On this day in history, March 1

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Picture: Reuters

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Picture: Reuters

Published Mar 2, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts

752BC Romulus, founder and first king of Rome, orders the first Roman triumph (public celebration) following the abduction of women from the Sabines to provide wives for the young, male-dominated city. The upshot is war which ends only when the women force their way between the warring parties and beg their fathers and husbands to stop trying to kill each other. The event is often called the ‘Rape of the Sabine Women’, but it was not a sexual assault because the word rape comes is the conventional translation of the Latin word raptio (kidnapping/abduction).

1849 The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas begins operating.

1872 Yellowstone National Park in the US becomes the world’s first national park.

1910 An avalanche buries a railway train in Washington state, killing 96 people.

1893 Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio.

1951 Pilots Doug McKellar and “Dizzy” Deans of the SA Air Force’s No 2 Squadron, dive-bomb seven trucks in hilly terrain and them with napalm. The ‘Flying Cheetahs’ helped the UN in the Korean War, and had a high attrition rate (34 pilots and 2 ground crew).

1953 Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin has a stroke, dies four days later, but may have been poisoned to avoid nuclear war with the US.

1975 Jody Scheckter wins the Kyalami Grand Prix in his Tyrrell Cosworth. He is only the second South African-born driver to win his home grand prix, after Buller Meyer in 1938.

1988 A Bop Air plane explodes over Germiston, killing all 17 people aboard.

1999 Daryll Cullinan scores a South African cricket record, 275no against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland. The score has since been bettered by Graeme Smith (277), AB de Villiers (278), and Hashim Amla (311).

2002 The US invasion of Afghanistan begins.

2003 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, organiser of the 9/11 attacks is captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

2021 Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy is sentenced to three years for trying to bribe a judge.

2022 A cargo ship carrying 4 000 luxury cars sinks off the Portuguese Azores archipelago, two weeks after it caught fire.