At 05:30 on the morning of 11 November 1918, in a railway coach standing at a remote railway siding in the heart of the forest of Compiègne, Germany signed the Armistice Agreement that brought the war to an end.

Soon after, telegraph wires were humming with the message: “Hostilities will cease at 11.00 today November 11. Troops will stand fast on the line reached at that hour...”.

While a number of dates could compete for the honour, the one generally accepted as the day to celebrate Johannesburg's birthday is the 4th October. This was the date set out in President Kruger's famous Proclamation of the 8th September 1886 (repeated on the 15th September) which reads as follows (translated with our emphasis addded):

Proclamation by His Honour the State President

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