25 December 1899, Cecil Rhodes gives permission to George Labram to begin the construction of the Long Cecil gun.
25 December 1909, Two African miners die and another 51 injured during an inter-tribal fight in the Wesselton compound.
DID YOU KNOW
From the Siege of Kimberley diary of Katharine Muriel Green, the wife of Diamond Fields Advertiser editor George Green, and mother of well-known writer Lawrence Green, who, incidentally, was born during the siege:
We have had a famous Christmas dinner; the piece de resistance was the dear old fowl who laid me an egg almost daily for six weeks. For the last three weeks we have kept her in the kitchen, as thieves are not unknown in this neighbourhood. Once she escaped and ran fluttering and clucking down the road with the whole household in pursuit. She was captured by a swift-footed little coloured boy who almost sat upon her in his anxiety to keep her fast. Our anxiety as we saw our Christmas dinner first disappearing and then being squashed can be imagined! Well she stewed and stewed and was served with a few priceless potatoes my husband secured from his Greek friend. A bottle of preserved gooseberries from the same friend, but minus cream and sugar, so a little sour. However, some long treasured almonds and raisins and a tin of delicious figs preserved in wine, I think, dark and very sweet, made up for the gooseberries. When I tell you that for supper we had a fresh egg each, with bread and jam and cold sago pudding, you will see that even in a siege we kept the good old English custom of having the best of everything procurable on Christmas Day.
We kept our solitary bottle of champagne in our water jug until evening and about 9 o’clock, when the weather was slightly cooler, we invited our landlady, her husband and sister to come and help us drink it, and with biscuits, figs and nuts we had quite a little feast and were all cheerful, wished each other a Happy New Year, and drank the toasts of “Absent Friends” and “Lord Methuen and the relief column”. As there was not enough champagne to go around a second time, our toasts were limited to these two.
So ended the most curious Christmas Day that any of us, I think, ever spent.
(From the book: Summer of 1899)