Cape Town in History

Historical Events

  • 1806-01-08 Battle of Blaauwberg: British forces attack French vassal, the Batavian Republic near Cape Town, modern day South Africa
  • 1829-10-01 South African College is founded in Cape Town, South Africa; later to separate into the University of Cape Town and the South African College Schools.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1836-06-01 Charles Darwin returns to Cape Town in South Africa

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Naturalist
Charles Darwin
  • 1889-03-25 1st Test Cricket match played at Newlands, Cape Town v England
  • 1892-03-19 3 brothers Hearne play in same Test Cricket England v South Africa (Cape Town)
  • 1894-10-01 First meeting of The Owl Club of Cape Town
  • 1909-07-27 British ship SS Waratah is last seen en-route from Durban to Cape Town; 211 on board are missing and no trace of the ship ever found
  • 1946-07-03 The Cape Passive Resistance Council is formed at a mass meeting in Cape Town, attended by 1,500 people
  • 1958-01-03 Australian cricket fast bowler Lindsay Kline takes a hat-trick (Eddie Fuller, Hugh Tayfield, Neil Adcock) as South Africa dismissed for 99 in follow-on 2nd Test at Cape Town
  • 1970-01-22 Test debut of Barry Richards, South Africa v Australia, Cape Town
  • 1970-08-13 Pamphlet bombs which scatter revolutionary African National Congress propaganda leaflets explode in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • 1976-06-24 A Principal's office in Hlengisi Primary, Nyanga, outside Cape Town, South Africa, is burnt down; part of the broader resistance against the oppressive new Bantu Education policy of Afrikaans as a teaching medium in their schools
  • 1976-08-11 Race riot in Cape Town, South Africa; 17 die
  • 1977-08-10 About 100 white sympathisers joined evicted black squatters in a protest against the demolition of shanty dwellings outside Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1983-08-20 The South African anti-apartheid umbrella organization, United Democratic Front (UDF) is launched at Rocklands Community Centre in Cape Town, South Afrca
  • 1988-07-07 Five prominent anti-apartheid activists are released in Cape Town, South Africa after being detained for up to two years under the Internal Security Act

  • 1993-07-25 The St James' Church massacre in Kenilworth, Cape Town by Azanian Peoples' Liberation Army

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1996-06-23 Archbishop Tutu retires as Archbishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church in South Africa

Anglican Archbishop and Activist Desmond Tutu
Anglican Archbishop and Activist
Desmond Tutu
  • 1996-08-10 New Zealand beats South Africa, 29-18 in Cape Town to win the inaugural Tri Nations Rugby Series with an unbeaten record; All Blacks flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens lands 5 penalties and 2 conversions
  • 1997-03-07 Athens, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Rome & Stockholm are finalists for 2004 Olympics site

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1998-08-11 Palestine Liberation Organisation and Palestinian National Authority president, Yasser Arafat, arrives in Cape Town on his first state visit to South Africa at the invitation of President Nelson Mandela

Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Leader
Yasser Arafat
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • 1999-08-14 New Zealand win their 3rd Tri Nations Rugby Series as South Africa edges Australia, 10-9 in Cape Town; All Blacks' only defeat comes in final round dead rubber, 28-7 against Wallabies in Sydney

MurderMurder of Interest

2001-12-04 Marike de Klerk, ex-wife of former President F.W. de Klerk is murdered at her home in Cape Town

South African President F. W. de Klerk
South African President
F. W. de Klerk
  • 2010-05-29 Super Rugby Final, Orlando Stadium, Soweto: Bulls (Pretoria) successfully defend their title with a 25-17 win over the Stormers (Cape Town) in an all-South African final
  • 2010-05-29 In an all South African Super 14 Rugby final, the Bulls (Pretoria) retain title, 25-17 over the Stormers (Cape Town) at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto; Morné Steyn kicks 6 penalties and a conversion for the Bulls
  • 2013-03-15 24 people die after a double decker bus veers of a pass in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2014-12-11 World's 1st penis transplant procedure by a team from Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 2017-10-07 New Zealand clinch their 5th Rugby Championship with 25-24 win over South Africa at Cape Town; All Blacks undefeated in 6 games
  • 2018-03-24 Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft is caught on camera rubbing match ball with an object during 3rd Cricket Test in Cape Town, resulting in an infamous ball tampering scandal
  • 2019-08-06 A quarter of humanity is running out of water with 17 countries under extreme water stress including Cape Town, Los Angeles and Bangalore, according to report by the World Resources Institute

