FYI February 23, 2018


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On This Day

1854 – The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared.
The Orange Free State (Dutch: Oranje-Vrijstaat,[a] Afrikaans: Oranje-Vrystaat,[b] abbreviated as OVS[2]) was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which later became a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province.[3] Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein.[4]

In the northern part of the territory a Voortrekker Republic was established at Winburg in 1837. This state was in federation with the Republic of Potchefstroom which later formed part of the South African Republic (Transvaal).[4]

Following the granting of sovereignty to the Transvaal Republic, the British recognised the independence of the Orange River Sovereignty and the country officially became independent as the Orange Free State on 23 February 1854, with the signing of the Orange River Convention. The new republic incorporated the Orange River Sovereignty and included the traditions of the Winburg-Potchefstroom Republic.[4]

Although the Orange Free State developed into a politically and economically successful republic, it experienced chronic conflict with the British (in the Boer Wars) until it was finally annexed as the Orange River Colony in 1900. It ceased to exist as an independent Boer republic on 31 May 1902 with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging at the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Boer War. Following a period of direct rule by the British, it joined the Union of South Africa in 1910 as the Orange Free State Province, along with the Cape Province, Natal, and the Transvaal.[4] In 1961, the Union of South Africa became the Republic of South Africa.[3]

The republic’s name derives partly from the Orange River, which in turn was named in honour of the Dutch ruling royal family, the House of Orange, by the Dutch settlers under Robert Jacob Gordon.[5] The official language in the Orange Free State was Dutch.[4]



Born On This Day

1923 – Mary Francis Shura, American author (d. 1991)
Mary Francis Shura Craig, née Young (23 February 1923 in Pratt, Kansas – 12 January 1991 in Maywood, Illinois) was an American writer of over 50 novels from 1960 to 1990. She wrote children’s adventures and young adult romances as Mary Francis Shura, M. F. Craig, and Meredith Hill; gothic novels as Mary Craig; romance novels as Alexis Hill, Mary Shura Craig and Mary S. Craig; and suspense novels as M. S. Craig.[2]

She was a recipient of the Carl Sandburg Literary Arts Award in 1985, and was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America in 1990.

Mary Francis Young was born on 23 February 1923 in Pratt, Kansas, the daughter of Jackson Fant and Mary Francis (Milstead) Young. She studied at Maryville State College. Her family moved to the Pacific Northwest. On 24 October 1943, she married Daniel Charles Shura, who died in 1959. They had three children: Marianne Francis Shura (Sprague), Daniel Charles Shura, and Alice Barrett Shura Craig (Stout). On 8 December 1961, she married Raymond C. Craig. They had a daughter Mary Forshay Craig before their divorce.[3]

On 12 January 1991, she died of injuries suffered in a fire in her apartment on 13 December 1990.[4]




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