On this day in history, March 19

Makhaya Ntini becomes South Africa’s first black cricketer to play in a Test match. Picture: Reuters

Makhaya Ntini becomes South Africa’s first black cricketer to play in a Test match. Picture: Reuters

Published Mar 19, 2024


South Africa’s first passengers take to the skies, Argentina invades the Falklands, the US and UK begin their invasion of Iraq and a long-standing road-car record is set on the N3

1644 About 200 members of Peking imperial family and court commit suicide out of loyalty to Zhu Youjian, the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty. He takes his own lkife as the Manchu rebels reached Beijing.

1649 The House of Commons of England passes an act abolishing the House of Lords, declaring it ‘useless and dangerous to the people of England’.

1687 Explorer Robert Cavelier de la Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.

1775 Four people are buried by an avalanche for 37 days in Italy. Three of them survive.

1848 Wyatt Earp is born in Monmouth, Illinois. He became a legendary figure in the Wild West as a lawman and gunfighter, and is best known for the shootout at the OK Corral in 1881.

1910 Thomas Thornton becomes the first air passenger in SA when he pays Albert Kimmerling £100 for a short flight from Sydenham Hill in Johannesburg. On the same day, the Rand reporter Julia Stansfield becomes the first woman passenger when Kimmmerling takes her on a flight over the city.

1927 Bloody battles break out between communists and Nazis in the streets of Berlin.

1945 Off Japan, a dive bomber hits the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing 724 of her crew.

1982 Argentina invades Britain’s South Georgia Island, starting the Falklands War.

1990 Willie Hepburn sets a South African land speed record of 372.4 km/h in a custom-built 7-litre Pontiac TransAm on the N3 near Villiers. The record still stands for a road legal car.

2003 Airstrikes by an American and British-led coalition signal the beginning of the invasion of Iraq, without UN support and in defiance of world opinion.

1994 The world’s largest omelette is made using 160 000 eggs in Yokohama, Japan.

1998 Makhaya Ntini becomes the first Black SA cricketer to play in a five-day Test.

2019 A ‘Superbloom’ of poppies in Walker Canyon, southern California, after high rainfall is so big that it is visible from space.

2020 Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says two-thirds of the population could contract Covid-19 in line with Europe’s estimates on population infection.