Wednesday, July 7, 1943
The bold front page headlines trumpeted continued Allied successes in the Pacific and indications an invasion of Europe was imminent. But moving away from headlines gives a different picture. An election in South Africa merited a very short article but would ultimately shake the world. Jan Smuts was a sure bet for presidency of the country that now, thanks to the Boer Wars, was part of the United Kingdom. An ally at this point, he was also a believer in racial segregation and helped establish the post-war system of apartheid. While he later will take a more moderate view, he still helped perpetrate one of the most oppressive racial regimes of the time. It was brought to an end half a century later not by war or invasion but from within by dedicated South African dissenters and from without by a world-wide Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement without. All of that is in the future, when the old world order falls apart.