Rhodesia Independence Referendum
A man reading a newspaper before the UDI vote in Salisbury, Rhodesia. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images). Circa 1964.

Today In History

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Mapungubwe (ca. 1705)

Mapungubwe (ca. 1705)

One thousand years ago, Mapungubwe was the centre of the largest known kingdom in the African sub-continent before it was abandoned in the 14th century. Discover the Secrets of a Sacred Hill.

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01 January 1075
13 October 1888
The Rudd Concession (ca. 1888)

The Rudd Concession (ca. 1888)

Despite Lobengula’s retrospective attempts to disavow it, the Rudd Concession was the foundation for colonisation of Zimbabwe. Read the written terms of how Cecil Rhodes stole a whole country.

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The First British Flag At Fort Salisbury (ca. 1890)

The First British Flag At Fort Salisbury (ca. 1890)

On September 13, 1890 Cecil Rhodes’ Pioneer Column hoisted the first British flag at Fort Salisbury atop a kopje overlooking the future Rhodesian capital.

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13 September 1890
04 November 1893
The First British Flag At Bulawayo (ca. 1893)

The First British Flag At Bulawayo (ca. 1893)

Today in the history of Zimbabwe the British South Africa Company raises it’s flag over Zimbabwe.

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Nyaminyami’s Revenge (ca. 1950)

Nyaminyami’s Revenge (ca. 1950)

Whether you believe legend or not, this is a chronology of the freaky weather conditions proceeding the building of Kariba dam.

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15 February 1950
28 January 1962
The Relleke Massacre (ca. 1962)

The Relleke Massacre (ca. 1962)

On January 28, 1962 Johanne Relleke was stung by 2,243 wild bees at Kamativi Tin ine in Wankie, Rhodesia and survived. All of the bees tragically died in what is today known as The Relleke Massacre.

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The Second Chimurenga (ca. 1964)

The Second Chimurenga (ca. 1964)

All the reasons why the sheer ferocity and desperation of the Second Chimurenga is under appreciated by the casual historian.

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10 July 1964
06 November 1964
To Vote Yes Means Unity, Not U.D.I. (ca. 1964)

To Vote Yes Means Unity, Not U.D.I. (ca. 1964)

On November 5, 1964 Rhodesia held a referendum on the adoption of a constitution that would enshrine political power in the hands of the white minority and establish Rhodesia as a republic.

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The Unilateral Declaration Of Independence (ca. 1965)

The Unilateral Declaration Of Independence (ca. 1965)

On November 11, 1965, Rhodesia proclaimed itself an independent sovereign state when Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith, siged the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (U.D.I.). 

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11 November 1965
02 October 1973
Smith vs The Guerillas (ca. 1973)

Smith vs The Guerillas (ca. 1973)

For the past six months guerrillas, operating from bases in Zambia and Mozambique have been carrying out raids on white farms in Rhodesia’s border area. ITN’s Roving Report captures the aftermath.

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Anatomy of Terror (ca. 1974)

Anatomy of Terror (ca. 1974)

During the Chimurenga War, informational and political warfare was mounted by all involved. Anatomy of Terror, published by the Rhodesian Ministry of Information and distributed in Washington D.C., is one such example.

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01 January 1974
15 March 1974
The Question of Rhodesia (ca. 1974)

The Question of Rhodesia (ca. 1974)

William F. Buckley, Jr. and Rhodesian Primer Minister Ian Smith discuss the history of colonialism in Africa, the current state of Rhodesia’s economy, and the scene in nearby countries such as Mozambique and Zambia.

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A quick look at 1974 (ca. 1974)

A quick look at 1974 (ca. 1974)

A brief glance over the past twelve months will help us to draw up a balance of our set backs and achievements.

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03 October 1974
11 November 1975
Ten Years After U.D.I. (ca. 1975)

Ten Years After U.D.I. (ca. 1975)

ITN’s Roving Report visits Rhodesia a decade after U.D.I. with Ian Smith still fighting for the preservation of white supremacy and the denial of African majority rule.

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Who is Ian Smith? (ca. 1976)

Who is Ian Smith? (ca. 1976)

Ever since his unilateral declaration of independence, Rhodesian Premier Ian Smith has tried to maintain the preservation of white supremacy and the denial of African majority rule. ITN’s Roving Report looks back on the career of a tough, uncompromising Ian Smith in a post U.D.I. Rhodesia.

