On this day in history, November 9

A 105-year-old sets an Olympic world record. Picture: mentalfloss.com

A 105-year-old sets an Olympic world record. Picture: mentalfloss.com

Published Nov 9, 2023


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

1620 After a month of delays off the English coast and two months at sea, the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, US.

1799 Napoleon seizes power in France.

1872 The Great Boston Fire. Close to 1 000 buildings are destroyed.

1888 The mutilated body of Mary Jane Kelly, believed to be the final victim of Jack the Ripper, is discovered in her bed in London.

1907 The Cullinan Diamond is presented to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday. It is the largest gem-quality rough diamond found, weighing 3 106.75 carats (or 0.6kg), and was discovered at in Cullinan, near Pretoria, two years before. Named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine’s chairman, it was put on sale in London, but went unsold until the Transvaal Colony government bought it in 1907 to present it as a royal gift.

1916 A munitions ship explodes near Archangel, Russia, killing 600 people.

1932 A hurricane kills 2 500 people in Santa Cruz del Sur Cuba.

1938 Kristallnacht begins, it is first large-scale act of anti-Jewish violence in Nazi Germany.

1979 The world narrowly escapes nuclear holocaust when US early warning systems mistakenly detect a massive Soviet nuclear strike, only for the alert to be cancelled after a hurried review of satellite data.

1985 Garry Kasparov, 22, becomes the youngest world chess champion.

1991 The Berlin Wall begins to fall as East Germany opens its borders.

2012 At least 27 people are killed and dozens wounded in fighting at a Sri Lankan prison.

2018 An attacker stabs three people, killing one, in Melbourne, Australia, with a homeless man hailed as hero for using a shopping trolley to stop the attacker.

2019 An unprecedented 70 bush fires in New South Wales, Australia, destroy 100 homes, killing three people, with seven missing.

2019 The severed arms of the murder victim of prominent Russian history professor, Oleg Sokolov are found in Sokolov’s backpack when he is rescued from the Moika River, in St Petersburg.

2021 105-year-old Julia Hawkins sets a world record the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games as the first woman her age to run 100-metre dash. Her time, 1:02.95 (just over a minute).

2022 Archaeologists announce discovery of oldest decipherable sentence on an ivory comb. “May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard,” reads the sentence in Canaanite script on the comb found at Tel Lachish, Israel.