history… april 19


1012 – Aelfheah was murdered by Danes who had been ravaging the south of England. Aelfhear became the 29th Archbishop of Canterbury in 1005.

1539 – Emperor Charles V reached a truce with German Protestants at Frankfurt, Germany.

1587 – English admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet.

1689 – Residents of Boston ousted their governor, Edmond Andros.

1713 – Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which gave women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.

1764 – The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.

1770 – Captain James Cook discovered New South Wales, Australia. Cook originally named the land Point Hicks.

1775 – The American Revolution began as fighting broke out at Lexington, MA.

1782 – The Netherlands recognized the new United States.

1794 – Tadeusz Kosciuszko forced the Russians out of Warsaw.

1802 – The Spanish reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.

1839 – The Kingdom of Belgium was recognized by all the states of Europe when the Treaty of London was signed.

1852 – The California Historical Society was founded.

1861 – Thaddeus S. C. Lowe sailed 900 miles in nine hours in a hot air balloon from Cincinnati, OH, to Unionville, SC.

1861 – The Baltimore riots resulted in four Union soldiers and nine civilians killed.

1861 – U.S. President Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.

1892 – The Duryea gasoline buggy was introduced in the U.S. by Charles and Frank Duryea.

1897 – The first annual Boston Marathon was held. It was the first of its type in the U.S.

1927 – In China, Hankow communists declared war on Chaing Kai-shek.

1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that removed the U.S. from the gold standard.

1938 – General Francisco Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War.

1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.

1943 – The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule began. The Jews were able to fight off the Germans for 28 days.

1951 – General Douglas MacArthur gave his “Old Soldiers” speech before the U.S. Congress after being relieved by U.S. President Truman. In the address General MacArthur said that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.

1956 – Actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The civil ceremony took place on April 18.

1958 – The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played the first major league baseball game on the West Coast.

1960 – Baseball uniforms began displaying player’s names on their backs.

1967 – Surveyor 3 landed on the moon and began sending photos back to the U.S.

1971 – Russia launched the Salyut into orbit around Earth. It was the first space station.

1975 – India launched its first satellite with aid from the USSR.

1977 – Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book “Roots.”

1981 – In Davao, Philippines, thirteen people were killed when members of the New People’s Army threw hand grenades into the Roman Catholic cathedral during Easter services.

1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.

1982 – NASA named Guion S. Bluford Jr. as the first African-American astronaut.

1982 – The U.S. announced a ban on U.S. tourist and business traval to Cuba. The U.S. charged the Cuban government with subversion in Central America.

1987 – In Phoenix, AZ, skydiver Gregory Robertson went into a 200-mph free-fall to save an unconscious colleague 3,500 feet from the ground.

1987 – The last California condor known to be in the wild was captured and placed in a breeding program at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

1989 – A gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa. 47 sailors were killed.

1989 – In El Salvador, Attorney General Alvadora was killed by a car bomb.

1993 – The Branch-Davidian’s compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.

1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.

1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people were killed including 19 children, and 500 were injured. Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing on June 2, 1997.

1998 – Wang Dan, a leader of 1989 Tienanmen Square pro democracy protests, was freed by the Chinese government.

2000 – The Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the fifth anniversary of the bombing in Oklahoma that killed 168 people.

2000 – Letters written by Greta Garbo were put on exhibit. The letters were made public ten years after Garbo’s death.

2000 – In the Philippines, Air Philippines GAP 541 crashed while preparing to land. 131 people were killed.

2002 – The USS Cole was relaunched. In Yemen, 17 sailors were killed when the ship was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000. The attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.

Source:

on-this-day.com

Excerpt: ‘The Black History Of The White House’


by Clarence Lusane

More than one in four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold, bred and enslaved black people for profit. Of the twelve presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House. For this reason there is little doubt that the first person of African descent to enter the White House — or the presidential homes used in New York (1788–1790) and Philadelphia (1790–1800) before construction of the White House was complete — was an enslaved person. That person’s name and history are lost to obscurity and the tragic anonymity of slavery, which only underscores the jubilation expressed by tens of millions of African Americans — and perhaps billions of other people around the world — 220 years later on November 4, 2008, when the people of the United States elected Barack Obama to be the nation’s president and commander in chief. His inauguration on January 20, 2009, drew between one and two million people to Washington, D.C., one of the largest gatherings in the history of the city and more than likely the largest presidential inauguration to date. Taking into account the tens of millions around the globe who watched the event live via TV or Internet, it was perhaps the most watched inauguration in world history. It was of great international interest that for the first time in U.S. history, the “first family” in the White House was going to be a black family.

Obama has often stated that he stands on the shoulders of those who came before him. In terms of the White House, this has generally been seen to mean those presidents he admires, such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson, who all inspired him in his political career. However, he is also standing on the shoulders of the many, many African Americans who were forced to labor for, were employed by, or in some other capacity directly involved with the White House in a wide array of roles, including as slaves, house servants, elected and appointed officials, Secret Service agents, advisers, reporters, lobbyists, artists, musicians, photographers, and family members, not to mention the activists who lobbied and pressured the White House in their struggle for racial and social justice. As the Obama family resides daily in the White House, the narratives of these individuals resonate throughout their home.

The black history of the White House is rich in heroic stories of men, women, and youth who have struggled to make the nation live up to the egalitarian and liberationist principles expressed in its founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. For over 200 years African Americans and other people of color were legally disenfranchised and denied basic rights of citizenship, including the right to vote for the person who leads the country from the White House. But despite the oppressive state of racial apartheid that characterized the majority of U.S. history, in the main, as Langston Hughes reminds us, black Americans have always claimed that they too are American.

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Jim Crow segregation and “separate but equal” black codes were aggressively enforced throughout the South, few African Americans were permitted to even visit the White House. As Frances Benjamin Johnston\’s 1898 photo on the cover of this book indicates, however, black children were allowed to attend the White House\’s annual Easter egg–rolling ceremony. Permitting black children to integrate with white children on the White House premises one day a year was acceptable, even though such mingling was illegal in many public spaces throughout the South at the time, including libraries and schools.

For more … blackthen.com


African Americans and the Promise of the White HouseI, too, am America — Langston Hughes, from his poem “I, Too, Sing America”

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