This Day in History

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Saturday, October 20, 1894

The building of the Delagoa Bay railway line to Pretoria was completed on this date. It was scheduled to be opened for traffic on 2 November 1894, however, the official opening of the line only took place on 8 July 1895. The line was completed a few years after the end of the first Anglo-Boer War (also called Anglo-Transvaal War) and the restoration of the Transvaal Republic after annexation by Britain in 1877.

This article was produced by South African History Online on 22-Oct-2013

This Day in History Extra Dates
  • Wednesday, October 20, 1999
    Piet Cillié (82), former editor of Die Burger, dies in Cape Town.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1999
    It is announced that Jacob Sello Selebi (Jackie) is appointed the new National Commissioner of the South African Police service as from 1 January 2000. He will succeed Commissioner George Fivaz.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1998
    The new revised results of the 1996 census survey is announced, according to which SA has 40 583 574 inhabitants.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1998
    Three South Africans are sentenced to twenty-three years of prison in Angola because they assisted Unita rebels with their aeroplane.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1993
    SA signs agreement on co-operation with Romania.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds) (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1993
    Twenty-four persons die in intra-Inkatha conflict in Loskop.
    References:
    • Coleman, M. (ed) (1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee.

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1992
    SA signs agreement with Namibia regarding trade tests for apprentices and other prospective artisans.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds) (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Saturday, October 20, 1990
    The formerly Whites-only National Party opens its membership to all race groups. Date is given as 19 October in another source.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds) (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Thursday, October 20, 1988
    Church, community and worker organisations call for a national day of peaceful protest on the day of the coming municipal elections.
    References:
    • South African Institute of Race Relations. (1989). Race Relations Survey 1988/89, Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, p. 596

  • Thursday, October 20, 1988
    Charlotte Lange disappears after being picked up from her home by eight Whites and one Black in a combi.
    References:
    • Coleman, M. (ed) (1998). A Crime Against Humanity: analysing the repression of the apartheid state, Johannesburg: Human Rights Committee.

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1987
    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) crashes.
    References:
    • South African Institute of Race Relations. (1989). Race Relations Survey 1988/89, Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, p. 326

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1987
    Doctors at Barangwanath Hospital complete the first stage of an operation to separate Siamese twins Mpho and Mphoyana Mathibela.
    References:
    • Pretoria News, 20 October 2003. Today in History

  • Monday, October 20, 1975
    The Prime Minister holds discussions on constitutional developments with the chairman and other members of the Coloured Persons' Representative Council, and makes various proposals. These are rejected and an immediate referendum among White voters on the issue of full citizen rights for Coloured people is called for.
    References:
    • Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds) (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1976
    Republic of Transkei Constitution Act No 15 commences.
  • Sunday, October 20, 1968
    Archibald Campbell Mzoliza (AC) Jordan, Xhosa writer and linguist and the first African to be appointed as lecturer in the School of African Studies at the University of Cape Town and to receive a Ph.D. at that university, dies in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
    References:
    • Verwey, E.J. (ed) (1995). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.1, Pretoria: HSRC, p. 108.

  • Thursday, October 20, 1966
    Allan Donald, SA national cricket player, is born in Bloemfontein.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1965
    Martial law is declared in Burundi.
    References:
    • Bute, E.L. & Harmer, H.J.P. (1997). The Black Handbook, London: Cassell.

  • Friday, October 20, 1961
    The Minister of Justice banns all meetings to protest against arrest, trial or conviction of any person.
  • Tuesday, October 20, 1959
    Prof. Johan Franken, writer of cultural historical works and expert on the history of the French Huguenots at the Cape, dies in Stellenbosch.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 5, p. 27

  • Sunday, October 20, 1946
    Dr Yusuf Dadoo is re-elected President of Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC), at a meeting attended by over 12 000 people.
  • Monday, October 20, 1958
    A separate and autonomous Department of Bantu Education, under its own ministry, is established.
    References:
    • Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 2, p. 89

  • Saturday, October 20, 1945
    Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon form the Arab League to present a unified front against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. Arab League is formed.
  • Monday, October 20, 1930
    Louis Cornelius Eksteen, SA linguist and poet, is born in Windhoek, SWA.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1915
    The second general election is held in the Union of South Africa. The South African Party gets 94 000 votes. The National Party participates for the first time and receives 78 000 votes. 
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Swart, M.J., et al. (eds) (1980). Afrikaanse Kultuuralmanak Aucklandpark: Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge.

  • Sunday, October 20, 1901
    Zachariah Keodirelang Matthews, SA academic, ANC politician, Botswana's first ambassador to the USA and envoy to the UN, is born in Winters' Rush, Barkly West district.
    References:
    • Verwey, E.J. (ed) (1995). New Dictionary of South African Biography, v.1, Pretoria: HSRC, p. 163.

  • Friday, October 20, 1899
    Anglo-Boer War: British forces dislodge the Boers at Talana Hill in Natal.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Cloete, P.G. (2000). The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology, Pretoria: Lapa.

  • Thursday, October 20, 1898
    Sir Henry Barkly (83), former Cape governor, dies in London. 
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 2, p. 175.

  • Saturday, October 20, 1894
    Building of the Delagoa Bay railway line is completed.  It is to be opened for traffic on 2 November 1894.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  - --, (2005). 'Pretoria 1855-2005: Chronologie 1798-1935', Bylaag tot Rekord.

  • Thursday, October 20, 1892
    Jomo Kenyatta, freedom fighter, first prime minister and later president of Kenya, is born presumably on this date.
  • Monday, October 20, 1890
    Sir Richard Francis Burton (69), 'discoverer' of Lake Tanganyika, dies of heart failure.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1891
    Prof. Stephanus Petrus Engelbrecht, Pretoria professor of theology and cultural leader, is born in the district of Standerton, Transvaal.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Swart, M.J., et al. (eds) (1980). Afrikaanse Kultuuralmanak Aucklandpark: Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge.

  • Tuesday, October 20, 1885
    Jonathan Ayliff (56), Cape attorney, politician and colonial secretary, dies in London.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Sunday, October 20, 1872
    Frederich Martin Joseph Welwitsch (66), botanist and discoverer of the welwitschia plant in Namibia, dies in London.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Thursday, October 20, 1864
    Andrew Geddes Bain, a pioneer SA geologist, road engineer, explorer and writer, dies in Cape Town. He constructed Bain's Kloof Pass in the Western Cape.
    References:
    • Pretoria News, 20 October 2003. Today in History
    •  Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v. 2, p. 6

  • Thursday, October 20, 1859
    The corner stone of the oldest church building in Transvaal, the Nederduitsche Hervormde Kerk in Potchefstroom, is laid.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau

  • Friday, October 20, 1820
    The Cape of Good Hope Royal Observatory is founded.
    References:
    • Pretoria News, 20 October 2003. Today in History.

  • Wednesday, October 20, 1723
    Martin Melck, donator of the stand and builder of the Lutheran church on it, now a national monument, is born in Eastern Prussia. The church was first built as a 'storehouse' because the Lords Seventeen had opposed the establishing of a Lutheran congregation. A steeple was added later. The old parsonage has become Martin Melck House.
    References:
    • Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
    •  Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds) (1970). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Cape Town: NASOU, v.7, p.324

  • Saturday, October 20, 2012
    World Osteoporosis Day.