4 February holds a special significance in South Africa’s history, marked by pioneering achievements and cultural milestones.
These historical events happened on 4 February
From groundbreaking flights to the establishment of movements and the recognition of global health awareness days, this date commemorates events that have left an indelible mark on both the nation and the world.
1. First Air Flight from London to South Africa (1920)
On 4 February 1920, an audacious attempt was made to pioneer the first air route from London to Cape Town.
Spearheaded by Lt-Col Pierre van Ryneveld and Capt. CJQ Brand, this venture marked a significant leap in aviation history.
Despite facing numerous challenges, including crash landings in Sudan and Bulawayo due to underdeveloped technologies and a leaking radiator, their perseverance paid off.
2. Founding of the Ossewabrandwag (1939)
The Ossewabrandwag (OB), a nationalist Afrikaner organisation, was founded on 4 February 1939.
This movement, rooted in promoting Afrikaner culture and identity, played a controversial role in South African history, particularly during World War II. Its creation reflected the deep-seated tensions and nationalistic fervour among Afrikaners during a period of global conflict and internal division.
3. Discovery Related to HIV (1999)
On this day in 1999, researchers announced a significant breakthrough in the understanding of HIV/AIDS.
They identified a type of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIVcpz) in chimpanzees that were almost identical to the human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), providing crucial insights into the origins and transmission of the disease.
This discovery was pivotal in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS, offering new avenues for research and treatment strategies.
4. World Cancer Day (2002)
World Cancer Day was instituted on 4 February 2002 as an annual worldwide campaign aimed at raising awareness of cancer and encouraging its prevention, detection, and treatment.
This global initiative seeks to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by promoting research, improving patient services, and raising global awareness about the disease and its impact on societies around the world.
5. First Edition of Sunday Times (1906)
The first edition of the Sunday Times, a significant publication in South African media, was published on 4 February 1906. Since its inception, the Sunday Times has played a crucial role in shaping public opinion and reporting on key events in South Africa and beyond, becoming one of the country’s most influential weekly newspapers.