On this day in history, August 15

Getting protection becomes a breeze. Picture: File

Getting protection becomes a breeze. Picture: File

Published Aug 15, 2023


Significant and interesting snippets of news with a South African angle, from this day in history

1847 Fearing prejudice, Charlotte Brontë sends her manuscript of Jane Eyre under a male pen name to a publisher. It has remained in the bestseller lists worldwide to this day.

1914 The first large gathering of Boers who do not support Britain in a war against Germany takes place; authorities try to repress this movement, but the discontent spreads.

1936 American spectator Carla de Vries, finding German dictator Adolf Hitler ‘so friendly and gracious’, leans over and kisses him at the Berlin Olympics. Hitler’s bodyguards are later punished for having allowed De Vries to get so close to the fascist dictator.

1939 Thirteen Stuka dive-bombers of the German air force plunge into the ground at Neuhammer because the clouds were lower than they were told

1944 The Allies land in southern France.

1969 The Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in New York state.

1989 FW de Klerk becomes state president.

1990 At least 150 people die in clashes between the ANC and the IFP.

1998 The worst terrorist incident of The Troubles in Ireland, the Omagh bombing kills 29 people and injures about 220.

1999 A fake roadblock during the Algerian civil war outside the town of Beni Ounif, near the Moroccan border, becomes a horror scene. Cars are flagged down and 23 men, women and children are beheaded, while another 6 are shot as they run away. Two 15-year-old girls are also kidnapped. The bloodbath leads to temporary tensions with Morocco as fingers turn briefly in that direction.

2002 Zimbabwean police arrest white farmers for refusing to voluntarily abandon their farms.

2004 South Africa’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay team, Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns, Darian Townsend & Ryk Neethling, smash the world record with 3:13.17 at the Athens Olympics.

2008 Lee Berger and his son, Matthew, 9, discover the 2-million-year-old fossils of a new species of human ancestor (Australopithecus sediba) at Malapa Cave, within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, north of Johannesburg.

2015 North Korea sets its own time zone – moving clocks back half an hour to GMT+8.5.

2017 A falling tree kills 13 people and injures 49 in Funchal, Madeira. (Must have been a helluva tree!)

2017 A genetic study of the apple reveals that it originates from Kazakhstan.

2017 Barack Obama’s tweet, No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion, becomes most-liked tweet in history.

2019 The 60th finger wrestling (Fingerhakeln) championships takes place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

2019 Disney Studios is the first studio to have five films each earn over $1 billion in one year with Toy Story 4, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

2021 Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees the country as Taliban forces enter the capital Kabul and take control.

2022 Scotland becomes the first country in the world to make period products free for all, meaning local authorities have to provide free items such as tampons and sanitary pads to "anyone who needs them".