Sunday Times

Blasts from our 115-year-old past

What made the news on other Easter Sundays


April 11 1909

Hangover from an old French spirit

Remarkable reports are current in a village in France of the ghost of Joan of Arc having appeared to several persons there. These persons declare that they have received repeated visits from a girl dressed in armour, who spoke to them and predicted a series of great disasters. She told them that a great war was coming; that thousands of people would die of cholera and fever; and that great earthquake­s would occur, in one of which Rome would be swallowed up.

April 8 1917

The US enters World War 1

President Wilson has signed the resolution adopted by both Houses of Congress declaring a state of war between the United States and Germany. The German merchantme­n in New York, Baltimore and New London harbours have been seized, and it is probable that the German ships at all the other United States ports, totalling 91, will also be taken over.

April 4 1920

Ooh-la-la: French fashion goes risqué

Public opinion in France is becoming thoroughly aroused against the present licence in women’s dress, writes a correspond­ent in Paris, and the apparent determinat­ion of certain dressmaker­s to continue their raids on decency until the most daring modes of the Directoire and other loose periods in the history of costume are revived. Backs bare to the waist, and undraped legs as “worn” by the extreme set — though not, let it be added, by the great majority of selfrespec­ting women in Paris — do not by any means exhaust the hopes of the “undress” designers. A filmy skirt so draped as almost to convey the illusion of nonexisten­ce is among the ideals of this class of dressmaker.

March 27 1932 Dial-a-Future

Many of the nine thousand Johannesbu­rg telephone subscriber­s whose instrument­s were switched over to automatic working in the small hours of this morning will by now have sampled the novelty of dialling. For to-day, at any rate, the robot phones are the Rand’s latest plaything. Women whose sole occupation appears to be to sip and gossip will this morning be twirling in a flutter to pass on the latest bit of scandal. Months of preparatio­n have been necessary to make this, and much more, possible. To-day, Johannesbu­rg telephone users have at their command a mechanism that is so new that no other place in the world possesses its like. Here is the latest and best. Johannesbu­rg can ask no more.

April 9 1939

Mussolini steals Greek Easter

Good Friday, when Christ was crucified — so Mussolini crucifies little Albania. Thereby smashing Anglo-Italian agreements, deliberate­ly flouting Christiani­ty’s most sacred day, and ranging himself alongside Hitler as a plain thief. Immediate reaction must be to hasten protective alliances with Britain and France throughout Europe. Democracy can stand no more rapes.

April 13 1941

Pasta comes to SA

Macaroni makers in South Africa are hoping for a golden harvest as the result of the influx of the large number of new macaroni eaters, the 20,000 Italian prisoners, of whom the first 7,500 were reported to have arrived during the past week. More than half a dozen factories in the Union are to-day engaged in the production of macaroni, the largest two being in Johannesbu­rg. In addition to macaroni worth £231,844 made in South Africa, the Union formerly imported £300,083 from abroad, mainly from Italy and the United States. It is anticipate­d that the Defence Department will take full advantage of the South African industry to feed the Italian prisoners.

April 1 1945

Allied victory in sight

Elements of 12 Allied armoured divisions — numbering more than 3,000 tanks — are tonight tearing great gaps through German territory, with swift motorised infantry columns rapidly following up. On the northern flank, Fieldmarsh­al Montgomery’s troops, driving on a further 16 miles today, have reached a point 66 miles east of the Rhine. Farther south, the American First Army, driving forward from Paderborn in a rapid surge, is reported to be close to linking up with Montgomery’s army.

April 17 1949

Rand Show booms

More than 392,500 people — about the total European population of Johannesbu­rg — had been to the Rand Easter Show when the gates closed last night — 102,000 more than went up to Saturday night last year, and an all-time record.

April 8 1950

Farewell to the greatest dancer of all

Vaslav Nijinsky, the greatest male ballet dancer of all time, died in London to-day at the age of 68. Nijinsky had not danced since 1919, when he was stricken with mental illness. In recent years he lived quietly, first in Switzerlan­d and then in England. Nijinsky danced with the greatest ballerinas of the century, including

Anna Pavlova.

March 29 1959 What we need is an Apartheid Museum

It is now a firmly establishe­d Nationalis­t custom to give every apartheid Bill a title which conveys the exact opposite of what the Bill intends to achieve. For example, the Bill compelling every Native to carry a bulky pass book was introduced as the Abolition of Passes Bill; the Bill limiting university education for non-Whites is before Parliament as the Extension of University Education Bill; and now the Bill to deprive the Native population of what little they have achieved in the direction of political rights is known as the Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Bill. One day, when South Africa returns to sanity, various oddities of the Nationalis­t regime should be collected in a museum as a stern warning to future generation­s not to indulge in pipe-dreams.

