On this day in history, March 2

A stowaway is put to work becoming the Cape’s first slave.

A stowaway is put to work becoming the Cape’s first slave.

Published Mar 2, 2024


More than just dates and boring facts

1653 The first slave in the Cape, Abraham, a stowaway from Batavia, arrives in Table Bay aboard the ship, the Malacca. He is made to work for the Dutch East India Company for three years.

1653 The first return fleet from Batavia to receive fresh produce on its way to the Netherlands arrives in Table Bay and takes on cattle, sheep, cabbages, carrots and milk.

1657 A fire in Edo (Tokyo), Japan, causes more than 100 000 deaths.

1859 The Great Slave Auction (Time of Weeping), begins in America.

1892 Sir John Coode, 75, planner of a seaward defence for Table Bay, which was built by prisoners, dies in Brighton, England.

1904 Dr Suess (Theodor Seuss Geisel), author of popular children’s books, is born.

1943 In the Pacific, a Japanese convoy is attacked by 137 American bombers as the Battle of Bismarck Sea begins. The convoy is decimated, halting Japanese ambitions in New Guinea.

1949 A USAF Superfortress lands in Texas after completing the first non-stop, transglobal flight. It took 94 hours and one minute.

1969 The first flight of the supersonic Concorde jetliner in Toulouse, France.

1970 Rhodesia declares itself a republic, breaking its last links with the British crown.

1972 Jean-Bédel Bokassa appoints himself life president of the Central African Republic.

1983 Compact discs and players are released.

2002 US conventional forces are first deployed as part of Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.

2002 ‘Baby Jake’ Matlala, 40, ends his 22-year career with a 7th-round TKO win over Colombia’s Juan Herrera to retain his WBU junior flyweight title in Johannesburg.

2016 US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko return after nearly a year (340 days), setting an International Space Station record.

2021 Six books by Dr Seuss will cease publication because of racist and insensitive imagery according to Dr Seuss Enterprises.

2023 The head of UK security service MI5 apologizes for not acting on intelligence to stop the 2017 Manchester Arena attack at an Ariana Grande concert by a suicide bomber.