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Timeline of Calendar Events

January Events

  • January 1, 1622 Gregorian calendar changes first day of the year to January 1 from the former date of March 25. England and its colonies continue to use the Julian calendar until September 1752.
  • January 1, 1808 The federal law prohibiting the importation of African slaves went into effect. It was largely circumvented.
  • January 1, 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln; it declares free all slaves in the Confederate states (except Tennessee, southern Louisiana, and parts of Virginia) and announces the Union's intention to enlist black soldiers and sailors. By late spring, recruitment is under way throughout the North and in all the Union-occupied Confederate states except Tennessee.
  • January 1 - 7, 1923 Rosewood massacre: Six African Americans and two whites die in a week of violence when a white woman in Rosewood, Florida, claims she was beaten and raped by a black man.
  • January 2 1905 The Russians surrendered to the Japanese after the Battle of Port Arthur during the Russian-Japanese War. A peace conference was later held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with President Theodore Roosevelt serving as a mediator. In September of 1905, the Russians agreed to the Treaty of Portsmouth yielding Port Arthur and the Liaodong Peninsula to Japan. Russia also agreed to evacuate Manchuria and recognize Japan's interests in Korea.
  • January 3, 1786 The Treaty of Hopewell is signed between representatives of the Confederation Congress of the United States and the Indian nation of the Choctaw, originally located in the southeastern states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana and known as one of the five civilized tribes.
  • January 3, 1924 British Egyptologist Howard Carter found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor after several years of searching.
  • January 5, 1804 The Ohio legislature passed "Black Laws" designed to restrict the legal rights of free blacks. These laws were part of the trend to increasingly severe restrictions on all blacks in both North and South before the Civil War.
  • January 10, 1966 NAACP local chapter president Vernon Dahmer is injured by a bomb in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He dies the next day.
  • January 11, 1865 Missouri state constitutional convention abolishes slavery.
  • January 12, 1865 General William T. Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton meet with twenty black leaders in Savannah, Georgia, to discuss the future of the ex-slaves.
  • January 16, 1865 General Sherman issues Special Field Order 15 setting aside part of coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida for settlement exclusively by black people, settlers to receive “possessory title” to forty-acre plots.
  • January 16, 1956 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover writes a rare open letter of complaint directed to civil rights leader Dr. T.R.M. Howard after Howard charged in a speech that the "FBI can pick up pieces of a fallen airplane on the slopes of a Colorado mountain and find the man who caused the crash, but they can't find a white man when he kills a Negro in the South."
  • January 22, 1599 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover writes a rare open letter of complaint directed to civil rights leader Dr. T.R.M. Howard after Howard charged in a speech that the "FBI can pick up pieces of a fallen airplane on the slopes of a Colorado mountain and find the man who caused the crash, but they can't find a white man when he kills a Negro in the South."
  • January 31, 1865 The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery and submits it to the states for ratification.

February Events

  • February 3, 1690 First paper money issued in North America by the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bills of credit to pay for their military expeditions in King William's War.
  • February 4, 1861 Convention of seceded states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana) meets in Montgomery, Alabama, adopts provisional constitution of the Confederate States of America (Feb. 8), and elects Jefferson Davis provisional president (Feb. 9); on March 2, the provisional Congress admits Texas to the Confederacy .
  • February 8, 1697 William Penn, leader of the Pennsylvania colony, creates a plan for intercolonial cooperation, first colonial idea for combining colonies into one nation, that would influence the drafting of the Constitution.
  • February 12, 1793 The United States Congress passes the first Fugitive Slave federal law requiring the return of slaves that escaped from slave states into free territory or states.
  • February 18, 1688 The Quakers of Germantown, Pennsylvania, passed the first formal antislavery resolution.
  • February 19-21, 1918 The First Pan-African Congress met in Paris, France, under the guidance of W. E. B. Du Bois.
  • February 20, 1630 Myth of popcorn introduction to Pilgrim colonists at Plymouth by Indian Quadequine begins.
  • February 21, 1965 Malcolm X is shot to death in the Audubon Ballroom Manhattan, New York.
  • February 22, 1865 Amendment to Tennessee state constitution abolishes slavery.
  • February 29, 1704 During Queen Anne's War, Deerfield, Massachusetts is attacked by French and Indian forces with fifty-six killed and over one hundred captured and carried off.