April 18 1976

Old cigarettes sold at new prices

Budget speculator­s stand to make an extra R5-million profit on cigarette sales by selling old stock at new prices.

Consumer organisati­ons are being swamped with complaints about cigarette retailers who built up huge stockpiles in anticipati­on of price increases announced in the Budget. What cigarette men are now calling the biggest fag fiddle in the history of the trade began in March when retailers stocked up to such an extent that the floors of cigarette wholesaler­s and manufactur­ers were almost cleared.

April 19 1981

Ol' Blue Eyes is coming to SA

Frank Sinatra will sing at Sun City in July … and earn about R2,800 for every minute he’s on stage. The legendary American singer, perhaps the biggest crowd-puller in show business history, is being paid a record $2-million fee — that’s R1.6-million — for nine concerts at the Bophuthats­wana entertainm­ent and gambling complex. Accompanie­d by his own 40piece orchestra, “Ol’ Blue Eyes” will perform at Sun City’s 8,000-seat amphitheat­re from July 24.

March 26 1989

Goodbye to the Groot Krokodil

President PW Botha plans to bow out of office in a shower of accolades which may include the release of Mr Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress leader. Expectatio­ns have grown among National Party MPs and internatio­nally that this is the hand Mr Botha will play as the only means of getting his Great Indaba plan launched. This in turn will allow him to retire with honour, leaving the country with a measure of hope and earning himself internatio­nal plaudits.

April 11 1993

Hani’s killer apprehende­d

A forty-year-old man of Polish extraction with known AWB links is being held by police in connection with the killing of Communist Party boss Chris Hani. Mr Janus Waluz, a ceramics engineer, was picked up on the corner of Trichardts and Mark streets, Boksburg, in a red Ford Laser – registrati­on PBX221T — within five minutes of an all-points bulletin being put out shortly after 10.30am.

The ANC and the South African Communist Party yesterday appealed to their supporters to remain calm and restrained following the assassinat­ion of Chris Hani. The ANC asked its members not to be provoked by those intent on wrecking the peace process. ANC leader Nelson Mandela said Mr Hani, the leader of the SA Communist Party, was a martyr to the cause of justice and peace.

April 15 2001

The tragic death of Rosswin Nation

As South Africa mourned its worst soccer tragedy, in which 43 people were crushed to death at Ellis Park stadium this week, a father told of the last hours of the youngest victim, his 11-year-old son Rosswin Nation. Rosswin was crushed against the fence near Gate Four, on the northeast side of the stadium, where tragedy struck on Wednesday night during a game between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. His father, Roy Nation, said: “I saw Rosswin, his face pressed against the fence. He was standing and I thought: ‘Okay, you’re fine, my boy.’ I went to him and turned him around and there was foam coming out of his mouth … he was dead.”

March 13 2013

Madiba fights on bravely

The Presidency yesterday released its most detailed account to date of former president Nelson Mandela’s medical condition, saying that he was “comfortabl­e”. Mandela last night spent a fourth night in hospital, where he is receiving treatment for pneumonia. Mac Maharaj, speaking on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, said that Mandela, who turns 95 in July, developed a “pleural effusion, which was tapped”. Maharaj said: “This has resulted in him now being able to breathe without difficulty. He continues to respond to treatment and is comfortabl­e.” The hero of the anti-apartheid struggle has been hospitalis­ed several times since December owing to recurring lung infections.

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 ??  ??
 ??  ?? PW Botha.
A pasta dish.
PW Botha. A pasta dish.
 ??  ?? A dress from the 1920s.
Frank Sinatra.
A dress from the 1920s. Frank Sinatra.
 ?? Pictures:, Arena Group archive , Getty Images and Wikipedia ?? A statue of Joan of Arc in Washington, DC.
Pictures:, Arena Group archive , Getty Images and Wikipedia A statue of Joan of Arc in Washington, DC.
 ??  ?? The pass book of apartheid.
The pass book of apartheid.
 ??  ?? A dial-up telephone.
A dial-up telephone.
 ?? Benito Mussolini. ??
Benito Mussolini.
 ??  ?? Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela.
 ??  ?? Vaslav Nijinski.
Vaslav Nijinski.
 ??  ?? Chris Hani.
Chris Hani.

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