Today in African History

Today in African History: January 7

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, January 7, we remember the following events in global African history:


Year Territory Event
1914 Panama The first ship crossed the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal was built mostly by African-Caribbean workers, who formed 90-percent of the project’s labor force.
1955 USA Singer Marian Anderson became the first black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, with her debut singing in Giuseppe Verdi‘s “Un Ballo in Maschera.”
1959 Cuba The United States‘ government officially recognized the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
1986 USA, Libya US president Ronald Reagan announced economic sanctions against Libya.
1991 Haiti Roger Lafontant, former leader of the Tonton Macoute in Haiti under François Duvalier, attempted a coup d’état, which ended in his arrest. Loyalist troops crushed the coup attempt that had threatened the transition of power to the country’s first freely elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1998 South Africa South African attorney general announced that former president Pieter Willem (P.W.) Botha would be prosecuted for refusing to appear before the Truth Commission and for hindering its work.
1999 USA Microsoft launched the Encarta Africana, a 2-volume CD ROM containing 3,000 scholarly articles on black culture and history.
2007 Jamaica The Accompong Maroons, descendants of runaway enslaved Africans, vowed to fight any plans for bauxite mining in the Cockpit Country, a forested region where they have lived in semi-autonomy for centuries. Sydney Peddie, the group’s leader, said opening up the territory to mining would breach a treaty signed between the Maroons and the British in 1739, which gave the group nearly 25,000 acres in the inhospitable terrain of rocky cliffs and limestone towers.
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