Today in African History

Today in African History: January 28

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, January 28, we remember the following events in global African history:


Year Territory Event
28 Rome The Roman Emperor Nerva named Trajan, an army general, as his successor.
1792 Dominican Republic Rebellious enslaved Africans in Santo Domingo launched an attack on the city of Cap.
1801 UK Death of Francis Barber, a/k/a “Quashey,” (ca. 1735 – 1801), the Jamaican manservant of Samuel Johnson (1752-1784), died at the Staffordshire General Infirmary.
1858 USA John Brown organized a plan to raid the Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.
1909 USA; Cuba The United States ended direct control over Cuba.
1948 Liberia Charles Taylor, later president of Liberia (1997-2003), was born in Arthington, near Monrovia. His family descended from freed American slaves. He was the third of 15 children of an Americo-Liberian father, Nelson Taylor. His mother, Zoe, was a Gola-woman.
1949 USA NY Giants signed their first black players, Monte Irvin & Ford Smith.
1970 Egypt Israeli fighter jets attacked the suburbs of Cairo.
1979 USA “The Wiz” closed at Majestic Theater in NYC after 1672 performances.
1984 Mozambique Tropical Storm Domoina makes landfall in southern Mozambique, eventually causing 214 deaths and some of the most severe flooding so far recorded in the region.
1985 USA; Ethiopia Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) recorded the hit single We Are the World, to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.
1986 USA Just 73 seconds into its 10th launch, Americans watched in horror as the space shuttle Challenger (STS-51L) exploded in midair, killing its crew of seven: Navy pilot Michael J. Smith, Commander Francis Scobee and mission specialist Ronald McNair, mission specialist Ellison Onizuka, first teacher in space Christa McAuliffe, payload specialist Gregory Jarvis and mission specialist Judith Resnik.
1997 South Africa Five former police officers in South Africa admitted to killing anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko, who died in police custody in 1977. His death had been officially listed as an accident.
2002 Zimbabwe In Zimbabwe, Pres. Mugabe’s government announced plans for compulsory national youth service training.
2003 Ivory Coast Ivory Coast’s army said it opposed a new peace deal with rebel forces. Ethnic fighting flared amid violent protests over the proposed peace accord. A fourth day of ethnic clashes reportedly killed 10 people.
2003 Mauritania Mauritania, an Arab-dominated West African nation, banned anti-U.S. protests and deployed hundreds of security forces in the capital to enforce the prohibition.
2003 Rwanda Rwanda began releasing 19,000 genocide suspects and former rebels in an effort to ease intense overcrowding in the country’s prisons and foster national reconciliation.
2004 Nigeria; North Korea Nigeria said North Korea had agreed to share its missile technology. Nigerian VP Atiku Abubakar reached the accord with Yang Hyong Sop, the visiting VP of North Korea’s Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly. Nigeria rejected the offer under US pressure.
2009 Senegal Five African and international human rights groups called on the African Union to press Senegal to move forward with the trial of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre.
2009 Sudan A Sudanese man, Mohammed el-Sari, was jailed for 17 years on charges of trying to help the International Criminal Court investigate a minister suspected of war crimes in Darfur.
2011 Djibouti Djibouti’s first political rally broke out after the Muslim country’s Friday prayers. Democracy International estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 people attended.
2012 Ethiopia In Ethiopia, African Union leaders inaugurated a new $200 million headquarters that was funded by China as a gift. They said the massive complex in Addis Ababa is a symbol of China’s rapidly changing role in Africa.
2012 Liberia; Ivory Coast Liberia arrested some 70 people near its southeastern border with Ivory Coast for their alleged involvement in plans to destabilize the neighboring country.
2013 Nigeria In Nigeria, John Yakubu Yusufu, a man who formerly helped oversee the country’s police pension program, pleaded guilty to stealing $145 million, but walked out of court a free man after agreeing to a plea bargain that saw him pay only a fraction of it back.
2014 USA Pres. Obama made his State of the Union address saying would be a “year of action” and that if Congress wasn’t willing to work with him, he was prepared to act on his own.
2014 Burundi Burundi’s top lawyer, Isidore Rufyikiri, was sacked after criticizing the government and being accused of urging the people to rebel.
2014 Kenya A Kenyan court ordered a Chinese man to pay $230,000 in fines or be jailed seven years for ivory smuggling in the first of what will likely be many cases as authorities implement a stringent new law to deter illegal trading in wildlife products.
2017 Gambia Gambian President Adama Barrow said that every aspect of his tiny west African state would need an overhaul after ex-leader Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule, but that its dread secret police would remain.

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