On this day, April 15

McDonald’s comes to life. Picture: Reuters

McDonald’s comes to life. Picture: Reuters

Published Apr 15, 2024


Peace talks begin, Mickey Mouse pops up, a record trip to South Africa, ‘Baby Jake’ makes us proud, and International Day of Families

1897 The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee is founded in Berlin by Magnus Hirschfeld. It is the first-ever LGBT rights organisation.

1902 The Vereeniging peace conference to discuss ways of ending the Anglo-Boer War begins. After long discussions the delegates conceded to the British proposal to relinquish their independence and become British colonies, with 54 votes to 6. The peace was then signed in Melrose House, Pretoria, on May 31, 1902.

1936 Amy Johnson arrives in Croydon, England, having flown from South Africa in a record time of 4 days and 16 hours.

1940 Richard and Maurice McDonald open the first McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1944 The 14 000 Jews of Munkacs, Hungary, are deported to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp.

1945 World War II: The final skirmish in Europe is fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.

1993 SA flyweight Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala, wins the World Boxing Organisation world championship title.

1997 Apartheid policeman and Vlakplaas assassination squad commander Dirk Coetzee, together with Almond Nofomela and David Tshikakalanga, is found guilty of murdering human rights lawyer and UDF activist Griffiths Mxenge in 1981. Mxenge’s mutilated body was found near Umlazi Stadium, Durban.

2010 Jessica Watson at age 16 becomes the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world.

2012 International Day of Families.

2019 Findings from China’s Chang’e-4 rover to the Moon suggests that a huge asteroid created a giant crater on the Moon’s far side with an impact so great that it cracked its crust and reached the mantle below. The findings are published in Nature.

2019 The world-famous cathedral in Paris, France, Notre Dame catches fire, toppling its spire and destroying its roof.

2019 Measles cases jump 300% in first three months of 2019, according to World Health Organization. The largest rise is in Africa (700%) with 800 deaths in Madagascar

2023 Germany ends its use of nuclear power, closing its last three nuclear power plants to focus on renewable energy.

2023 Indian Atiq Ahmed, a former lawmaker and convicted criminal, is assassinated live on TV along with his brother Ashraf, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, while under police guard.