On this day, April 14

Double amputee Xia Boyu on Everest. Picture: Mingma G Sherpa

Double amputee Xia Boyu on Everest. Picture: Mingma G Sherpa

Published Apr 14, 2024


A king at 4, the English Premier League’s oldest player, FW de Kerk tells the TRC about apartheid, Covid infections reach record numbers

1607 English colonists establish the first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown. Unfortunately, they have landed amidst the worst drought in 800 years.

1610 Protestant King Henry IV of France is assassinated by fanatical Catholic François Ravaillac, who stabs him to death in the streets of Paris.

1643 Louis XIV becomes French king, aged 4.

1796 English country doctor Edward Jenner administers the first inoculation against smallpox, using cowpox pus, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.

1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s expedition, the Corps of Discovery, which was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson, sets out from St Louis, for the Pacific Coast and to explore the vast tract of land acquired from France through the Louisiana Purchase.

1878 The hugely popular Vaseline is patented.

1889 The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is launched in London.

1948 Israel declares its independence from British administration.

1973 The first space station, Skylab is launched.

1991 Winnie Mandela sentenced to 6 years for complicity in the kidnapping and beating of four youths, one of whom died, She is freed pending appeal.

1995 The Dalai Lama proclaims 6-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima to be the 11th reincarnation of Panchen Lama, Tibet’s 2nd most senior spiritual leader.

1995 At 43 years, 162 days Manchester City goalkeeper John Burridge becomes the oldest player to appear in an EPL match, a 3-2 home defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

1997 Speaking before the TRC, chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tuitu, FW de Klerk repeats, the last apartheid president, his assertion that murder and torture had never been part of government policy, and apologizes ‘once and for all’ for apartheid.

2010 The 51 700 seat Aviva Stadium is officially opened on the site of the famous Lansdowne Road Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Rugby is, and was, primarily played at both venues.

Xia Boyu talks about his experience. Picture: Supplied

2018 Chinese mountaineer Xia Boyu, 70, realises his life-long dream when he reaches the summit of Mt Everest on his fifth attempt. On his first, 43 years before, he lost his legs to frostbite. Undaunted, the double amputee conquers the tallest mountain on every other continent along the way, as well as making another three attempts on Everest, before finally standing on top of the world.

2020 The global death toll from Covid-19 passes 300 000 with 4.4 million confirmed infections.

2021 US President Biden says “It’s time to end America’s longest war” confirming his decision to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11 of that year, 20 years after the US invaded.

2021 Human cells are grown in monkey cells for 20 days by a joint US-Chinese team at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, San Diego, as reported in the journal, Cell.

2022 The Russian ship Moskva, flagship of its Black Sea fleet, is sunk during the invasion of Ukraine amid conflicting accounts.

2022 The biggest surge in years of attacks by Arab militants in Israel leaves 14 dead, leading to Israel army operations that kill a further 20 people.