The Sharpeville massacre was an event which occurred on 21 March 1960, at the police station in the South African township of Sharpeville
After a day of demonstrations against pass laws, a crowd of about 5,000 to 7,000 protesters went to the police station. The South African Police opened fire on the crowd, killing 69 people. Sources disagree as to the behaviour of the crowd; some state that the crowd was peaceful, while others state that the crowd had been hurling stones at the police, and that the shooting started when the crowd started advancing toward the fence around the police station. There were 289 casualties in total, including 29 children.
today, 21 March is celebrated as a public holiday in honour of human rights and to commemorate the Sharpeville massacre.