On This Day: What happened on 1 January?

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 1 January, throughout history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.


1956 | Sudan becomes independent from Egypt and the United Kingdom

1960 | Cameroon becomes independent from France and the United Kingdom

1970 | A 17-year-old Indian who sold flowers was fined for breaking municipal by-laws. He sold his flowers in a racially restricted area.

1972 | For the first time, policewomen were employed and recognised as full members of the South African Police Force. 

1986 | The government of South African closed its borders and cut off food and fuel supplies with Lesotho. This happened after Lesotho refused to sign a non-aggression pact with South Africa.

1999 | The Defence Special Tribunal Act, No 81 of 1998 became usable.

READ: On This Day: What happened on 31 December?


2004 | South African professional golfer, Harold Henning (70)

2007 | South African-English biochemist, Professor Roland Levinsky (64)

2014 | Tanzanian Minister of Finance, William Mgimwa (63)


1906 | South African poet and writer, Dr Benedict Vilakazi

1925 | First Tanzanian Minister of Finance, Paul Bomani

1930 | Fourth President of Sudan, Gaafar Nimeiry

1948 | South African novelist, Zakes Mda


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1910 | English cricketer George Simpson-Hayward makes his Test debut when England played South Africa. South Africa won by 19 runs.


1992 | ESPN Radio Network is launched.


1908 | In New York City’s Times Square a ball was dropped at midnight to symbolise the start of the New Year.

1971 | American television ban cigarette advertisements.

1951 | The Zenith Radio Corporation test the first Pay Per View Movies.


Sixteen countries in Africa are landlocked. Two countries, Swaziland and Lesotho, are located within South Africa.

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