On this day in history, February 9

‘You won’t be in the dark for long.’

‘You won’t be in the dark for long.’

Published Feb 10, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts.

1841 Daniel Lindley, an American Presbyterian clergyman, is ordained as minister of the Voortrekkers’ Pietermaritzburg congregation.

1874 Langalibalele, chief of the AmaHlubi people, is tried by a British court, found guilty of treason, and banished to Robben Island. He is one of the first Black activists to mount an armed struggle and be banished to the prison.

1900 The Davis Cup – the premier men’s international tennis team event – is established.

1906 Martial law is proclaimed in Natal in response to the Bambatha Rebellion.

1916 The Cape Corps – 32 officers and 1 022 soldiers – leaves for East Africa under General Jan Smuts, commander of UK and South African troops in the East African campaign of World War I.

1922 Snow falls on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa.

1934 The coldest day in New York city history, a bone-numbing −46.7°C.

1936 Lieutenant Tommy Rose arrives in Cape Town from England after a record-breaking flight that lasted three days, 17 hours and 38 minutes, in a Miles Falcon.

1940 Nobel laureate and author JM Coetzee is born.

1945 The British submarine HMS Venturer sinks U-864 off Norway in a rare instance of submarine-to-submarine combat.

1951 A South Korean Army battalion kills 719 unarmed citizens in Geochang, South Korea.

1955 Sophiatown, Johannesburg, residents are forcefully moved to Meadowlands, Soweto. The removals are part of the government’s countrywide plan to turn the residential and business areas of cities and towns white.

1969 The first flight of the much-used Boeing 747 ‘jumbo jet’.

1990 Kenyan Foreign Minister Robert Ouko is found slain before he was to have presented a report on corruption. Two of president Daniel Arap Moi’s closest confidants are suspects.

2002 Hundreds of Ethiopians line Addis Ababa’s streets to welcome the return of a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, looted from Ethiopia by British soldiers, 130 years before.

2014 Australian National University scientists discover the oldest known star at 13.6 billion years old.

2021 The United Arab Emirates is the fifth entity to successfully orbit a probe around Mars, as probe Hope begins to study the planet's atmosphere.

2022 Nearly four million bottles of beer are destroyed in a crackdown on alcohol in the northern Nigerian state of Kano, where alcohol is prohibited under Sharia law.

2023 President Cyril Ramaphosa declares "a national state of disaster" to respond to the country's electricity crisis amid daily blackouts but a year later nothing has changed.