Key Events in History for Your Wedding Speech

Welcome to the key events section on hitched.co.za. Using a key event that relates to the bride or groom, such as something that occurred in their year of birth, is a great starting point for a speech, and gives you something to work from.

Browse Events by Year

Key Events in 1960

Back to top
  • British Prime Minister Harold Macmillian makes the ‘Winds of Change’ speech in Cape Town
  • Following a referendum, the population votes to sever ties with the British Monarchy and become a republic
  • Mark Mathabane, an author and tennis player, is born

Key Events in 1961

Back to top
  • South Africa becomes a republic
  • Charles Robberts Swart becomes the first State President of South Africa
  • The Nobel Peace Prize is won by Dr Albert Luthuli, the president of the African National Congress

Key Events in 1962

Back to top
  • Nelson Mandela is arrested whilst in the Natal Province
  • The maximum security prison on Robben Island is completed
  • Ebrahim Rasool, premier of the Western Cape, is born in Cape Town

Key Events in 1963

Back to top
  • Indian golfer Sewsunker ‘Papwa’ Sewgolum wins the Natal Open tournament
  • Artist Justice Sfiso Mkame is born in Durban
  • The first electric locomotives to be built in quantity in South Africa are placed in mainline service

Key Events in 1964

Back to top
  • The University of Port Elizabeth is established
  • Nelson Mandela is awarded the Joliot-Curie Gold Medal for Peace
  • The Mahotella Queens singing group is put together by Rupert Bopape for Gallo Record Company

Key Events in 1965

Back to top
  • Rhodes University, Grahamstown, becomes the first university in South Africa to install a computer
  • The African National Congress political party establishes headquarters in Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Politician Angela Thoko Didiza is born in Durban

Key Events in 1966

Back to top
  • American Senator Robert Kennedy visits South Africa
  • B. J. Vorster becomes the eighth Prime Minister
  • Marathon runner David Tsebe is born

Key Events in 1967

Back to top
  • The Northern Transvaal records its first snowfall, as it snows in the Transvaal
  • The world’s first heart transplant takes place at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Professor Christiaan Barnard operates
  • Jozua Francois Naude becomes State President of South Africa, the second person to hold the position

Key Events in 1968

Back to top
  • Jacobus Johannes Fouche is the third State President of South Africa
  • Andy Flower, Zimbabwean Test Cricket player, is born in Cape Town
  • The South African Bureau of State Security is formed

Key Events in 1969

Back to top
  • Dorothy Fisher becomes the first woman to receive a heart transplant by Professor Christiaan Barnard. She is the fifth heart transplant patient
  • Cricketers Derek Crookes and Wessel Johannes ‘Hansie’ Cronje are born

Key Events in 1970

Back to top
  • The Springboks draws with Ireland 8-8 in Ireland
  • The first Chief Executive Officer of the new Bantustan of KwaZulu is elected; Mangosuthu Buthelezi holds the position
  • Poet and novelist Phaswane Mpe is born

Key Events in 1971

Back to top
  • The turtle beaches and coral reefs of Maputaland and St. Lucia Lake are listed by the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
  • Radio DJ Alan Khan is born
  • World champion boxer Mzukisi Sikali is born

Key Events in 1972

Back to top
  • Lead singer of rock band Springbok Nude Girls, Arno Carstens, is born
  • Author Lawrence George Green dies in Cape Town
  • Max Theiler, first South African recipient of a Nobel Prize, dies in America

Key Events in 1973

Back to top
  • Anglican priest, Michael Lapsley, comes to South Africa
  • Actress Nathalie Boltt is born
  • Bela Bela is established north of Pretoria at the hot springs

Key Events in 1974

Back to top
  • The Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith is signed by Harry Schwarz and Mangosuthu Buthelezi
  • The Rosenkowitz sextuplets are born in Cape Town – the first sextuplets to be born in the world where all six survived
  • The British and Irish Lions began a 22 match rugby tour of South Africa

Key Events in 1975

Back to top
  • The government announces all black children will receive a free and compulsory education
  • Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs becomes the 4th State President of South Africa