March Events

  • March 1, 1642 York, Maine of the Massachusetts Colony (known as Georgeana in colonial times) becomes the first incorporated city in the American colonies.
  • March 1, 1875 Congress passed a Civil Rights Bill which banned discrimination in places of public accommodation. The Supreme Court overturned the bill in 1883. 1881. ennessee passed a law requiring segregation in railroad cars. By 1907 all Southern states had passed similar laws.
  • March 2, 1861 U.S. Congress adopts and sends to the states a constitutional amendment (which ultimately failed of ratification) forbidding any subsequent amendment to “abolish or interfere . . . with the domestic institutions” of the states.
  • March 3, 1540 The de Soto expedition continues into Georgia in search for gold and a passage west. He would proceed into the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. An ambush in northern Alabama, which may have been precipitated by actions of the expedition, by the Mabilian Indian tribe, resulted in twenty Spanish explorer deaths and the demise of thousands of Indian warriors. De Soto burned the city. He would later winter near Tupelo, Mississippi.
  • March 3, 1865 Congress approves a joint resolution liberating the wives and children of black soldiers. Congress establishes Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's Bureau) to oversee the transition from slavery to freedom.
  • March 5, 1933 On March 5th, five days after President Roosevelt came into office. He invoked the Emergency War Power Act under Public Law 1, suspending the constitution and effectively implementing Execute Branch control over the entire country. Since the Constitution is a limitation on the federal government, all such limitations have been suspended even up to now. The United States, Inc has been operating exclusively under limited martial law ever since that time.
  • March 6, 1857 The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court denied that blacks were citizens of the United States and denied the power of Congress to restrict slavery in any federal territory.
  • March 11, 1526 Marriage between Emperor Charles V of Spain and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and Isabella of Portugal, the sister to King John III, defuses disagreement over Treaty of Tordesillas and partitioning of New World territory between Spain and Portugal.
  • March 13, 1865 Confederate Congress authorizes President Jefferson Davis to recruit slave men as soldiers, with the permission of their owners; Confederate War Department issues order governing the enlistment on March 23.
  • March 16, 1863 American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission appointed by Secretary of War Stanton to investigate the condition of former slaves and recommend measures for their employment and welfare.
  • March 16, 1864 New Arkansas state constitution, which abolishes slavery, is ratified by pro-Union voters.
  • March 18, 1741 Twenty-nine years after the first revolt of slaves in New York, a second uprising occurs. Seventeen slaves were hanged after the revolt, thirteen burned, and seventy deported.
  • March 22, 1622 The Indian Massacre of 1622 occurs when Chief Opchanacanough and the Powhatan Confederacy tried to rid the colony of settlers. One third of the colony at the time, three hundred people, were killed.
  • March 26, 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold attempts to colonize New England for Great Britain with establishment of the Cuttyhunk Colony.
  • March 29, 1799 A law is passed to abolish slavery in the state of New York, effective twenty-eight years later, in 1827.
  • March 30, 1870 The Fifteenth Amendment, which outlawed the denial of the right to vote, was ratified.

April Events

  • April 3, 1862 General David Hunter, Union commander in the South Carolina Sea Islands, requests permission to arm black men for military service; receiving no response, he begins recruiting on his own authority in early May, but the War Department refuses to pay or equip the regiment and Hunter is therefore compelled to disband it.
  • April 5, 1614 The history of Jamestown continues with the marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe, who would bring tobacco seeds to the colony and begin its harvesting this year. Their marriage led to eight years of peace among the colonists and Indians.
  • April 6, 1712 New York slave revolt results in six suicides and twenty-one executions.
  • April 6, 1931 Nine young blacks were accused of raping two white women in a boxcar. They were tried for their lives in Scottsboro, Alabama, and hastily convicted. The case attracted national attention.
  • April 7, 1604 Pierre Dugua sails toward establishment of early New France settlement at St. Croix Island in territory of today's Maine, but the colony fails.
  • April 7, 1712 A slave insurrection occurred in New York City, resulting in the execution of 21 African Americans.
  • April 8, 1864 Senate approves constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.
  • April 9, 1865 Surrender of the army of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
  • April 10, 1862 At Lincoln's request, Congress pledges financial aid to any state that undertakes gradual emancipation with compensation to owners.
  • April 12, 1528 After much hardship and stops in the Caribbean, the Narváez expedition reaches Florida near Tampa Bay and debarks two days later in Boca Ciega Bay, where they encounter natives of the Safety Harbor region. For the next four years, the expedition met a dire fate due to battles with natives (Timucua, Apalachee, and Tocobaga), the sea, and starvation. The expedition had split into several forces by the end of this year, and in total, slightly more than eighty members of the original expedition had survived, some reaching the Galveston, Texas area by boat. (See June 17, 1527 )
  • April 12, 1861 Civil War begins with Confederate attack on federal garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
  • April 12, 1864 Confederate troops under General Nathan B. Forrest massacre black soldiers captured at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.
  • April 14, 1865 President Lincoln assassinated; Vice-President Andrew Johnson succeeds to the presidency.
  • April 15, 1861 President Lincoln issues proclamation calling for troops to put down the rebellion.
  • April 16, 1862 Congress abolishes slavery in the District of Columbia, with compensation to loyal owners, and appropriates money for the voluntary removal (“colonization”) of former slaves to Haiti, Liberia, or other countries.
  • April 18, 1644 In the last Indian rebellion in the region, Opchanacanough and the Powhatan Indians attack the English at Jamestown, but their effort is repulsed and proves unsuccessful.
  • April 19, 1775 Free blacks fight with the Minutemen in the initial skirmishes of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.
  • April 22, 1529 The Treaty of Zaragosa attempts to clarify the Treaty of Tordesillas from 1494 between Spain and Portugal. Again this treaty attempted to clarify previous boundaries agreed between only two nations, Spain and Portugal, plus earlier boundaries by the papacy. All lands would still be divided between the two nations, with the Philippines and North America to Spain, and the Moluccas to Portugal.
  • April 24, 1704 The first regular newspaper publishes its initial edition in Boston, the News-Letter. It was begun by John Campbell, the postmaster.
  • April 26, 1655 Dutch West Indies Company denies Peter Stuyvesant, Director-General, request to deny Jews into New Amsterdam.
  • April 1688 King William's War, also known as the Second Indian War, begins, the first in a series of colonial wars between New France and the British colonies. It would last for nine years.