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11 May 1976
26 November 1976
Roving Report: War Or Diplomacy? (ca. 1976)

Roving Report: War Or Diplomacy? (ca. 1976)

Synopsis The Rhodesian issue is now precariously balanced, with the Geneva Conference deadlocked and African guerrilla forces stepping up the war on Rhodesia's borders.  This report examines both aspects, describes the life and views of a white farmer on the frontier, and looks at how Rhodesia's forces are preparing to

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Post-Geneva Report Rhodesia (ca. 1977)

Post-Geneva Report Rhodesia (ca. 1977)

With his neighbouring countries newly-independet black governments piling on the pressure by supporting the guerrilla movements, Ian Smith realises the time had come to settle the issue of black majority rule before time ran out for the Rhodesian whites.

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07 January 1977
21 January 1977
Roving Report: Waiting For A Settlement (ca. 1977)

Roving Report: Waiting For A Settlement (ca. 1977)

Storyline  With the Geneva talks to thrash out a settlement for the Rhodesian issue of majority rule adjourned without any sign of progress, Britain's chairman, Ivor Richard, has been shuttling around southern Africa to find common ground among the main participants before re-convening negotiations. Meanwhile, the war continues unabated on

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Is There a Solution for Rhodesia?

Is There a Solution for Rhodesia?

“But my dear Joan, the moment Kissinger had made his speech, the Foreign Office came out, with the full authority of the Foreign Secretary, with a very strong statement fully endorsing what had been …”

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09 March 1977
07 January 1978
Women’s role in struggle (ca. 1978)

Women’s role in struggle (ca. 1978)

Any struggle without the participation of women cannot be complete and effective.

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A Settlement Under Fire (ca. 1978)

A Settlement Under Fire (ca. 1978)

An interim government comprised of Ian Smith and three moderate black leaders quite literally comes under fire from ZANU and ZAPU guerillas.

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05 June 1978
21 July 1978
The Rhodesian Dilemma (ca. 1978)

The Rhodesian Dilemma (ca. 1978)

An episode of Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. featuring Rhodesian leader Bishop Abel T. Muzorewa (ca. 1978)

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Umtali Hit By Rockets (ca. 1978)

Umtali Hit By Rockets (ca. 1978)

Today in history the garrison town of Umtali, in the east of Rhodesia near its border with Mozambique, is hit with mortar bombs fired from an unknown position.

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08 September 1978
01 June 1979
Zimbabwe Rhodesia (ca. 1979)

Zimbabwe Rhodesia (ca. 1979)

Zimbabwe Rhodesia was an unrecognised state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 11 December 1979.

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Lifting the Trade Ban on Rhodesia (1979)

Lifting the Trade Ban on Rhodesia (1979)

Both guests want, “a democratic government which would not be racist in its composition and which would be achieved with the least bloodshed possible,” but disagree on the best means to that end.

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15 June 1979
26 December 1979
Goodbye Josiah Tongogara (ca. 1979)

Goodbye Josiah Tongogara (ca. 1979)

Six days after the Lancaster House Agreement, the voice of Robert Mugabe conveyed “an extremely sad message” to “all the fighting people of Zimbabwe” over the radio. Josiah Tongogara had died. He was 41 years old.

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Tongogara was murdered on Monday (ca. 1979)

Tongogara was murdered on Monday (ca. 1979)

Josiah Tongogara was killed by his own forces in Mozambique, according to outgoing UANC Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr David Mukome. His body was already in a mortuary before the terrorist commanders flew to Salisbury on December 21, 1979.

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28 December 1979
07 February 1980
How free, how fair? (ca. 1980)

How free, how fair? (ca. 1980)

With elections looming in Southern Rhodesia, a small monitoring force work to ensure free and fair elections.

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Bob Marley’s Zimbabwe Independence Performance (ca. 1980)

Bob Marley’s Zimbabwe Independence Performance (ca. 1980)

Watch Bob Marley and The Wailers perform at Rufaro Stadium on April 19, 1980.

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19 April 1980
14 November 1980
Tribalism and the Tekere trial (ca. 1980)

Tribalism and the Tekere trial (ca. 1980)

Mr Tekere and seven of his bodyguards were accused of murdering an elderly White farmer, and so Zimbabwe’s White minority wanted reassurance at the trial that their lives and property do have official protection.