Key Events in 1976

Back to top
  • The country’s first television service is started by the SABC
  • South Africa national rugby union team captain, Robert Brian Skinstad, is born

Key Events in 1977

Back to top
  • The South African Grand takes place at Kyalami
  • Football player Benni McCarthy is born
  • Sculptor Moses Kottler dies in Johannesburg

Key Events in 1978

Back to top
  • Pieter Willem Botha becomes the 9th Prime Minister of South Africa
  • Previous Prime Minister Balthazar Johannes Vorster becomes 6th State President
  • Rugby player John Smit is born

Key Events in 1979

Back to top
  • The National Council of Lawyers for Human Rights is established
  • Jody Scheckter is Formula One World Champion
  • Harry Haart, athlete, dies

Key Events in 1980

Back to top
  • Glamour model Cassidy Cruise is born in Durban
  • Thompson Magawana wins his first national title in the men’s marathon in Faure

Key Events in 1981

Back to top
  • Mark Plaatjes wins his first national title in the men’s marathon in Potchefstroom
  • The Sprinboks beat Ireland twice
  • Iain Evans, field hockey player, is born

Key Events in 1982

Back to top
  • Swaziland and South Africa sign a pact of non-aggression
  • The Prime Minister of South Africa and President of Zambia meet on the Botswana border meet to discuss South Africa and South West Africa’s political situation

Key Events in 1983

Back to top
  • The United Democratic Front is launched
  • Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana, Springboks rugby players, are born
  • Former Prime Minister John Vorster dies

Key Events in 1984

Back to top
  • Mozambique and South Africa sign non-aggression treaty the Nkomati Accord
  • Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Key Events in 1985

Back to top
  • Nelson Mandela rejects an offer of conditional release
  • Divan Van Der Merwe, guitarist, is born
  • Mark Plaatjes wins his second national title in the men’s marathon

Key Events in 1986

Back to top
  • Michael Hawthorne is born
  • Pass books are abolished
  • Moses Mabhida dies in exile

Key Events in 1987

Back to top
  • Desmond Tutu and other religious leaders hold talks with the African National Congress in Zimbabwe
  • Malawi and South Africa sign an agreement which will allow nurses from Malawi to train in South Africa
  • Bulelani Ngcuka joins the United Democratic Front

Key Events in 1988

Back to top
  • South Africa’s first email link to the internet is established at Rhodes University, Grahamstown
  • Nelson Mandela is moved to Victor Verster Prison
  • PJ Powers was banned from TV and radio for one year

Key Events in 1989

Back to top
  • State President P. W. Botha has a mild stroke
  • A peace march arranged by Cape Town city mayor Gordon Oliver is attended by 100,000 people
  • The four tunnel Hex River Tunnels system becomes operational

Key Events in 1990

Back to top
  • State President F. W. de Klerk announces the beginning of the negotiated transition to end apartheid.
  • Nelson Mandela is released after serving 27 years in jail
  • The state of emergency is South Africa is lifted after 10 years

Key Events in 1991

Back to top
  • The Population Registration Act is repealed
  • South Africa’s suspension from the International Olympic Committee is lifted
  • The great white shark is granted full protection under South African law

Key Events in 1992

Back to top
  • The .co.za internet domain is created
  • The Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize is jointly awarded to Nelson Mandela and President F. W. de Klerk
  • Olympic swimmer Chad le Clos is born

Key Events in 1993

Back to top
  • The Nobel Peace Prize is jointly awarded to President F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela
  • An Indian diplomatic culture centre is opened in Johannesburg
  • In New Delhi a South African diplomatic mission is opened

Key Events in 1994

Back to top
  • The Nokia 2110 is launched in South Africa and costs R4,199 to buy
  • South Africa’s new national flag is unveiled
  • Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first post-apartheid President of South Africa

Key Events in 1995

Back to top
  • Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visit South Africa
  • The Constitutional Court abolishes capital punishment
  • Desmond Tutu is appointed chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation commission
0 Shares
Promotions