On 4 December 1893, the Shangani Patrol, comprising 34 soldiers of the
British South Africa Company, was annihilated by over 3,000 Matabele
warriors during the First Matabele War, in Rhodesia (modern-day
Zimbabwe). Major Patrick Forbes was attempting to capture the Matabele
King Lobengula. A patrol, headed by Major Allan Wilson (pictured), was
scouting ahead on the north side of the Shangani River. When Wilson's
patrol moved in to capture Lobengula, it was ambushed by Matabele
riflemen and warriors near the king's wagon. Surrounded and outnumbered
about a hundred-fold, the patrol made a last stand as three of its
number rode back to the river for reinforcements – without success as
the Shangani was now in flood and Forbes was also involved in a
skirmish. After fighting to the last cartridge, and killing over ten
times their own number, Wilson and his men were annihilated. The
patrol's members were regarded as national heroes for endeavour in the
face of insurmountable odds. The anniversary of the battle became an
annual public holiday in Rhodesia in 1895, and was an official non-work
day until 1920. A film depicting the episode, Shangani Patrol, was
released in 1970.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shangani_Patrol>
Today's selected anniversaries:
First Mongol invasion of Poland: Mongols overwhelmed the Polish
armies of Sandomierz and Kraków provinces in the Battle of Chmielnik
and plundered the abandoned city of Kraków.
French President Adolphe Thiers ordered the evacuation of Paris
after an uprising broke out as the result of France's defeat in the
Franco-Prussian War, leading to the establishment of the Paris Commune
Romanian inventor Traian Vuia became the first person to fly a
heavier-than-air monoplane with an unassisted takeoff.
United States postal workers began a two-week strike after
Congress raised its own wages by 41% but only raised the wages of postal
workers by 4%.
The deadliest fire in Philippine history burned a nightclub in
Quezon City, leaving 162 dead.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(physics, engineering) The science and technology of friction,
lubrication, and wear.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not this but that
the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few.
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