor of the Congregational Native Church of Fort Beaufort and Blinkwater. He died a hero aboard the troopship SS Mendi in 1917 while rallying the 615 Black South Africans of the doomed ship to face their death like men and ‘to die like brothers', while leading them in a death dance as the ship sank off England.

1889 The German firm Bayer patents aspirin.

1921 The Natal Indian Congress is resuscitated at a meeting in Durban, with Ismail Gora as its president.

1945 Operation Spring Awakening, the last big German offensive of World War I, begins.

1953 Georgy Malenkov succeeds Joseph Stalin as Premier of the Soviet Union.

1964 Boxing legend Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to Muhammad Ali, rebuking his ‘slave name’.

1974 An Italian industrialist loses a record $1.9 million at roulette in Monte Carlo Casino.

1976 WBA light welterweight champion Antonio Cervantes of Colombia is beaten by 17-year-old Puerto Rican Wilfred Benítez, who becomes the youngest world champion.

1988 Three IRA terrorists are shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar.

1997 Correctional Services Commissioner, K Sithole floats the idea of incarcerating SA’s worst criminals in disused mine shafts.

2006 The SA film Tsotsi receives the Oscar for the best foreign film.

2018 The world’s oldest message in a bottle is found in Western Australia after it was thrown from a German ship in 1886 and had been bobbing around for 132 years.

2018 British health officials tell the country it’s time “to get on a diet” and urge manufacturers to reduce calories in foods.

2020 South Africa confirms its first case of Covid-19 after a 38-year-old man returns from Italy with his wife and tests positive for the virus.