May Events

  • Month of May The month of May is considered Afrikan Liberation Month.
  • May 1, 1776 On May 1st, 1776 that Adam Weishaupt, a professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt, founded the Order of the Illuminati, a secret organisation formed to oppose religious influence on society and the abuse of power by the state by fostering a safe space for critique, debate and free speech. Inspired by the Freemasons and French Enlightenment philosophers, Weishaupt believed that society should no longer be dictated by religious virtues; instead he wanted to create a state of liberty and moral equality where knowledge was not restricted by religious prejudices. However religious and political conservatism ruled in Ingolstadt at that time, and subject matter taught at the Jesuit-controlled university where Weishaupt lectured was strictly monitored. This date is also found on the back of the one dollar bill, under the 13 Kemetic Pyramid steps with roman numerals of MDCCLXXI.
  • May 6, 1626 Peter Minuit, one of eight men left by Dutch explorers headed for the Albany area from the ship New Netherland on Manhattan Island, buys the island from the Man-a-hat-a Indians for $24 in trinkets.
  • May 6, 1763 PeterChief Pontiac rebels against British rule after the Treaty of Paris ending the French and Indian War and attacks the British from Detroit to Pennsylvania in Pontiac's Rebellion.
  • May 7, 1718 French colonists under the governor of the French colony of Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienvile, with the French Mississippi Company found the City of New Orleans, named after the regent of France, Philip II, the Duke of Orleans. It is located on the lands of the Chitimacha tribe.
  • May 8, 1541 After a Chickasaw raid earlier in the year, de Soto's expedition was in dire shape, however, they pushed forward, reaching the Mississippi River and becoming the first documented Europeans to witness it. Hernando de Soto led his expeditionary force across the Mississippi River and would explore the territory of Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. This expedition claimed these territories for the Spanish. De Soto would die early in 1542.
  • May 9, 1725 Battle of Pequawket in Dummer's War leads to peace treaties between the colonies of New England and the Indian allies of New France in 1725-7.
  • May 9, 1862 General David Hunter declares free all slaves in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
  • May 11, 1502 Christopher Columbus left Spain on his fourth voyage to the New World, landing back on the islands of Martinique and Jamaica in June. This voyage would take him to Central America, but not to North America.
  • May 12, 1611 King James version of the Bible published for the first time.
  • May 17, 1749 Georgia Trustees petition parliament to overturn the original ban against slavery in Oglethorpe's colony. It would be lifted two years later.
  • May 18, 1652 Rhode Island passes the first law in the American colonies restricting slavery, making it illegal for more than ten years.
  • May 18, 1896 In Plessy v. Ferguson the Supreme Court give legal backing to the concept of separate but equal public facilities for blacks.
  • May 19, 1643 The New England Confederation, a military alliance, is established by the Colony of Connecticut (Saybrook), Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth, and New Haven Colony.
  • May 19, 1862 President Lincoln issues a proclamation nullifying General Hunter's emancipation edict and urging the border states (Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware) to embrace gradual, compensated emancipation.
  • May 20, 1570 Abraham Ortelius, Flemish Netherlands cartographer publishes the first modern world atlas of fifty-three maps, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World). He is credited with first to imagine continents had at one time been joined together.
  • May 20, 1861 Following Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia into the Confederacy, North Carolina becomes the last state to secede.
  • May 22, 1863 Bureau of Colored Troops created within the War Department.
  • May 24, 1861 Fugitive slaves at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, are received and put to work by Union general Benjamin F. Butler, who declares them “contraband of war”.
  • May 27, 1863 Black soldiers play important role in failed assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana.
  • May 28, 1677 Black soldiers play important role in failed assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana.
  • May 29, 1647 The constitution of the General Assembly of Rhode Island is drafted, under the values of separating church and state, as well as permitting public referendums and initiatives in legislation.
  • May 30, 1498 The third voyage of Columbus began in the Spanish city of Sanlucar. During this voyage, he explored the islands of the Caribbean again as well as the South American territories of what is now Venezuela. Upon visiting the previously established settlements, he found much discontent among those left behind to colonize the region.
  • May 30, 1822 The Denmark Vesey conspiracy was betrayed in Charleston, South Carolina. It is claimed that some 5,000 blacks were prepared to rise in July.

