Today, just not this year

off-road vehicle in action

There’s no-one still around from 1884 – that’s when Basutoland was established as a British colony – but there certainly still plenty of people from 1966 when this colony gained independence and became the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Lesotho is the only country on earth (at least that I know of) which is completely landlocked, so there’s no access to the sea, by a single country – South Africa of course. That transition, from Basutoland to Lesotho took place on 4 October – which makes it 54 years old today (the time of writing).

Also today, but in 1927, John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum began work on what we know today as Mount Rushmore. If you think that sounds familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on why, it’s that mountainside in South Dakota, in the United States with the faces of four presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved into it.

That particular project took 14 years to reach completion.

Just 16 years after the completion of Mount Rushmore, the Soviets launched the world’s first satellite into space. Sputnik I (translated into English it means “fellow traveler”) blasted into space in 1957, orbiting the earth every 98 minutes. Sputnik’s beeping could be picked up by radio stations and listening posts around the world for three weeks before its batteries died – and it carried on orbiting for two months before falling back to earth.

This brings us neatly back to our starting point. Nine years after Sputnik I made it to space, Lesotho gained its independence from Britain.

All of these happened on the same day, years apart. There is no shared connection other than that they are all a part of humanity’s ongoing history.

On a final note, I leave you with a question.

If two mind-readers read each other’s minds simultaneously, who’s mind is being read?

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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