Today in History: 31st January


Historical Events:

• 1874: Jesse James gang robs train at Gads Hill, Missouri
• 1956: Trevor Andrew Manuel, Minister of Finance of the RSA since 1996, is born in Kensington, Cape Town.
• 1971: Apollo 14 takes the South African flag to the moon.
• 1985: President P.W. Botha offers a release proposal to jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela.
• 1995: President Bill Clinton authorizes a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.
• 2005: Royal sources announce Swaziland’s King Mswati III will introduce a 17-year-old schoolgirl as his 13th bride-to-be once she passes an HIV test.
• 1990: 1st McDonalds in Russia opens in Moscow, world’s biggest McDonalds.
• 2007: Adelaide Frances Tambo (77), widow of Oliver Tambo, dies at her home in Johannesburg.

Arts, Music, TV:

• 1885: Marthinus Johannes (Tinus) de Jong, SA landscape painter, is born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
• 1922: Bosman de Kock, broadcaster of the Afrikaans service of the BBC, London, who was appointed director of the Performing Arts Council of Transvaal (PACT) in 1967, is born in Potchefstroom.
• 1971: "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison hit #1 on UK pop chart.
• 1975: Barry Manilow’s "Mandy" goes gold.
• 1976: 3rd American Music Award: Olivia Newton-John & John Denver win.
• 1978: "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 101 perfs.


• 1993: The Bafana Bafana, SA soccer team, wins 1-0 against the Congo in an away game.
• 1996: The Bafana Bafana, SA soccer team, wins the Africa Cup of Nations Semi-finals versus Ghana 3-0 at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.
• 1998: Quintus van Rooyen (62), authority on rugby who wrote for Beeld, dies of cancer in Pretoria.
• 1982: Gustafson skates world record 10 km (14:26.59).
• 2010: NFL Pro Bowl: AFC beats NFC 41-34.
• 1990: 1st ever all-sports daily "National" begins publishing.

Source: &
Compiled by: Thandi Xaba