June Events

  • June 2, 1863 Black soldiers repel Confederate attack at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana.
  • June 7, 1494 The Treaty of Tordesillas, between Spain and Portugal, attempts to ratify and clarify ownership of the lands outside Europe and who could claim them. This was an effort to resolve questions arising from the return of Columbus. This treaty, and a subsequent treaty on April 22, 1529, the Treaty of Zaragosa, would only further confuse the issue beyond the two nations Spain and Portugal.
  • June 7, 1864 Enlistment in Kentucky opened to slave men irrespective of their owners' consent, with compensation to loyal owners.
  • June 8, 1685 Three Wampanoag Indians were hanged in Plymouth, Massachusetts. On the testimony of a Native American witness, Plymouth Colony arrested three Wampanoags, including a counselor to Metacom, a Pokanoket sachem. A jury among whom were some Indian members convicted them of the recent murder of John Sassamon, an advisor to Metacom.
  • June 9, 1534 French explorer Jacques Cartier, searching for the northwest passage to Asia, becomes the first European to discover the St. Lawrence River area, encountering natives of the Iroquois Confederacy until turning back at Anticosti Island.
  • June 9, 1650 The Harvard Board becomes the first legalized corporation in the American colonies, fourteen years after the estabishment of Harvard College.
  • June 10, 1940 Marcus Garvey (b.1887), Jamaica-born US black leader (Back to Africa Movement), died in London. In 1964 his remains were transferred to Jamaica, where he was proclaimed Jamaica’s first national hero. In 2008 Colin Grant authored “Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey.”
  • June 13, 1980 Walter Rodney at the age of thirty-eight was killed by a bomb in his car, a month after returning from the independence celebrations in Zimbabwe and during a period of intense political activism.
  • June 15, 1607 Colonists in North America completed James Fort in Jamestown. Hostilities with the Indians ended as ambassadors said their emperor, Powhatan, had commanded local chiefs to live in peace with the English.
  • June 15, 1864 Congress makes pay of black soldiers (which had been $10 per month for all ranks) equal to that of white soldiers ($13 per month for privates, larger amounts for higher ranks); the change is retroactive to January 1, 1864, or, for men who were free before the war, to the time of enlistment.
  • June 16, 1720 The Villasur expedition of Spanish troops leaves Mexico on a mission to control the increasing presence of the French in the Great Plains. It would end with a defeat by the Pawnee on August 14 near the Loup and Platte Rivers, near Columbus, Nebraska.
  • June 16, 1833 Lucie (Ruthy) Blackburn (30), a fugitive slave, escaped from jail in Detroit and made her way to Canada. The next day a riot erupted, “The Blackburn Riots,” as her husband, Thornton Blackburn (21), was escorted for return to slavery. Thornton escaped to Canada to join his wife. The first extradition case between the US and Canada over the issue of fugitive slaves soon followed. Canada ruled it could not extradite people to a jurisdiction that imposed harsher penalties then they would have received for the same offense in Canada and the Blackburns remained in Ontario.
  • June 17, 1527 The Narváez expedition leaves Spain to explore and colonize Spanish Florida under the command of Pánfilo de Narváez. There were 600 members of the expedition. (See April 12, 1528)
  • June 19, 1862 Congress prohibits slavery in the territories.
  • June 20, 1675 King Philip’s War began when Indians--retaliating for the execution of three of their people who had been charged with murder by the English--massacred colonists at Swansea, Plymouth colony. Abenaki, Massachusetts, Mohegan & Wampanoag Indians formed an anti English front. Wampanoag warriors attacked livestock and looted farms. Beginning of King Philip's War in New England with Metacom Indian forces attacking colonial settlements due to encroachment on the land. Considered the costliest war for European Settlements in relation to population with Indian success during first year halted later when their alliances fell apart. Twelve towns destroyed.
  • June 22, 1983 The state legislature of Louisiana repealed the last racial classification law in the United States. The criterion for being classified as black was having 1/32nd Negro blood.
  • June 23, 1675 An English youth shot a Marauding Wampanoag warrior.
  • June 23, 1683 The colony of Pennsylvania is established when William Penn signs a treaty with the Delaware Indians and pays for Pennsylvania lands.
  • June 24, 1675 King Philip’s War began when Indians--retaliating for the execution of three of their people who had been charged with murder by the English--massacred colonists at Swansee, Plymouth colony.
  • June 26, 1604 French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Pierre Dugua and 77 others landed on the island of St. Croix and made friends with the native Passamaquoddy Indians. It later became part of Maine on the US-Canadian border.
  • June 26, 1980 In Syria there was an assassination attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood on Pres. Assad. Syrian security forces retaliated by killing hundreds of Islamist inmates at the Tadmur prison. The Syrian public did not find out about this until January 1981.
  • June 30, 1834 Congress passed the final Indian Intercourse Act. In addition to regulating relations between Indians living on Indian land and non-Indians, this final act identified an area known as "Indian country". This land was described as being "…all that part of the United States west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri and Louisiana, or the territory of Arkansas…" This is the land that became known as Indian Territory. Oklahoma was declared Indian Territory.

