On this day in history, September 25

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

Co-hosts and U2 supergroup members, from left: David Evans (nicknamed Edge); Paul Hewson (Bono); Larry Mullen jr; and Adam Clayton attend the New York premiere of ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’ in New York. Picture: AFP

Published Sep 25, 2023


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

303 While spreading the gospel, St Fermin of Pamplona is beheaded in Amiens, France.

1780 American general, Benedict Arnold switches sides to join the British during the American Revolutionary War.

1878 British physician Dr Charles Drysdale warns against the use of tobacco in a letter to The Times newspaper in one of the earliest public health announcements.

1900 Some 1 004 persons (849 burghers and boys, 152 women and girls, two coloureds and one black man) cross the border into Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique), fleeing the British invasion of the Transvaal. They are interned until the end of the Anglo-Boer War.

1901 British troops in Fort Itala, Zululand, are attacked with the Boer attackers only retreating after fierce fighting and heavy losses on both sides.

1917 Sir Ernest Oppenheimer establishes the Anglo American Corporation of SA.

1926 Industrialist Henry Ford begins an 8-hour, 5-day work week. It quickly spreads.

1941 Richard ‘Rick’ Turner is born on a farm near Stellenbosch. Thirty-six years later the political philosopher was shot dead in his Durban home by unknown attackers just as he was coming to the end of a five-year banning order imposed on him for his anti-apartheid political activities. The fact that he was shot with a 9mm bullet identical to those used by the police, and that Minister of Police, Jimmy Kruger, once called Turner ‘the most dangerous man in South Africa’, suggests why he was killed. A street in Durban honours him.

1974 Scientists say aerosols are destroying the Earth’s protective ozone layer.

1976 Bono (Paul Hewson (nicknamed Bono), David Evans (Edge), his brother Dik and Adam Clayton respond to an advertisement by fellow student Larry Mullen to form a rock band. Initially they call it Feedback, then The Hype and then U2, becoming one of the most successful rock bands of all time. (Evans supposedly got his nickname from the angular shape of his head, which might explain why he almost always wears a beanie. However, the origin of the name is disputed and other theories include a description of his guitar playing and his preference for not becoming fully involved and therefore remaining on the edge of things. Hewson’s nickname, on the other hand, comes from the Latin phrase for ‘good voice’. The nickname was given by a childhood friend. Bono initially disliked it but after learning of its translation, accepted it.

2012 50 Taiwanese ships clash with the Japanese Coast Guard off the Senkaku Islands a bitter territorial dispute.

2020 Singapore says it will be the first to use facial verification in its national identity scheme.

2020 Magawa, an African Giant Pouched Rat, is the first rat to be awarded a prestigious international award, for sniffing out landmines in Cambodia.

2022 Cuba legalises same-sex marriage as part of a new family code in a national referendum.