This Day in History: 1980-04-18

1980: After years of pressure and terror attacks incited by Jewish groups and the British and US governments, White rule ends in Rhodesia and Black rule begins — and the country is renamed Zimbabwe. Canaan Banana (above right, with Robert Mugabe) is named Zimbabwe’s first president. The remaining Whites are subject to massacres and land seizures, which continue today. (The Rhodesian dollar — which traded in 1980 at parity with the British pound, just as it had when first introduced — is replaced with the Zimbabwean dollar as the official currency, initially valued the same as the Rhodesian dollar. Despite massive Western aid, the value of the Zimbabwean dollar eventually declines to essentially zero, being worth 10-25 of an original Rhodesian dollar. Toward the end, $100 trillion notes were printed, but were worth almost nothing. It was demonetized in 2015.)

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