July Events

  • July 1 - 3, 1863 Confederate offensive into Maryland and Pennsylvania repulsed at Gettysburg.
  • July 1, 1878 Treaty of Berlin divided Africa for colonization.
  • July 2, 1917 Race riots erupted in East St. Louis, Illinois. The official death toll was put at 48, but as many as 200 were believed killed. In 1964 Elliott M. Rudwick authored Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917.” In 2008 Harper Barnes authored “Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement.”
  • July 3, 1799 In Saint-Domingue (later Haiti) Gen. Toussaint L’Ouverture formally declared Gen. Andre Rigaud, the leader of a revolutionary army in the south and west of Saint-Domingue, a rebel.
  • July 4, 1863 Confederate surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
  • July 5, 1969 Tom Mboya (b.1930) of Kenya’s Luo tribe was assassinated in Nairobi. He was the expected successor to Pres. Jomo Kenyatta (1894-1978).
  • July 6, 1813 Granville Sharp (b.1735), biblical scholar and English abolitionist, died.
  • July 7, 1893 In Bardwell, Ky., C.J. Miller, a black man accused of murdering two white girls, was mutilated, torched and left hanging from a telegraph pole. Ida Wells (1862-1931) was commissioned to investigate the story by the Chicago Inter-Ocean newspaper and published her findings under the title “History Is a Weapon.”
  • July 8, 1863 Confederate surrender of Port Hudson clinches Union control over the Mississippi River.
  • July 12, 1862 President Lincoln appeals to congressmen from the border states to support gradual, compensated emancipation, with colonization of freed slaves outside the United States, warning that if they do not act soon, slavery in their states “will be extinguished by mere friction and abrasion – by the mere incidents of the war”; two days later, a majority of the congressmen reject Lincoln's appeal.
  • July 14, 1520 Hernando Cortes fought the Aztecs at the Battle of Otumba, Mexico.
  • July 14, 1938 Italian Premier Mussolini published an anti-Jewish and African manifesto prepared by Italian "scientists."
  • July 17, 1862 Second Confiscation Act frees the slaves of persons engaged in or assisting the rebellion and provides for the seizure and sale of other property owned by disloyal citizens; it also forbids army and navy personnel to decide on the validity of any fugitive slave's claim to freedom or to surrender any fugitive to any claimant, and authorizes the president to employ “persons of African descent” in any capacity to suppress the rebellion. Militia Act provides for the employment of “persons of African descent” in “any military or naval service for which they may be found competent,” granting freedom to slaves so employed (and to their families if they belong to disloyal owners).
  • July 18, 1863 Black soldiers spearhead failed assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina.
  • July 20, 1588 First battle of the English fight against the Spanish Armada begins, leading to their defeat nine days later and the lessening of Spain's influence in the New World and the rise of English influence in the Americas.
  • July 20, 1636 Pequot War begins between Pequot tribe and their alliance against the Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Saybrook colonies. War ended on September 21, 1638 with the Treaty of Hartford. Only two hundred Pequot tribe members remained.
  • July 21, 1861 Confederate victory at battle of Bull Run (Manassas) dashes Union hopes of quelling the rebellion quickly and without great loss of life.
  • July 21, 1996 In Burundi Hutu rebels killed 320 Tutsis, mostly women and children, at a refugee camp 45 miles north of the capital.
  • July 22, 1862 President Lincoln announces to his cabinet his intention to issue a proclamation freeing slaves in the rebel states, but agrees to postpone it until after a suitable military victory.
  • July 25, 1722 Declaration of war occurs in Dummer's War after skirmishes earlier in the year between New England colonists and the Wabanaki Confederacy, backed by New France. Lasted three years until December 15, 1725.
  • July 27, 1587 A second try to colonize Roanoke Island is attempted by Sir Walter Raleigh under the governor John White. White came back to England to find more supplies, but his return was delayed due to the need for ships to fight the Spanish Armada.
  • July 27, 1996 In Burundi a Tutsi-led army killed at least 30 Hutu rebels in retaliation for an attack on a coffee plantation. Independent sources said that Hutus set fire to the factory and rice plantation in Giheta to justify a retaliatory attack on villages where Hutu rebels were thought to have taken refugees. Villagers said Tutsi soldiers massacred about 1,000 Hutus as they roamed from village to village in Gitega province..
  • July 28, 1915 The United States occupation of Haiti began as 330 US Marines landed at Port-au-Prince on the authority of President Woodrow Wilson to safeguard the interests of US corporations. Roger Gaillard (d.2000 at 77), historian, later wrote a multi-volume chronicle of the US Marine occupation of Haiti from 1915-1934.
  • July 29, 1609 Samuel Champlain battles an Iroquois party after his further exploration of the New World discovers Lake Champlain in early July and claims Vermont for the Kingdom of France.
  • July 29, 1800 In Saint-Domingue (later Haiti) Gen. Andre Rigaud, defeated by Gen. Dessalines, set sail for France.
  • July 30, 1619 First representative assembly, the House of Burgesses, held in America is elected in Jamestown. The next month, the Dutch land with indentured servants, African slaves, in Jamestown.
  • July 30, 1863 President Lincoln pledges that Union soldiers, black or white, are entitled to equal protection if captured by the enemy and threatens retaliation for Confederate enslavement of black prisoners of war.

