On this day in history, March 7

A remarkable South African is run over by a train.

A remarkable South African is run over by a train.

Published Mar 7, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts

321 Roman Emperor Constantine I decrees that the dies Solis Invicti (sun-day) is the day of rest in the empire.

1876 Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for an invention he calls the ‘telephone’.

1902 General Koos de la Rey defeats and captures General Methuen and 870 soldiers in the Battle of Tweebosch, in the Western Transvaal. It was the last important battle won by the Boer forces and also the biggest defeat suffered by the British in the Anglo-Boer War.

1941 Wolf pack leader, Günther Prien and the crew of German submarine U-47, then the most successful U-boat of World War II, disappear in the Atlantic while on their 10th patrol. Prien was highly regarded in Germany, especially because he and his crew sank the battleship HMS Royal Oak in a sneak attack on Britain’s main naval base, the supposedly impregnable Scapa Flow. The sinking of the capital ship was a huge propaganda coup for Germany because Scapa Flow was where the Germany High Seas Fleet was scuttled in 1918 to prevent their being used by other European navies.

1945 At Woeste Hoeve in the Netherlands, German occupiers execute 250 of the hamlet’s inhabitants as reprisals after the Dutch resistance shoot dead the Nazi chief of police the day before.

1951 UN troops led by General Matthew Ridgway begin Operation Ripoper – an assault against Chinese forces during the Korean War.

1952 Decorated World War II hero Job Masego, who, almost single-handedly sank a German supply boat with a bomb made from a condensed milk can while a prisoner of war, dies in Springs, Gauteng, after being run over by a train. A street and a school in Kwa Thema and a naval vessel were named in honour of the remarkable south African. The diabolical treatment of Black POWs forced Job Maseko to taken action against his captors, to quote him “because of our ill-treatment by the enemy, especially the Italians, and because I felt it a duty in this way to assist my own people,” yet the apartheid government acted like nothing had happened.

1994 Nelson Mandela rejects demands by white right-wingers for a separate homeland.

1998 Eastern Province Springbok prop Frans ‘Domkrag’ Erasmus, 38, is killed in a car accident, 100m from the place where his wife was killed in an accident a month before.

2004 Zimbabwe seizes a plane full of 64 mercenaries and military equipment. Simon Mann, of the mercenary outfit Executive Outcomes, is arrested along with five others on the tarmac, after the Zimbabwean authorities had been tipped off by the SA government.

2016 Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova reveals she failed a drugs test for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. She is suspended from the game for 15 months

2017 Poachers strike a zoo, west of Paris, killing a four-year-old White rhino for its horn.

2017 Malta's famous landmark, the Azure Window collapses into the sea after a storm.

2021 Explosions at a military base in Bata, Equatorial Guinea, likely from faulty storage of dynamite, kill at least 98 people and injures more than 400. .

2023 1.28 million people protest in nationwide demonstrations throughout France against government plans to raise the pension age from 62 to 64.