Today in African History

Today in African History: February 4

Greetings and shalom, everyone! On this day of the Gregorian calendar, February 4, we remember the following events in global African history:

Year Territory Event
1789 USA George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1794 USA The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic. It will be reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802.
1794 Haiti Slaves in Haiti won emancipation.
1822 Liberia Free American Blacks settled Liberia, West Africa. The first group of colonists landed in Liberia and founded Monrovia, the colony’s capital city, named in honor of President James Monroe.
1861 USA Delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, Ala., to form the Confederate States of America. They included Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. They elected Jefferson Davis as president of Confederacy.
1889 Panama The Panama Canal project under Ferdinand de Lesseps (d.1894) went bankrupt. Over 5,000 French people died working on the project. In all over 25,000 people died during 8 years of work, mostly from malaria and yellow fever.
1913 USA Birth of civil rights activist Rosa Parks (1913-2005) in Tuskegee, Alabama, USA.
1920 South Africa The first flight from London to South Africa took off and lasted 1 month.
1961 Angola The Angolan War of Independence and the greater Portuguese Colonial War begin.
1986 USA The U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp featuring Sojourner Truth.
1997 USA A civil jury in Santa Monica, Calif., found O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, awarding $8.5 million in compensatory damages to Goldman’s parents. Six days later, the jury added $25 million in punitive damages to go to Nicole Brown Simpson’s estate and Goldman’s father.
1998 Rwanda Hutu rebels slaughtered 33 people in the Ruhemgeri region.
1999 USA Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot 41 times by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
2004 Sierra Leone Pres. Ahmed Tejah Kabbah and international sponsors declared a successful end to disarmament, closing a final chapter in an 11-year war that was one of the modern world’s most vicious.
2005 Ethiopia Boeing said Ethiopian Airlines plans to acquire up to 10 of Boeing Co.’s new 787s at an overall cost of about $1.3 billion.
2007 USA Death of African-American singer and actress Barbara McNair (1934-2007)
2007 Kenya Professor Job Bwayo, a top Kenyan AIDS researcher, was killed and an American woman traveling with him was shot in the face.
2007 Zambia China’s President Hu Jintao pledged $800 million in investments, debt write-offs and a “showcase” free trade zone as he ended a tour there. Beijing’s economic juggernaut has sparked tensions in Zambia.
2008 South Sudan; Uganda Ugandan rebels from the Lord’s Resistance Army killed 136 people and looted property during an attack in and around Kajo-Keji in southern Sudan. In March officials said Sudanese renegades frustrated with not being absorbed into the military — and not Ugandan rebels initially suspected — were behind the attacks in south Sudan.
2009 USA President Barack Obama imposed $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money, saying Americans are upset with “executives being rewarded for failure.”
2009 Somalia Gunmen killed Said Tahlil Ahmed, the director of the country’s largest media company, HornAfrik, at a market in Mogadishu. Three Somali Canadians had established HornAfrik in 1999.
2011 USA; Canada President Barack Obama and Canadian PM Stephen Harper agreed to a new approach to US and Canadian security that they said would help boost trade by reducing logjams at the border.
2011 USA US federal authorities said they are charging 23 people with moving drugs and illicit money through the Caribbean on behalf of a major Colombian drug cartel. 21 of the suspects have been arrested so far in Colombia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, New York, Miami and the US Virgin Islands.
2011 Rwanda Journalists Agnes Nkusi Uwimana and Saidaiti Mukakibibi, were sentenced to 17 and 7 years respectively for publicly criticizing the government in published articles. On April 5, 2012, the supreme court cleared Nkusi of genocide denial and promoting ethnic divisions, but upheld her convictions for defamation for insulting President Kagame and inciting public disorder. Her total sentence was reduced to four years from 17. The court upheld Mukabibibi’s conviction for inciting civil disobedience but reduced her sentence from seven years to three years.
2012 South Africa South Africa’s ruling ANC threw out an appeal by its fiery youth league leader, Julius Malema (30), to overturn his suspension, but said he could argue for a lighter sentence.
2013 USA Death of US jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd (1932-2013) in Delaware.
2013 Tanzania the appeals chamber of the Arusha-based tribunal overturned 30-year sentences handed down to Justin Mugenzi and Prosper Mugiraneza, who were both Cabinet ministers at the time of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. The duo had been convicted to 30 years in September 2011 after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide and inciting the public to commit genocide.
2014 Libya Libyan officials said they have destroyed the last stockpile of chemical weapons from the end of the Khadafy era.
2015 Cameroon Cameroon’s army killed at least 50 Boko Haram insurgents and lost six of its own soldiers in clashes with the Nigerian Islamist group in the border town of Fotokol. Boko Haram fighters went on a rampage in Fotokol, massacring civilians and torching a mosque before being repelled by regional forces.
2015 Gabon Gabon lifted its ban on the main opposition party National Union (UN), which was outlawed after its leader declared himself president of the oil-rich west African nation in 2011.
2016 DR Congo Congo DRC authorities dismantled a major ivory network, arresting three traffickers in a blow to poaching operations that threaten the survival of the African forest elephant. Officials also seized 30 kg (66 pounds) of ivory ornaments and other items.
2017 Nigeria James Ibori, who as governor of oil-rich Delta State became one of Nigeria’s richest and most powerful men, returned to the country after serving a sentence for corruption in Britain. Ibori served half his 13-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering.
2017 Guyana The Guyanese government said it has lifted a 19-month ban on scrap metal exports while it drafts new operating regulations after complaints about buyers raiding everything from tombs to security grill work and manhole covers. A black market in scrap metal emerged since the trade was banned in June 2015.



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