August Events

  • August 3, 1492 After years of negotiations to get the funds to make his journey, Christopher Columbus sets out on three ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, to find a westward passage to the Indies under the auspices of Queen Isabella I of Spain.
  • August 3, 1795 After years of negotiations to get the funds to make his journey, Christopher Columbus sets out on three ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, to find a westward passage to the Indies under the auspices of Queen Isabella I of Spain.
  • August 4, 1964 The bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Nashoba County, Mississippi. Schwerner and Goodman were Jewish-Americans from Pelham and New York City respectively and Chaney was a Black from Meridian, Mississippi. The three civil rights workers had disappeared from Philadelphia, Mississippi, on June 21, 1964, not long after they had been held for six hours in the Neshoba County, Mississippi jail on charges of speeding. Their burned car was discovered on June 23rd, prompting a search by the FBI for the three young men. Their story became the basis for the movie Mississippi Burning, starring Gene Hackman, Willem Defoe and Frances McDormand in 1988. In 2005, on the forty-first anniversary of the crime, Edgar Ray Killen (80) an ordained Baptist minister, was found guilty of three counts of manslaughter.
  • August 6, 1861 First Confiscation Act nullifies owners' claims to fugitive slaves who had been employed in the Confederate war effort.
  • August 8,1508 First European colony and oldest known European settlement in United States territory is founded at Caparra, Puerto Rico, by Ponce de León. It becomes the first capital of the island with Ponce de León as its governor. Caparra would be abandoned in 1521.
  • August 10-21, 1680 Pueblo Rebellion of indigenous Pueblo people against Spanish colony of Santa Fe kills four hundred and forces remaining two thousand from their land. It would take twelve years before the Spanish attempted to recolonize.
  • August 12, 1676 The Indian War, King Philip's War, between the Confederation of New England tribes and the colonists in New England ends.
  • August 13, 2003 Scientists are blaming global warming for falling fish harvests in Africa's Lake Tanganyika, threatening the diets of several poor nations.
  • August 14, 1559 Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna entered Pensacola Bay, Florida. 1,500 Spanish settlers sailed from Vera Cruz to found a settlement on Pensacola Bay in Florida, but were repulsed by hostile Indians. The location of the Spanish settlement founded in the area of Pensacola, Fl., remained a mystery until 2016 when amateur archaeologist Tom Garner stumbled upon some shards of 16th century Spanish pottery.
  • August 14, 1791 Haitian slaves, led by voodoo priest Boukman Dutty, gathered to plan a revolution.
  • August 14, 1908 A race war broke out in Springfield, Illinois. Angry over reports that a black man had sexually assaulted a white woman, a white mob wanted to take a recently arrested suspect from the city jail and kill him. Most blacks had fled the city, but as the mob swept through the area, they captured and lynched a black barber, Scott Burton, who had stayed behind to protect his home. Rioting continued the next day leaving a total of two blacks and 5 whites dead and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property destroyed. Some 4,000 state militiamen were required to quell the riot, which helped inspire the creation of the NAACP the following year.
  • August 17, 1585 Roanoke Island colony is founded by an expedition organized by Sir Walter Raleigh (Raleigh never visited North America himself) during his attempt to colonize the area of Virginia and North Carolina. The colony fails. (See July 27, 1587)
  • August 18, 1590 John White's return trip to the Roanoke Island Colony finds no signs of the colonists, beyond the words CROATOAN and CRO carved into tree trunks. The fate of its people is unknown to this date, and is often referred to as the "Lost Colony of Roanoke Island."
  • August 21, 1993 Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport. Fabian Ver (d.1998 at 78), leader of the Philippine army, was among 20 men later charged in the murder of Aquino. Ver fled to Hawaii in 1986 along with Marcos.
  • August 21, 1998 Samuel Bowers, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted in Hattiesburg, Miss., of ordering a 1966 firebombing that killed civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer. Bowers died in prison in November 2006 at age 82.
  • August 22, 1862 In New Orleans, General Benjamin F. Butler incorporates into Union forces several “Native Guard” units composed of free-black soldiers; soon thereafter he begins recruiting both free-black and ex-slave men for additional regiments.
  • August 22, 1654 Jewish settlement in the American colonies begins with the arrival of twenty-three settlers from Brazil in New Amsterdam.
  • August 25, 1862 After having withheld its permission for months, the War Department authorizes recruitment of black soldiers in the South Carolina Sea Islands.
  • August 28, 1955 Emmett Till (14), a black teenager from Chicago, was abducted from his uncle's home in Money, Miss., by white men after he had supposedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant, a white woman. Till’s beaten body was found three days later. His left eye and an ear were missing, as were most of his teeth. His nose was rushed and there was a hole in his right temple. Eyewitnesses linked Carolyn’s husband Roy Bryant and half-brother J.W. Milam to the murder. Bryant and Milam were indicted Sep 10 for a trial on Sep 19. Both were acquitted by an all-white jury. Bryant and Milan later confessed to the killing in a magazine interview. The area was a cotton-trading center where the white Citizens Councils maintained their regional headquarters. In 2004 the US Justice Dept. opened a criminal investigation into the case. In 2005 the US Senate acknowledged a share in the boy’s death.
  • August 30, 1861 Invoking martial law, General John C. Frémont declares free the slaves of disloyal owners in Missouri; President Lincoln asks that he modify his order so as not to exceed congressional laws respecting emancipation.

