On this day in history, March 12

Tugs pour water on to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Tugs pour water on to the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Published Mar 12, 2024


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

1455 Enea Silvio Piccolomini (the future Pope Pius II) writes a letter to a cardinal he works for, referring to the bible printed a year before that had such neat lettering that the cardinal would be able to read it without glasses. It is the first record of the Gutenberg Bible.

1488 Portuguese navigator Bartholomew Diaz erects his first padrao (stone cross) at Kwaaihoek, at Kenton on Sea, near the mouth of the Bushman’s River, eastern Cape. It is SA’s oldest monument, and was one of three stone crosses he raised along southern Africa.

1609 Bermuda is colonised by the British after a ship on its way to Virginia is wrecked there.

1815 Cornelis Moll, founder of the first Natal newspaper, De Natalier, is born as the 24th child of a Cape Town family. He had 11 children.

1881 Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut as the world’s first black international football player and captain.

1894 Coca-Cola is bottled and sold for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1912 Juliette Gordon founds the Girl Guides, a world-wide organisation active also in SA.

1930 Mahatma Gandhi begins the Salt March in protest at Britain’s monopoly on salt in India.

1993 Several bombs explode in Mumbai, killing about 300 and injuring hundreds.

1993 Inkatha leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi begins a 2½ week speech to the KwaZulu legislative assembly, averaging nearly 2½ hours a day – a world record. His speech writer, who was paid by the word, once submitted a letter to the Daily News. Its chief sub-editor, Bob Cooper, measured it as stretching from the works department, all the way up to the editors’ office, and back again. It was too long to use in the paper.

2011 Japan declares a state of emergency because of the failure of the cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, following the previous day’s tsunami which caused three nuclear reactors to melt down. Although not as bad as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, it causes the evacuation of 200 000 people.

2019 More than 3 000 ISIS fighters have surrendered amid the battle for last ISIS stronghold in Baghouz, Syria, according to Syrian Democratic Forces officials.

March 10, 2024, Graphics show birthdays and anniversaries on each day for the week. This week features a bank run at the California-based Silicon Valley Bank, terror attacks on commuter trains in Madrid, the “Fosbury Flop”, the U.S. patent for earmuffs, a patent to separate cotton seeds from the raw cotton fibres, the marriage between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and the introduction of antiseptic surgery