Today in African History

Today in African History: February 3

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, February 3, we remember the following events in global African history:


Year Territory Event
1488 South Africa Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal lands in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.
1690 USA The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in the Americas.
1781 USA American Revolutionary War: British forces seized the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.
1793 USA American Revolutionary War: Spain recognized United States’ independence.
1809 USA The Territory of Illinois is created by the 10th United States Congress.
1865 USA The Hampton Roads Conference was attended by President Abraham Lincoln and the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander H. Stephens, in an attempt to end the American Civil War.
1870 USA The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to male citizens regardless of race.
1913 USA The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
1953 Sao Tome The Batepá massacre occurred in São Tomé when the colonial administration and Portuguese landowners unleashed a wave of violence against the native creoles known as forros.
1976 Nigeria General Murtala Ramat Muhammed (1938-1976) proclaimed Abuja as the new federal capital. It was founded to replace Lagos and became the official capital in 1991.
1978 USA Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat arrived in Washington DC to discuss the Middle East peace process with US President Jimmy Carter.
1989 USA After a stroke two weeks previously, South African President P. W. Botha resigns as leader of the National Party, but stays on as president for six more months.
1994 USA Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan dismissed his aide, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, for making anti-Semitic remarks.
1999 Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira agreed to a cease fire with rebel leader Ansumane Mane.
2004 Guyana The US government revoked Guyana’s Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj’s travel visa. He has been accused of organizing a hit squad blamed in the deaths of more than 40 suspected criminals last year.
2008 Kenya The leader of Kenya’s opposition called for the African Union to send peacekeepers to help stem violence sparked by the country’s disputed presidential election.
2008 Niger Fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked a military houseboat stationed at the Shell Petroleum Tora manifold in Bayelsa state of Nigeria. The attack killed three soldiers.
2008 Rwanda; DR Congo Two strong earthquake shook the African Great Lakes region, killing at least 37 people in Rwanda and six in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2009 Somalia The hardline Somali Islamist group Shebab called on its fighters to intensify their holy war against African Union (AU) peacekeepers.
2010 African Union New African Union President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi said that food security, transport infrastructure and energy will be his priorities.
2010 South Africa South Africa’s polygamist Pres. Jacob Zuma confirmed that he recently fathered a child with a woman who is not one of his three wives or fiancee, and criticized those who said his actions undermined the country’s campaign against HIV/AIDS. The nation of about 50 million has an estimated 5.7 million people infected with HIV, more than any other country.
2011 DR Congo Authorities in Congo arrested four foreigners, an American, a Frenchman and two Nigerians, suspected of planning to smuggle millions of dollars of gold out of the country’s lawless east. Army general Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the ICC for recruiting child soldiers, received $6.5 million in cash for the gold, over 400kg, which was seized.
2012 Somalia In Somalia refugees and soldiers in Mogadishu’s Badbado camp say they watched a surveillance drone crash into a hut made of sticks, corrugated cans and plastic bags. Kenya’s military said some 100 Somali militants were killed after helicopter gunships targeted a gathering of more than 200 al-Shabab fighters near Badhade.
2012 Uganda Uganda signed production agreements with Anglo-Irish firm Tullow Oil, allowing the company to finalize a long-delayed $2.9 billion asset sale to France’s Total and China’s CNOOC.
2012 Zambia Zambian corruption investigators arrested a former minister on theft charges and recorded a statement from ex-president Rupiah Banda’s wife in another probe. Mines minister Maxwell Mwale was arrested and charged over the theft of 20 bicycles belonging to small-scale miners. The bicycles were worth 5.5 million kwacha (1,050 dollars, 800 euros) in total.
2014 Libya Libyan PM Ali Zeidan said he has ordered the army to lift the blockade imposed by protesters on the main oil terminals in the east of the country.
2016 South Africa The office of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma said he will pay back some of the public funds used to upgrade his private home, attempting to end a two-year scandal that has plagued his government.
2016 Sudan; South Sudan The ministers of Sudan and South Sudan at a meeting in Juba agreed to tie the fee to oil prices after slumps in global prices made Juba effectively pay to export crude. Exact details were yet to be settled.
2017 Angola Veteran Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos announced he will not run in August elections, signaling the end to 37 years in power and naming his defense minister as the candidate to succeed him.
2017 DR Congo Police in southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least eight members of Bundu dia Kongo (BDK), a separatist religious sect, escalating tensions in a normally peaceful part of a conflict-ravaged country.
2017 Rwanda Rwanda’s government approved the dismissal of 200 police officers implicated in corruption.
2017 South Africa South Africa’s department of agriculture said that scientific tests have confirmed the presence of the invasive fall armyworm in the country’s maize belt.

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