Today in History

Helen Joseph/

1962    Helen Joseph is put under house arrest

Former political activist, Helen Joseph, fell victim to the Draconian apartheid legislations. She became the first person to be put under house arrest under the Sabotage Act, introduced by the newly appointed Minister of Justice, BJ Voster. The conditions attached to her arrest included a prohibition on leaving her house at night and over weekends and also on receiving visitors.

 1881   Electric lights are installed in Adderley Street, Cape Town.

Adderly Street is possibly the most historically rich street in Cape Town. It gets its name from the man who vehemently opposed a proposal by the British to turn Cape Town into a convict colony, Charles B. Adderly. On 13 October 1881, the street got its first electric lights installed.

Today the street is a main attraction for tourists in Cape Town. It is in close proximity to other attractions like the Old Slave Lodge Museum, Groote Kerk (the oldest church in South Africa) and the Company Gardens. During Christmas, the street comes alive with light fixtures.

Adderly Street in Cape Town/
Adderly Street in Cape Town/

1867   First recorded discovery of diamonds in the colonial period of South Africa

13 October 1867 marks the first recorded discovery of diamonds in the colonial period of South Africa, with the very first becoming known as the Eureka diamond. By 1871, more diamonds were found in the vicinity of the present-day Kimberley, leading to the establishment of De Beers Consolidated Mines under the leadership of Cecil John Rhodes. This was soon followed by the discovery of gold, which changed South Africa’s agrarian economy to an industrialized one. South Africa is to date, one of the substantial providers of minerals world-wide.

Unit3 Tswana Ironsmelters/
Unit3 Tswana Ironsmelters/