January 22, a momentous day in history for the Zulu nation

One of the many red-coats to fall to the assegai’s during a re-enactment of the storied Battle of Isandlwana. Picture: Antoine de Ras

One of the many red-coats to fall to the assegai’s during a re-enactment of the storied Battle of Isandlwana. Picture: Antoine de Ras

Published Jan 22, 2023


12 Interesting and noteworthy events from South Africa and around the world that we can relate to.

1506 The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrive at the Vatican to protect the pope. The Papal Guard is one of the oldest active military units in existence, and is famous for their last stand which allowed Pope Clement VII to flee Rome during War of the League of Cognac.

1833 Groot Constantia, which shipped wine to Napoleon in exile on the island of St Helena, concludes another sale with a VIP; this time with the King of France, Louis-Philippe.

1879 The sky turns black from a solar eclipse as the Anglo-Zulu war gets off to the worst possible start for the British army. Cetshwayo’s impis out-manoeuvre and inflict a devastating defeat on one of the invading columns at Isandlwana. About 1 300 soldiers are stabbed to death by assegai resulting Britain’s worst defeat against an indigenous foe, equipped with vastly inferior military technology. The battle resulted in the British taking a much more aggressive approach in the Anglo–Zulu War, leading to a heavily reinforced second invasion, and the end of King Cetshwayo’s hopes of a negotiated peace. The warriors chase the handful of survivors to the trading post at Rorke’s Drift, where a bloody, but successful defence begins.

1879 A British supply column moving up the North Coast towards Eshowe is attacked by 5 000 Zulus as they cross the Nyezane River. The attack is beaten off.

1915 A train plunges off the tracks into a deep canyon in Mexico, killing 600 people.

1927 The first live radio commentary of a football match (Arsenal v Sheffield United).

1943 Australian and American troops defeat the Japanese army in the bitterly-fought Battle of Buna-Gona in New Guinea.

1970 The Boeing 747, the world’s first “jumbo jet”, enters commercial service.

1971 The results of an informal poll among white sportsmen show that of 101 sportsmen questioned, the overwhelming majority, 79, were in favour of mixed sport, 17 were not, and five had no comment.

1984 The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularise the mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during a Super Bowl TV commercial.

2018 Netflix becomes the largest digital media and entertainment company in the world, worth $100 billion.

2019 The Russian volcano Raikoke erupts from a 700m-wide-crater. It is seen from International Space Station and turns sunsets purple across the Northern Hemisphere all summer.

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