Occurrences that have no causal connection with the course of history can sometimes capture the imagination of people and have an influence on history. Earthquakes on the anniversary of the revolution in Venezuela in 1812 were interpreted as a punishment from God which affected the Spanish offensive against the insurgents. The problem of ambiguous interpretations of similar remarkable phenomena is examined in the article with reference to a dream of 'Siener' van Rensburg before the 1914 Rebellion, as well as an incident on 31 May 1960 in Bloemfontein. The Prime Minister, Dr H.P. Verwoerd, threw a dove, which was to serve as symbol of peace and prosperity, into the air but it crashed onto the ground. A number of people were bewildered by the incident and some newspapers gave a great deal of attention to the matter. The incident is discussed in the context of the situation in the country at that time and of Dr Verwoerd's speech.
Gold was rediscovered in Pilgrim's Rest in 1873. The mining company Transvaal Gold Mining Estates (TGME) was founded in 1896 after the initial period of alluvial mining. This company controlled the mines in the vicinity of Pilgrim's Rest until 1971. Mining activities were interrupted when the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) broke out, and the TGME was forced to evacuate the village. During the guerrilla phase of the war, British forces occupied Pilgrim's Rest for a day (27 September 19(0) during their pursuit of the Boer forces. Thereafter Pilgrim's Rest was used by the Boers mainly as a resting place and gathering point where they were able to acquire provisions and clothing. It was also used as an operational and logistics base. The establishment of the Staatsmunt te Velde (Government mint in the field) and Staatsdrukkerij te Velde (Government press in the field) in Pilgrim's Rest was of great historical and cultural historical importance to South African numismatics. The Boers produced notes and coins under primitive conditions for the South African Republic.
It is clear that the burghers had many important and sometimes demanding tasks on commando. The preparation of food required special attention. Generally speaking, looking after the horses, standing guard and reconnoitring entailed burdensome, boring and sometimes dangerous work. Because of changed circumstances the later guerrilla phase in many respects made other demands than the initial conventional phase of the war with its set-piece battles. Each burgher in both the conventional and guerrilla phase knew what daily tasks he had te perform. Teamwork was important and enjoyed a high priority. And so each burgher became a cog-wheel in the machine which kept the commandos going under all circumstances.
Hieronymus van Alphen, attorney-general and treasurer-general in The Netherlands during the eighteenth century, wrote poems for children at a time when children and their needs were not taken into consideration. He pleaded in favour of a new type of education for children. The poems saw several reprints. For more than 150 years they were the most popular reading material for South African children.
In the historical television drama, audiences recognize the existence of a system of knowledge that is already clearly defined in their minds as 'historical knowledge', yet historians experience a specific difficulty in interpreting the historical television drama. The synthesis of the two major elements in the historical drama, 'actual events' and 'fictional episodes', are for the historian mutually exclusive. Television has its own characteristic form of discourse and textual conventions. In an analysis of the Shaka Zulu television series, attention is drawn to the dramatic codes, economic structures, and the roles of the key communicators that shape the final form of television products bound for worldwide distribution to mass audiences.