oa South African Journal of Cultural History - n Vredesduif val - 'n moontlike interpretasie van 'n merkwaardige gebeurtenis

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1018-0745



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.

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