Famous Birthdays

  • 1619-04-21 Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Colony (Cape Town), born in Culemborg (d. 1677)
  • 1751-12-07 Jurriaan François de Friderici, governor-general of Suriname, born in Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1812)
  • 1883-02-21 Mick Commaille, South African cricketer and soccer rep, born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1956)
  • 1893-12-31 Jimmy Blanckenberg, South African cricketer (60 wkts in 18 Tests for South Africa), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1955)
  • 1894-08-22 Cecil Kellaway, South African-born American actor (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), born in Cape Town (d. 1973)
  • 1894-08-23 James La Guma, South African political activist and trade unionist, born in Cape Town (d. 1961)
  • 1896-10-27 Edith Haisman, the oldest survivor of Titanic, born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1997)
  • 1900-06-25 I. D. du Plessis, South African writer and director (3rd World), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1981)
  • 1901-12-26 Victor Hely-Hutchinson, British composer (Carol Symphony), born in Cape Town, Cape Colony (d. 1947)
  • 1905-03-27 John Fleming (Jack) Brock, South African nutritional scientist, physician and a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (d. 1983)
  • 1909-04-05 Gerald Bond, South African cricketer (one Test South Africa v England 1938, 0 & 0-16), born in Cape Town (d. 1965)
  • 1909-05-27 Isador Goodman, South African-Australian pianist and composer (New Guinea Fantasy), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1982)
  • 1914-01-20 Wensley Pithey, South-African actor (Oliver!, The Saint, Little Women), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1993)
  • 1919-04-03 Duke of Grafton, 11th Duke of Grafton, born in Cape Town (d. 2011)
  • 1920-05-26 Jack Cheetham, South African cricket batsman and captain (24 Tests; Western Province), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1980)
  • 1922-06-10 Bill Kerr, South African-born Australian actor (Hancock's Half Hour), born in Cape Town (d. 2014)
  • 1925-02-20 Alex La Guma, novelist (A Walk in the Night), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1926-09-11 Gerrit van Niekerk Viljoen, South African minister of Legislation, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1927-03-20 John Joubert, British South African composer (Chamber Music for brass quintet), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2019)
  • 1928-07-10 Jack Nel, South African cricketer (South African opening bat in 6 Tests 1949-57), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2018)
  • 1931-01-10 Alex Boraine, South Africa politician, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1931-03-08 Neil Adcock, South African cricket fast bowler (26 Tests, 104 wickets @ 21.10), born in Cape Town, Western Cape (d. 2013)
  • 1931-10-04 Basil D'Oliveira, English cricket all-rounder (44 Tests, 2,484 @ 40.06, 47 wickets), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2011)
  • 1933-12-06 Jim Pothecary, South African cricket medium pace bowler (3 Tests, 9 wickets; Western Province), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2016)
  • 1934-01-05 Phil Ramone [Rabinowitz], South-African born American music producer (co-founded A&R records), born in Cape Town
  • 1934-05-26 Dullah Omar, South African attorney and UDF-leader, born in Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2004)
  • 1934-11-09 Ronald Harwood, South African playwright and screenwriter (The Dresser), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2020)
  • 1937-03-09 Grahame Chevalier, South African cricketer (one Test for South Africa 1970, 0 & 0*, 5-100), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2017)
  • 1940-02-09 J. M. Coetzee, South African novelist, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1942-04-19 Edwin "Eddie" Kramer, South African-British recording engineer, producer and photographer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Beatles), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1943-05-20 Justin Cartwright, British novelist (In Every Face I Meet), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2018)
  • 1951-10-12 Sally Little, South African/American golfer (PGA 1980, du Maurier 1988), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1956-01-31 Trevor Manuel, South African politician, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1959-09-11 David Frost, South African golfer (10 PGA Tour titles; The Tradition 2013), born in Cape Town, RSA
  • 1965-02-15 Craig Matthews, South African cricket pace bowler (South African Test), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1967-11-23 Gary Kirsten, South African cricket batsman and coach (101 Tests, 7,289 runs @ 45.27, 21 x 100s), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1969-06-24 Thabo Mngomeni, Cape Town, South African football player
  • 1974-02-23 Herschelle Gibbs, South African cricketer (South African Test batsman 1996), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1974-12-03 Charl Willoughby, South African cricket fast bowler (2 Tests; 3 ODIs; Somerset), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1977-01-20 Paul Adams, South African cricketer (lefty very unorthodox bowler for South Africa), born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1977-11-12 Benni McCarthy, South African footballer, born in Cape Town, South Africa
  • 1979-12-16 Trevor Immelman, South African golfer (US Masters 2008), born in Cape Town, Western Cape

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

2013-12-29 YouTube star Casey Neistat (32) weds Candice Pool in Cape Town, South Africa

YouTube Star and Filmmaker Casey Neistat
YouTube Star and Filmmaker
Casey Neistat

Famous Deaths

  • 1677-01-18 Jan van Riebeeck, Dutch founder of Cape Colony (Cape Town), dies at 57
  • 1983-07-03 John Fleming (Jack) Brock, South African nutritional scientist, physician and a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, dies at 78