This Day in History

This Day in History (1969): What's a Wa’l?

Unusual animal discovered in ash-Sharawrah.

This Day in History (1969): What's a Wa’l?

From the Jan. 8, 1969, edition of the Sun and Flare


A wild sheep? A wild goat? Whatever it is, this rare find hails from the village of ash-Sharawrah on the southwest edge of the Rub' al-Khali. It was captured when young and raised by Salim ibn 'Ali al-Qahtani, a member of the Frontier Post.


He refers to the animal in Arabic as wa'l. A description has been sent to London to a well-known expert of Arabian animals and an exact identification is awaited. This animal is known to exist in many mountainous areas of Asia and statues and representations of its type are common on ancient monuments in the southwest of Saudi Arabia.


It differs, however, from similar animals found in northern Saudi Arabia and Jordan. This specimen, pictured outside the Dhahran Administration Building last Wednesday, was purchased by Mrs. Sue Thames on behalf of the board of directors of the Dhahran Arabian Horse Association and now has a new home at the local Hobby Farm.


Also on this date

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2011 U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords is shot in the head along with 18 others in a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. She survives, but six others are killed in the shooting


2002 President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind law


1994 Russian cosmonaut Valeria Polyakov leaves on Soyuz TM-18 for Mir, not returning from the space station until March 22, 1995, a world record 437 days in space later


1982 In the U.S., AT&T divests itself of 22 subdivisions, completing the breakup of the Bell System


1973 The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel begins


1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a "War on Poverty"


1926 Abdul 'Aziz ibn Sa'ud is crowned King of the Hejaz


1918 U.S. president Woodrow Wilson announces his "Fourteen Points" in the aftermath of World War I


1877 Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle against the U.S. Cavalry at Wolf Mountain in Montana Territory


1828 The Democratic Party of the United States is organized


1297 Francois Grimaldi, disguised as a monk, leads his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.


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