On this day

South African rugby union footballer, Abrie Griesel celebrates his birthday. Image: Flickr

On This Day in South Africa: What happened on 15 January?

We look back on this day in history and remember the people and events that shaped the world we live in today.

On this day

South African rugby union footballer, Abrie Griesel celebrates his birthday. Image: Flickr

Here’s a look at what happened on this day, 15 January, throughout world and South African history. We remember the news, events, and people that influenced the course of history forever.


1834 | Sir John Frederick William Herschel a British astronomer, mathematician, chemist, and photographer, arrived in Cape Town, South Africa.

2022 | The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano began to erupt, cutting off communication with Tonga and causing a tsunami in the Pacific.

2021 | A 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, killing at least 105 people and injuring 3 369.

2020 | The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Japan.

1962 | Dutch New Guinea Conflict: Indonesian Navy’s fast patrol boat RI Macan Tutul commanded by Commodore Yos Sudarso was sunk in the Arafura Sea by the Dutch Navy.

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1960 | South African opera bass-baritone, Gidon Saks

1992 | South African rugby union footballer, Abrie Griesel.

1990 | Polish footballer, Robert Trznadel.

1947 | English lawyer and judge, Mary Hogg.

1979 | Bulgarian footballer, Martin Petrov.


2019 | American actress, Carol Channing, 98.

2016 | American poet and educator, Francisco X. Alarcón, 62.

2005 | Spanish soprano and actress, Victoria de los Ángeles, 82.

1982 | American journalist, Red Smith, 77.

1968 | Canadian-American ice hockey player, Bill Masterton, 30.


2000 | Ipswich Town defender Gary Croft came on as a 71st-minute substitute in a First Division match against Swindon Town at Portman Road on this day.


2010 | On this day in the United States, “The Spy Next Door” was released and, it was released on DVD, and Blu-ray on 18 May 2010.


About 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from four West African countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon.