Today in African History

Today in African History: January 16

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, January 16, we remember the following events in global African history:


Year Territory Event
1493 Hispaniola Columbus aboard the Nina departed Hispaniola along with the Pinta to return to Spain.
1776 USA Continental Congress approved the enlistment of free blacks, leading to the formation of the all-black First Rhode Island Regiment, composed of 33 freedmen and 92 slaves, who were promised freedom if they served to the end of the war. The regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Newport.
1786 USA Virginia enacts the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
1920 USA Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was founded on the campus of Howard University.
1979 USA Birth of Singer/Actress Aaliyah Dana Haughton, a/k/a “Aaliyah” (1979-2001) in Brooklyn, New York, USA
1989 USA Three days of rioting erupted in Miami, Florida when a police officer fatally shot a black motorcyclist, Clement Lloyd, causing a crash that also claimed the life of a passenger, Allan Blanchard.
1997 USA Enis Cosby (27), son of Bill Cosby, was murdered in Los Angeles, California while changing a tire in an apparent roadside robbery, by a Ukrainian émigré teenager, Mikail Markhasev.
2001 DR Congo President Laurent-Désiré Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
2003 USA AOL Time Warner chief executive Richard Parsons was tapped to be the media conglomerate’s new chairman, succeeding Steve Case.
2006 Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia‘s new president,. becoming Africa’s first female elected head of state.
2007 USA Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) launched his bid for the White House.
2010 Haiti President Barack Obama declared one of the largest relief efforts in US history to help Haiti four days after an earthquake killed up to 200,000 people and devastated the Caribbean nation’s capital.
2010 Senegal; Haiti Senegal offered free land to Haitians wishing to “return to their origins” following the January 12 devastating earthquake, which destroyed the capital and buried thousands of people beneath rubble.
2011 Haiti Former Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier (1951-2014) returned to Haiti after nearly 25 years in exile.
2011 Southern Sudan Southern Sudan‘s President Salva Kiir offered a prayer of forgiveness for northern Sudan and the killings that occurred during a two-decade civil war, as the first results from a weeklong independence referendum showed an overwhelming vote for secession.
2015 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe‘s government says it must export elephants to raise funds for wildlife management. About 60 elephants will be sold for between $40,000 and $60,000 each to China, France, and the United Arab Emirates.
2016 USA President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Michigan and ordered federal aid for state and local response efforts in the county where the city of Flint has been contending with lead-contaminated drinking water.

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