On this day in history, March 14

Slow-moving traffic on the N1 incoming near the Koeberg interchange after heavy rain. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Slow-moving traffic on the N1 incoming near the Koeberg interchange after heavy rain. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Published Mar 14, 2024


Events that ripple though time, some of which may tickle your fancy, or event your funny bone

1939 After nine days of play spread out over 12 days, England abandons the Timeless Test (the longest cricket Test in history) in Durban because the tourists were about to miss the boat home. Set a winning target of 696 by South Africa, they left the field at 654 for 5 (the highest first-class, fourth-innings score). The match had not been expected to last five days.

1945 The newly built frigate HMSAS Natal distinguishes herself by sinking a German submarine (U 714) within four hours of leaving the builders’ yard in Newcastle-on-Tyne.

1961 A US B-52 bomber, crashes near Yuba City, California. Its nuclear weapons did not detonate as their safety devices worked.

1964 A Dallas jury finds nightclub owner Jack Ruby guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of president John F Kennedy. Sentenced to death for the shooting on live TV, the verdict is later overturned. While arrangements were underway for a new trial, Ruby was admitted to the same hospital that Oswald and Kennedy were taken to, and died of a pulmonary embolism from lung cancer. According to a statement from his hospital bed, he said he alone was responsible for Oswald’s death, nixing conspiracy theorists.

Koberg nuclear power station.

1984 The Koeberg nuclear power plant near Cape Town becomes operational.

2018 The UK announces it will expel 23 Russian diplomats after a Russian-made nerve agent is used on a former spy in the UK.

2018 A Nasa study finds that astronaut Scott Kelly is no longer identical to his twin, and fellow astronaut Mark, because, after a year in space, 7% of his genes have changed.

2019 Cyclone Idai makes landfall in Mozambique, and kills 470 people after causing widespread flooding.

2019 Member of the New York Gambino mob family Frank Cali is shot dead outside his home. His death marks the first killing of a high-ranking mobster since 1985.

2020 The longest-ever scheduled passenger flight by distance occurs when Air Tahiti Nui flies 15 715km from French Polynesia to mainland France owing to Covid-19, and it was a domestic flight.

2020 African-American Breonna Taylor becomes a victim of police brutality when she is shot and killed by police officers executing a no-knock warrant on her flat with a battering ram in Louisville, Kentucky.

2022 Civilians flee the heavily bombed city of Mariupol, in Ukraine, for the first time, amid a death toll of 2 500 and a humanitarian crisis.

2022 With the rest of the world seeming to have Covid-19 largely contained, China puts down 26 million people under lock-down in Changchun and Shenzhen.

2023 Vinyl records outsell CDs in the US for the first time since 1987 (41 million vinyl records as opposed to 33 million CDs), according to a new report.