On this day in history, March 15

Matric pupils from Bishops scan the Cape Argus for this results.

Matric pupils from Bishops scan the Cape Argus for this results.

Published Mar 15, 2024


Beware the Ides of March – If only Julius had listened

44BC ‘Beware the Ides of March: Julius Caesar is assassinated in the Senate chamber in Rome by Brutus and fellow conspirators. After first trying to defend himself against the murderous onslaught, Caesar sees his childhood friend with a knife and asks, Et tu, Brute? (You too, Brutus?) Caesar then gives up the struggle and is stabbed to death.

1844 De Natalier, Natal’s first newspaper, appears.

1849 The Diocesan College School (aka Bishop’s) is founded by Bishop Robert Gray in Rondebosch, Cape Town, with six pupils.

1889 Six US and German warships are sunk by a typhoon in Apia harbour, Samoa.

1900 British premier Lord Salisbury rejects US President William McKinley’s offer to mediate in the Anglo-Boer War.

1921 Talaat Pasha, the chief architect of the Armenian Genocide is assassinated in Berlin by an Armenian, Soghomon Tehlirian.

1922 Welsh-born miner Samuel ‘Taffy’ Long, 31, is arrested after an artillery bombardment brings the Rand Revolt to an end – at the cost of 200 lives. President Jan Smuts crushes the rebellion with 20 000 troops, artillery, tanks and bombers. His actions cause a political backlash, and in the 1924 elections his South African Party loses to a National Party and Labour Party coalition, which drafts laws to recognise white trade unions and reinforce the colour bar.

1985 The first Internet domain name (symbolics.com) is registered.

1988 Angola releases the bodies of two South African commandos who were killed in a raid on the Cabinda oil depots three years earlier. In exchange, 12 MPLA soldiers are repatriated.

1991 The Two Plus Four Agreement comes into effect, with the four occupying powers withdrawing from Germany, allowing the divided nation to reunite.

2019 Two consecutive mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers are carried out by a lone gunman, who kills 51 people and injures another 40.

2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa declares the Covid-19 pandemic a national disaster.

2021 The Vatican issues a judgement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions, because it says God “does not and cannot bless sin”.

2022 Hong Kong amid its worst Covid-19 outbreak records over 4 000 deaths in a few months, largely due to low vaccination, as Omicron hits, forcing it to abandon its covid-zero policy.

2023 Another atmospheric river creates a storm across California, bringing widespread flooding and power outages, with Monterey County issuing a 25 mile evacuation order.