Today in African History

Today in African History: January 17

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, January 17, we remember the following events in global African history:


Year Territory Event
395 Roman Empire Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the Roman Empire was permanently divided into the Eastern Roman Empire under Arcadius, and the Western Roman Empire under Honorius.
1608 Ethiopia Emperor Susenyos I of Ethiopia and his army surprised an Oromo army at Ebenat; kills 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 of his men.
1841 St. Helena The island of St. Helena recorded that a ship seized on this day was from Angola heading to Brazil with 308 enslaved Africans “in good health” and 108 “sick” enslaved Africans.
1852 South Africa The United Kingdom signed the Sand River Convention with the South African Republic.
1917 USVI The United States paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
1927 USA Singer/Actress Eartha Kitt (1927 – 2008) born in South Carolina, USA.
1942 USA Birth of boxing champion and activist, Cassius Clay, a/k/a Muhammad Ali (1942 – 2016) in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
1961 DR Congo Former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was murdered in circumstances suggesting the support and complicity of the governments of Belgium and the United States.
1969 USA Black Panther Party members Bunchy Carter and John Huggins were killed during a meeting in Campbell Hall on the campus of UCLA.
1983 USA Alabama Governor George C. Wallace (1919-1998), became governor for a record 4th time.
1988 Haiti Haiti held a presidential election run by the military-led junta but was boycotted by the opposition.
2001 DRC Congo volcano Mount Nyiragongo erupted near Goma and rivers of lava destroyed 14 villages. Goma was devastated and some 400,000 people fled their homes. At least 50 people were killed.
2001 DR Congo Congo government ministers named Joseph Kabila, son of Laurent Kabila, as temporary head of state.
2007 Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe‘s main opposition leader, urged mass protests against President Robert Mugabe‘s nearly 27-year-rule.
2007 DR Congo Alice Lakwena, a Ugandan warrior priestess who led an insurgency in the 1980s, died at a Kenyan refugee camp. She was known as Alice Auma and claimed to have been possessed by a spirit called Lakwena, which gave her spiritual powers to protect her fighters from bullets by anointing them with oil. Her cousin, Joseph Kony, is the messianic leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
2009 DR Congo In eastern Congo, according to Ugandan troops, the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels set fire to a church in the village of Tora. Death toll unclear.

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