1772 – Captain Cook arrived with his ship Resolution in Cape Town.
1817 – The independent government of Venezuela is established by Simón Bolívar.
1918 – The Ottoman Empire signs an armistice with the Allies, ending the First World War in the Middle East.
1905 – Czar Nicholas II of Russia issues the October Manifesto, granting the Russian peoples basic civil liberties and the right to form a duma. This was October 17 in the Julian calendar.
1925 – John Logie Baird creates Britain’s first television transmitter.
1942 – Lt Tony Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Grazier, and canteen assistant Tommy Brown from HMS Petard board U-559, retrieving material which would lead to the decryption of the German Enigma code.
1947 – The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which is the foundation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is founded.
1961 – Due to “violations of Vladimir Lenin’s precepts”, it is decreed that Stalin’s body be removed from its place of honour inside Lenin’s tomb and buried near the Kremlin Wall with a plain granite marker instead.
1973 – The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus for the second time.
1974 – The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali wins by KO in the eighth round, regaining the title of World Heavyweight Champion and causing Foreman´s first professional defeat.
1975 – Prince Juan Carlos becomes Spain’s acting head of state, taking over for the country’s ailing dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco.
1983 – The first democratic elections in Argentina after seven years of military rule are held.
1984 – South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha left for Cape Verde where he was due to hold talks the following day with US negotiator Chester Crocker on the future of Namibia.
1990 – SA signed agreement for the establishment of permanent offices of interest with Republic of Poland.
1991 – SA signed an aviation security agreement with the United States.
1992 – SA signed an air services agreement with Zambia.
1992 – Heavy fighting broke out in Luanda, Angola, between the government and Unita. The conflict raged for three days, claiming at least 1000 lives.
1996 – A South African judge jailed former state assassin Eugene de Kock for more than 200 years, describing him as a chilling and revolting agent for apartheid.
1998 – The marriage of nearly 40 years between former president FW de Klerk and Marike was dissolved in the Cape Supreme Court.
1999 – The Australian rugby team beat SA 27-21 in the World Cup semi-final at Twickenham.
2002 – Bombings in Soweto and Bronkhorstspruit. Boeremag claimed responsibility.
2006 – An elderly pensioner died in a hail of bullets and two other pensioners were seriously injured during an attack at a pay point in Elliotdale in the Eastern Cape.
BIRTHS: Christopher Wren, English physicist, mathematician, and architect, designed St Paul’s Cathedral (1632), Leabua Jonathan, Basotho lawyer and politician, 2nd Prime Minister of Lesotho (1914), Nick Mallet, former SA Springbok coach (1956), Diego Maradona, Argentinian footballer, coach, and manager (1960), Charnele Brown, American actress and singer (1960), Gavin Rossdale, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (1965), Derren Witcombe, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer (1978), Matt Parcell, Australian rugby league player (1992)
DEATHS: Steve Allen, American actor, television personality, game show panelist, and talk show host (2000), Jam Master Jay, American rapper and producer (2002), Peggy Ryan, American actress and dancer (2004), Washoe, American chimpanzee (2007), Bill Currie, American baseball player (2013), Pete Haycock, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (2013)
– African News Agency (ANA)