September Events

  • September 3, 1906 Joe Gans (1874-1910), born as Joseph Gant, defended his lightweight boxing title against Battling Nelson in Goldfield, Nevada. He was the first African-American World Boxing Champion, reigning continuously as World Lightweight Champion from 1902 to 1908. In 2012 William Gildea authored “The Longest Fight: In the Ring with Joe Gans, Boxing’s First African-American Champion.”
  • September 9, 1675 Colonial authorities officially declared war on the Wampanoag Indians. The war soon spread to include the Abenaki, Norwottock, Pocumtuck and Agawam warriors.
  • September 9, 1739 The last major slave rebellion in the mainland colonies of English, the Stono Rebellion, begins in South Carolina
  • September 15, 1655 Peach Tree War begins with attack on New Amsterdam and Pavonia along Hudson (North) River by Susquehannock Indians and their allies as retaliation for the loss of New Sweden to the Dutch. Indian victory forced many Dutch settlers back to Fort Amsterdam.
  • September 18, 1850 The US Congress passed the second Fugitive Slave Bill into law (the first was enacted in 1793) as part of Compromise of 1850. It allowed slave owners to reclaim slaves who had escaped to other states. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 set fines up to $1,000 for facilitating a slave’s flight. The act authorized federal commissioners to receive a $10 fee if they decided for a slaveholder, but only a $5 fee for deciding for a fugitive.
  • September 21, 1638 Pequot War ends with Treaty of Hartford after three years of battles between the New England colonists and native tribes
  • September 22, 1711 The Tuscarora War begins in North Carolina between tribe of the Southern Tuscarora and their allies against the English and German colonists.
  • September 22, 1862 Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln; it announces that all slaves in those states or portions of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, will be declared free, pledges monetary aid for slave states not in rebellion that adopt either immediate or gradual emancipation, and reiterates support for the colonization of freed slaves outside the United States.
  • September 24, 1493 Columbus began his second trip to the American colonies with seventeen ships and 1,200 men. These men were meant to colonize the land found and claimed during the journey beyond the few left in the Americas after the first voyage. He would arrive in the New World again on November 3, 1493 and explore more of the islands in the Caribbean, including the lands of Puerto Rico and today's Dominican Republic.
  • September 25, 1690 The first newspaper issue in the United States publishes in Boston, the Public Occurrences. It was suppressed after its initial issue and the publication of a regular newspaper would not begin again until 1704.

October Events

  • October 1, 1991 President Bush strongly condemned the military coup in Haiti, suspending U.S. economic and military aid and demanding the immediate return to power of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
  • October 2, 1991 Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide asked the Organization of American States in Washington to send a delegation to his homeland to demand that the newly installed military junta surrender power immediately.
  • October 3, 1863 War Department orders full-scale recruitment of black soldiers in Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee, with compensation to loyal owners.
  • October 4, 1705 Virginia Slave Code passed in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
  • October 11, 1862 Confederate Congress exempts from conscription one white man on each plantation with twenty or more slaves.
  • October 12, 1492 Rodrigo de Triana, a crew member of the Pinta, sights the land of the Americas in the Bahamas. This was the first of four voyages Christopher Columbus would make under the patent of the Spanish and Isabella I of Castile. It began the period of Spanish colonization of the New World. Columbus called the Bahamian site, San Salvador. He would also explore the islands of Cuba and Haiti on this trip, but not the continent of North America itself.
  • October 15, 1966 The Black Panthers wrote their Ten Point Program at the Office of Economic Development Corp. in Oakland, Ca. It called for adequate housing, jobs, education and an end to police brutality. The Black Panther Party was founded by Merritt College students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. In 2006 Flores A. Forbes authored “Will You Die With Me: My Life and the Black Panther Party.”
  • October 24, 1698 French soldier Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville leads expedition to Gulf of Mexico to defend border of New France and establish the three capitals of Biloxi, Mobile, and New Orleans with additional New France settlements established in Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • October 27, 1975 In Oakland, Ca., police made a traffic stop on Black Panther leader Huey Newton (d.1989). In a gun battle Newton was wounded and police officer John Frey was killed. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter but the conviction was overturned. Gene McKinney (d.2000 at 58) and Newton had driven out for takeout feed following a Black Panther Party fundraiser when they were pulled over. McKinney commandeered a passing car to get Newton to a hospital.
  • October 28, 1636 Harvard College is founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first college to be established in North America.
  • October 28, 1991 President Bush imposed trade sanctions against Haiti to pressure its new leaders to restore ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. Bush ordered home all nonessential US government employees and their dependents.

November Events

  • November 1781 British Capt. Luke Collingwood, commander of the slave ship Zong, in the face of endemic dysentery that had already killed 7 crewmen and 60 of 470 slaves, ordered his crew to throw sick slaves overboard in order to claim insurance money at the end of the voyage. Over 100 slaves were cast overboard. In 2007 Marcus Rediker authored “The Slave Ship,” an account of this and the slave trade from 1700-1808.
  • November 1841 Freed African survivors of the slave ship Amistad returned to Sierra Leone, Africa. Abolitionists had raised money to help the freed slaves of the Amistad return home. When Cinque, the leader of the revolt, reached home, he found that his family had been captured and sold into slavery.
  • November 5, 1968 Shirley Chisholm (1924-2004) of Brooklyn, New York, became the first black woman elected to serve in the US House of Representatives.
  • November 8, 1860 Abraham Lincoln elected president.
  • November 8, 1864 Abraham Lincoln is re-elected president, defeating George B. McClellant.
  • November 10, 1702 Siege of St. Augustine, one of the first conflicts of Queen Anne's War, the second of four French and Indian Wars between New France and the English colonists, this time including New Spain on the side of France.
  • November 11, 1620 The Puritan expedition which left England for the New World on September 6, reaches Cape Cod near Provincetown, not their original destination of Virginia. They explore the coastline for an appropriate settlement location.
  • November 12, 1779 A group of 20 slaves who had fought in the war submitted a petition to the New Hampshire General Assembly, while the war was still being fought. Lawmakers decided the time was not right. 6 of the slaves were later freed. In 2013 a state Senate committee recommended that the state posthumously emancipate 14 of the slaves who died in bondage. On June 7, 2013, they were granted posthumous emancipation when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a largely symbolic bill that supporters hope will encourage future generations to pursue social justice.
  • November 20, 1695 Zumbi, a Brazilian leader of a hundred-year-old rebel slave group, was killed in an ambush in Palmares. He was later honored by a National Day of Black Consciousness.
  • November 26, 2003 The UN Children's Fund warned that AIDS has already orphaned more than 11 million African children under the age of 15, and "the worst is yet to come."
  • November 27, 1871 Ku Klux Klan trials began in Federal District Court in Columbia, SC.
  • November 27, 1997 In Denver five skinheads beat up a 26-year-old black woman who was shopping at a 7-Eleven. All 5 were captured and arraigned in court.
  • November 29, 1729 Natchez Indians massacred most of the 300 French settlers and soldiers at Fort Rosalie, Louisiana.

