Travel back in time and take a rare peek into the lives and times of the people, places and events that, painfully or proudly, shaped 100 years of history. Read about some of the significant - and sometimes unexpected - passions and prejudices that drove ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Here are just a few of the highlights of what you’ll find when you follow the "View the Archive" link on the index page of each of the memorials on our website - these links can be found in the "Discover Uncover Recover" box.
» "WILL YOU LISTEN TO THE APPEAL OF ONE WHO HAS SHUNNED THE METHOD OF WAR …?"
Read Mohandas Gandhi’s letter to Adolf Hitler, written on the eve of the outbreak of World War II.
» "MULTIPLE INJURIES SUSTAINED BY THE DECEASED … JUMPING THROUGH A WINDOW"
Read the inquest report into the death in police custody of Matthews Mabelane, who was being questioned by apartheid security police at John Vorster Square police station.
» "SO I LEFT MY DEAR PORT ELIZABETH BY TRAIN, ON A WARM AND MILD DAY IN OCTOBER 1944"
Read extracts from the diaries George Pemba kept while this long-unrecognised painter was on his grand tour of South Africa.
» "MORE CRÈCHES AND CLINICS FOR THE POOR"
See the original election poster that saw Cissie Gool, "the People’s Own Candidate", returned to the Cape Town City Council in 1938.
» "I, TSIETSI MASHININI, APPEAL TO STUDENTS TO REPORT BACK TO SCHOOL"
Read the teenaged Soweto student leader’s hastily scribbled statement before fleeing the country after the June 1976 uprising.
» "NOKWE CANNOT BE GRANTED PERMISSION TO OCCUPY CHAMBERS IN A EUROPEAN URBAN AREA"
Read the letter from Hendrik Verwoerd’s office that denied Duma Nokwe, a young advocate, the right to practice law in Johannesburg.
» "I’M LOOKING AT THE SEA WAVES, THE SHIPS, THE MULTITUDES OF PEOPLE AND I SAY YES!"
Read Lilian Ngoyi’s wonderful private letters, this one written after a visit to Durban during a rare period when she was not under house arrest.
» "I HAVE BEEN PRAYING TO THE GOVERNMENT ABOUT THIS MATTER FOR A VERY LONG TIME …’
Read the Eastern Cape prophet Enoch Mgijima’s letter to Colonel Theo Truter, the police commissioner, two days before the Bulhoek Massacre in May 1921.