Today in African History

Today in African History: February 1

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, February 1, we remember the following events in global African history:


Year Territory Event
1835 Mauritius Slavery was abolished in Mauritius.
1861 USA American Civil War: Texas seceded from the United States.
1865 USA President Abraham Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1902 USA Birth of African-American poet Langston Hughes (1902-1967) in Joplin, Missouri, USA.
1906 USA First federal penitentiary building completed in Leavenworth, Kansas.
1939 USA African American Contralto Marian Anderson was denied a performance at Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution, who owned the place. She performed instead on Easter Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial at the invitation of the Dept. Of the Interior.
1942 USA Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, began broadcasting with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers.
1956 USA A stick of dynamite exploded on the porch of the Martin Luther King family.
1960 USA Four black North Carolina A&T students staged the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1965 USA In Selma, Alabama, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and 770 of his followers were arrested on their civil rights march. They protested against voter discrimination in Alabama.
1978 USA Harriet Tubman became the first black woman honored on a US postage stamp.
1986 Haiti Two days of anti-government riots in Port-au-Prince resulted in 14 dead.
1991 South Africa South African President F.W. de Klerk said he would repeal all remaining apartheid laws.
1997 Senegal An Air Senegal plane crashed and at least 23 people died after liftoff from a wildlife refuge at Tambacounda.
1998 USA Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral.
1999 Guinea-Bissau Thousands fled the capital as fighting intensified between rebels and loyalists. At least 15 people were reported killed. Most of the 6,000 member army joined the rebellion to depose Pres. Joao Bernardo Vieira.
2003 Ivory Coast Nearly 100,000 loyalists marched through Abidjan, burning French flags and calling for the death of the French president in the biggest protest yet against a French-brokered peace deal.
2004 Zimbabwe In northwestern Zimbabwe, a crowded passenger train and a freight train with flammable liquid collided, killed at least 50 people and injured about 40.
2004 USA In Texas, a breast belonging entertainer Janet Jackson was exposed by singer Justin Timberlake after he ripped off one of her chest plates during the halftime Super Bowl performance in Houston. CBS’ parent company, Viacom, was fined $550,000.
2004 Haiti Tens of thousands of government opponents marched peacefully to demand President Jean-Bertrand Aristide‘s resignation. A day earlier Aristide vowed to disarm politically affiliated gangs, reform the police force and implement other measures to end the country’s recent unrest.
2005 Malawi Malawi Health Minister Heatherwick Ntaba said AIDS kills about 10 people every hour in Malawi and the government is increasingly unable to cope with the crisis.
2006 Kenya Four suspended senior officials of the City Council of Nairobi were charged with negligence in the Jan 23 collapse of a building in Nairobi that killed at least 17 people and injured more than 100.
2006 Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf fired top officials appointed by a transitional administration to help run the Finance Ministry, a perceived center of corruption.
2008 Worldwide According to a new study the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer in women is poised to become one of the leading causes of oral cancer in men.
2008 Chad Chad’s army fought to drive off rebels who pushed to within 100 km (60 miles) of the capital N’Djamena and the clashes delayed the deployment of European peacekeepers. A French Defense Ministry official said France has sent about 150 supplementary troops to Chad as a “precautionary measure” in response to a rebel offensive.
2008 African Union In Ethiopia, a summit of African Union leaders shifted its attention from the crisis in Kenya to Chad, with delegates voicing fears of a major conflict that could scupper peace efforts in Sudan.
2008 Kenya Kenya’s rival sides said they had agreed to take action to end monthlong violence from a disputed presidential election, but the death toll mounted when police fired on mobs setting homes and businesses ablaze in the west of the country. At least 14 people were killed as the death toll rose to over 800 with some 300,000 forced from their homes.
2008 Mauritania At least one gunman opened fire on the Israeli Embassy, setting off a battle with guards that wounded one person. 8 people were soon detained, but all were released for lack of evidence. 2 suspected terrorists were arrested on April 30.
2009 African Union The African Union‘s 12th summit opened in Ethiopia with an agenda officially focused on infrastructure development. Leaders set aside the first day to discuss Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi‘s long-standing pet project to establish a United States of Africa.
2010 USA President Barack Obama unveiled a multitrillion-dollar spending plan, pledging an intensified effort to combat high unemployment and asking Congress to quickly approve new job-creation efforts that would boost the deficit to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion. Obama also made his first YouTube interview and spent about 40 minutes answering about a dozen of over 11,000 questions submitted by YouTube users following his State of the Union address. This included $708 billion requested by the Pentagon for 2011.
2010 Haiti Many schools in Haiti’s outlying provinces reopened for the first time since an earthquake devastated the nation, though it may take a month or more to open classrooms in the quake-crushed capital.
2011 Suriname Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse expressed his country’s support for Palestinian national rights and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, the latest Latin American country to do so.
2011 Switzerland Switzerland blocked Haiti ex-dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier‘s frozen Swiss millions under new legislation that came into force today to ease their return to the impoverished country. The “Duvalier law” was rushed through parliament last year to ease the restitution of assets stolen by corrupt or greedy politicians to their home countries.
2012 USA President Barack Obama proposed a multi-billion-dollar package to help U.S. homeowners refinance and stave off foreclosure.
2012 Haiti; Brazil In Haiti, visitng Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Brazil will offer 6,000 visas to Haitians over a five-year period as one of several efforts that look to help the troubled Caribbean nation get on its feet.
2012 South Africa South Africa’s national parks agency said 3 young Mozambican poachers will spend 25 years behind bars after they were found with two fresh rhino horns in Kruger Park.
2012 Sudan Sudan’s military bombed a Bible school built by a US Christian aid group, prompting students and teachers at the school to run for their lives in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state. The Heiban Bible College was built by Samaritan’s Purse, a North Carolina-based aid group.
2013 Nigeria Nigerian lawmaker Rep. Farouk Lawan, who led a probe into the nation’s fuel subsidy program that saw billions of dollars lost through fraud, was charged, along with his aide Emenalo Boniface, with allegedly soliciting a $3 million bribe from someone targeted by the inquiry. The allegations stem from their investigation of Femi Otedola, the chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. and a powerful ally of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
2014 Sudan Sudan suspended activities of the international Red Cross because it violated guidelines for working in the war-torn country.
2015 African Union After a two-day summit held in the African Union’s Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, heads of state proposed new taxes on airline tickets, hotel stays and text messages.
2015 Spain Spain said 400 African migrants tried to storm border fences separating its North African enclave Melilla from Morocco and warned of a buildup in numbers across the frontier.
2017 South Africa A South African government investigation revealed that at least 94 mentally ill patients died after authorities moved them last year from hospital to unlicensed health facilities that were compared to “concentration camps”.
2017 South Africa In South Africa workers and managers in the chicken industry marched to the office of the EU delegation in Pretoria, alleging their livelihoods are in jeopardy because of allegedly illegal dumping of EU chicken meat in the local market.
2017 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe started levying a 15 percent value-added tax on basic foodstuffs, dealing a further blow to cash-strapped consumers already battling to survive in an ailing economy.
2017 Zimbabwe Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested at Harare airport as he returned to the country after several months abroad. He had led a surge of protests last year against President Robert Mugabe‘s authoritarian government.

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