December Events

  • December 1993 Wars were in Serbia, Algeria, S. Africa, Morocco, Haiti, Israel, and elsewhere.
  • December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks (42), a seamstress and secretary of the Montgomery NAACP, was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, as she sat in a section of a bus just behind the area reserved for whites. She refused to move to the back the bus, to accommodate a white male passenger, as ordered by driver James F. Blake (d.2002 at 89) and defied the South’s segregationist laws. This prompted the Dec. 5 bus boycott, a year-long boycott of the buses by blacks, and launched the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Virginia Durr (d.1999 at 95) helped a black civil rights leader bail Parks out of jail. In 1985 Durr wrote her memoir: "Outside the Magic Circle." In 1999 Pres. Clinton authorized a Congressional Gold Medal for Rosa Parks.
  • December 5, 1955 The Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott began in an effort to overturn the city’s bus segregation law. It was organized in part by Jo Ann Robinson (1912-1992), Fred D. Grey, E.D. Nixon, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, following the Dec 1 arrest of Rosa Parks, who had refused give up her seat to a white male passenger and move to the back. Black residents chose Mr. King to head The Montgomery Improvement Association, formed to sustain the protest against segregation policies on the municipal buses.
  • December 8, 1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction issued by President Lincoln; it offers pardon and restoration of property (except slaves) to Confederates who take an oath of allegiance to the Union and agree to accept emancipation; it also proposes a plan by which loyal voters of a seceded state can begin the process of readmission into the Union.
  • December 10, 1641 The US Age Discrimination Employment Act became public law.
  • December 15, 1967 The US Age Discrimination Employment Act became public law.
  • December 20, 1620 The Puritans begin to establish settlement in Plymouth. They form the Mayflower Compact, which established a government and legal structure. During the next winter, half of the colonists would perish. Site of the settlement had previously been the location of an Indian village that had been wiped out in 1617 by a plague.
  • December 20, 1860 South Carolina becomes the first Southern state to secede from the Union.
  • December 23, 1636 Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militias to protect itself from the Pequot Indians. Formation is regarded as the founding of the National Guard.
  • December 23, 1862 Confederate President Davis issues proclamation ordering that black Union soldiers and their officers captured by Confederate troops are not to be treated as prisoners of war; instead, they are to be remanded to Confederate state authorities.
  • December 25, 1957 Ramdane Abane (b.1920), Algerian Berber revolutionary leader, was assassinated in Morocco.
  • December 26, 1908 Jack Johnson (1878-1946) of Texas knocked out Tommy Burns in Australia to become the 1st black world heavyweight boxing champion. He was not officially given the title until 1910 when he beat Jim Jeffries in Las Vegas. In 1913 Johnson fled the US because of trumped up charges of violating the Mann Act's stipulations against transporting white women across state lines for prostitution. Johnson held the title until 1915. In 1920 he returned to the US, was arrested and served a one year sentence in Leavenworth in Kansas, where he was appointed athletic director of the prison.
  • December 27, 1512 Burgos' Laws announced by Ferdinand II of Aragon, under pressure of Catholic Church, to end exploitation of indigenous people in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. Codified first laws governing behavior of Spaniards in America.
  • December 27, 1794 The Portuguese slave ship Sao Jose--Paquete de Africa sank off the coast of South Africa’s Cape Town. Some 400-500 African slaves from Mozambique were on board the vessel bound for Brazil. About half of them perished. Wreckage of the ship was found in 2015.
  • December 28, 1831 Samuel Sharp (1801-1832) led a slave uprising that was put down at great cost by the British. The Rebellion lasted for eight days and resulted in the death of around 186 Africans and 14 white planters or overseers. The white vengeance convicted over 750 rebel slaves, of which 138 were sentenced to death.
  • December 31, 1491 The Americas prior to European exploration saw a North American and Caribbean population of native Americans that spread across the continent at a level still debated amongst scholars. Between one million and one hundred million people are estimated to have lived in the Americas prior to Columbus.
  • December 31, 1755 Teedyuscung, a Lenape Indian, led 30 Lenape Indians on a raid against English plantations along the Delaware River. Over the next few days his band killed 7 men and took 5 prisoners.

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