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Mugabe’s Gamble (ca. 1981)

Mugabe’s Gamble (ca. 1981)

Julian Manyon and the team from Thames Television’s ‘TV Eye’ travel to Zimbabwe to Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe,and some of his key revolutionary allies.

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23 April 1981
18 April 1982
From Neharawa To Harare (ca. 1982)

From Neharawa To Harare (ca. 1982)

On the second anniversary of independence from Britain, Zimbabwe embarked on the process of renaming its cities, towns and streets, in an attempt to eradicate all symbols associated with the British colonialism and White minority rule.

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Thomas Mapfumo at The Forum, London (ca. 1984)

Thomas Mapfumo at The Forum, London (ca. 1984)

In the Winter of 1984 Zimbabwe’s top musicians visited London for the first time. Watch Thomas Mapfumo and The Blacks Unlimited perform.

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15 June 1984
14 July 1988
Air Zimbabwe TV Advert (ca. 1988)

Air Zimbabwe TV Advert (ca. 1988)

Some TV ads are made to last. Some not. One that has stayed in our mind – and yours, we’re sure – is the Air Zimbabwe TV advert from the late 80s.

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Neria (ca. 1993)

Neria (ca. 1993)

Neria,a Zimbabwean widow (Jesesi Mungoshi) falls prey to her greedy brother-in-law (Dominic Kanaventi) who takes her children and belongings.

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27 April 1993
16 September 1994
The Ariel School Incident (ca. 1994)

The Ariel School Incident (ca. 1994)

On September 16, 1994, children at Ariel school in Ruwa, Zimbabwe said they’d seen a ‘UFO’ and ‘aliens with big eyes’ in bush land near their school playground. The story was reported around the world.

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Liverpool FC 2 – Peter Ndlovu 3 (ca. 1995)

Liverpool FC 2 – Peter Ndlovu 3 (ca. 1995)

Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Samuel Eto’o, amongst others, have all played in the Premier League, but Ndlovu was unmistakably the first black player in the English Premier League.

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14 March 1995
18 August 1997
Stephen Chidhumo escapes from Chikurubi (ca. 1998)

Stephen Chidhumo escapes from Chikurubi (ca. 1998)

Today in history, Stephen Chidhumo, and three accomplices escape Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

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Who wants to be a trillionaire? (ca. 2009)

Who wants to be a trillionaire? (ca. 2009)

Imagine paying $417.00 per sheet of toilet paper. Sound crazy? It’s not as crazy as you may think…

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01 January 2009
21 May 2011
The New Face Of Louis Vuitton (ca. 2011)

The New Face Of Louis Vuitton (ca. 2011)

Today in history, sixteen-year-old Nayasha Matonhodze replaces veteran supermodels to become the face of Louis Vuitton’s Autumn/Winter 2011 campaign.

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I am not insane, I want my snake back (ca. 2015)

I am not insane, I want my snake back (ca. 2015)

Grey Mupinganjira was arrested aboard a commuter omnibus from Epworth to Mbare after police discovered and confiscated a deadly Egyptian cobra coiled up inside his laptop bag. Now he wants it back.

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16 September 2015
28 September 2015
Mugabe tells UN General Assembly: ‘We are not gays!’ (ca. 2015)

Mugabe tells UN General Assembly: ‘We are not gays!’ (ca. 2015)

Watch the infamous President Robert Mugabe speech at the 70th UN General Assembly in full.

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The Man Who Arrested Satan (ca. 2017)

The Man Who Arrested Satan (ca. 2017)

The Man Who Arrested Satan – The Prophet Madungwe Interview

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17 July 2017
18 November 2017
Wenger Out, Mugabe Too (ca. 2017)

Wenger Out, Mugabe Too (ca. 2017)

One was an aging leader criticised for clinging onto power for too long, and the other was Robert Mugabe. Both had to go.

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Chisora Versus Takam (ca. 2018)

Chisora Versus Takam (ca. 2018)

Dereck Chisora revitalises his career with an emphatic knockout win over Carlos Takam. Skip straight to the eighth round – 36:06 for the knockout – because that’s the one that matters.

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28 July 2018
12 July 2020
The first black woman to stand on the F1 podium (ca. 2020)

The first black woman to stand on the F1 podium (ca. 2020)

On July 12, 2020 Zimbabwean-born Stephanie Travers became 1st black woman to stand on the podium in 70 years of Formula 1 history after Lewis Hamilton’s win at Austria:F1.

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