On This Day: What happened on 23 December?

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 23 December, throughout history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.


1961 | After the independence of Congo from Belgium in June, Katanga was led by Moïse Kapend Tshombe into secession from Congo.

1970 | Congo becomes a one-party state officially.

1980 | On the day that the black journalists eight-week strike ends, the South African government banned four black-owned newspapers, the Post Transvaal, Saturday Post, Sunday Post and the Sowetan

1985 | Five people die and 40 are injured when a bomb exploded in the Sanlam shopping centre in Amanzimtoti, Natal South Coast.

READ: On This Day: What happened on 22 December?


1906 | Last emperor of the Gaza Empire, Mdungazwe Ngungunyane Nxumalo (56)

2001 | Governor of Oyo State in Nigeria, Bola Ige (71)

2002 | South African poet, Tatamkhulu Afrika (82)


1949 | South African artist, At Botha

1961 | Egyptian journalist, Ezzat el Kamhawi

1961 | Kenyan-English biologist, Ketan J. Patel

1979 | Kenyan runner, Abraham Chebii 


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1997 | Ronaldo at 21-years-old wins his first Ballon d’Or award.



1938 | The costume of Margaret Hamilton who played the Wicked Witch of the West catches fire while filming ‘The Wizard of Oz’.


Before colonial rule, Africa comprised of 10 000 different states and self-governing groups with distinct languages and customs.

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