July 16: This Day In History

Ida B. Wells-BarnettJuly 16, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc talks about what happened on this day in history, including kissing was banned in England as an attempt to stop the spread of disease; La Paz, Bolivia declared its independence from the Spanish Crown; and journalist and civil rights activist Ida Bell Wells-Barnett was born.


On this day,

622 –Origin of the Islamic Era

1099 – European Crusaders herd Jews from Jerusalem into a synagogue and set it afire.

1377 –Coronation of ten year old Richard II, King of England.

1439 –Kissing is banned in England in an effort to stop the spreading of disease.

1661 –First banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank, Stockholm Banco

1782 -Premier of Mozart Opera “Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail” in Vienne Austria

1790 –District of Columbia founded after the signing of the Residency Act. Officially titled ‘An Act for Establishing the Temporary and Permanent Seat of Government’; the Act granted President Washington the power to relocate the capitol city from Philadelphia to an area on the banks of the Potomac that is now known as Washington DC. There were numerous candidates were proposed for the capitol including: Kingston NY, New York City, Williamsburg VA, Nottingham Township NJ, and Reading PA, but the area between Maryland and Virginia was chosen to appease both Northern and Southern States.

1809 –La Paz, Bolivia declares its independence from the Spanish Crown; forming the Junta Tuitava the first independent government in Spanish America.

1914 –Socialist Conference in Brussels. Unity conference called by International Socialist Bureau (ISB), bringing together 28 delegates for a three day meeting. The conference was called with the specific task of unifying the factious groups of the Russian Social Democracy. Lenin handpicked a delegation to represent the Bolsheviks; this group included Inessa Armand, Gerogi Plekhanov and Leon Trotsky. Lenin sent to Brussels, a most uncompromising declaration of Bolshevik supremacy over the Socialist Democrats of Russia. His instructions were simple and direct: “The most important thing is to prove that only we are he party…Unless they accept our conditions there will be no rapprochement.” He went on to instruct the Bolshevik representatives “agree to nothing, walk out, promise to submit the ‘counter proposals’ of our dear comrades to our own congress.” The conduct and vitriolic speech sent from Moscow did little to impress the International Socialist Bureau or unify the Russians; further isolating them from the ISB.

1915 –Henry James becomes a British citizen. The author did this without regard of the US Citizenship Act of 1927 which declared that any American Citizen would deemed to have expatriated himself if he became naturalized in a foreign state. James considered himself a “transnational” character and world citizen. His oath of allegiance to the British Crown was also a form of protest of President Wilson’s delay in the coming to the aid of Great Britain and France in the war against Germany.

1931 –Emperor Haile Selassie I signs the first constitution of Ethiopia. The constitution of 1931is the first modern constitution of Ethiopia. Selassie drew from the Meiji Constitution of Japan when he was creating the document; as he revered the Japanese ability to adopt Western technology and learning to non-western society. The document granted all power over central and local governments of Ethiopia to the Emperor. After WWII a new constitution, which granted greater power to the parliament was promulgated in 1955.

1935 –The first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Created by journalist Carl C. Magee after he was asked to put forth a solution to the problem of a lack of sufficient parking spaces to accommodate the increasing number of automobiles on city streets. The Park-o-Meter was displayed in May and sparked instant debate over the favorable and unfavorable factors of coin regulated parking. The first meters cost a nickel an hour and were placed in 20-foot intervals. By the early 1940’s there were over 140,000 parking meters operating throughout the United States.

1942 –72nd anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of Paris, France. Though the Vichy government was allowed nominal authority under the German occupiers they were complicit and in the planning and execution of the mass arrest and deportation of Jews in Paris and throughout France. On the 16th, a French police force of roughly 4,500 and civil servants set out to round up foreign born Jews from their homes throughout the city. In total, 13,051 people of Jewish decent were arrested. Of that number 7,000 were held at the Winter Veladrome where they were held for 5 days without food, or toilet as they waited for deportation to Auschwitz. The only access the prisoners had to clean water was a single fire hydrant that pumped dirty water from the Siene. According to the Prefecture de police of the 13,051 arrested, 5,082 (44%) were women and 4,051 (31%) were children. The French government finally admitted complicity and issued a public apology to the Jews of France in 1995. 76,000 Jews were deported from France from 1940-44.

1945 –Manhattan Project: US successfully detonates a plutonium based Nuclear Weapon near Alamogordo New Mexico.

1948 –City of Nazareth regarded as the hometown of Jesus falls to Israeli troops darning operation Dekel in 1948Arab-Israeli war.

1950 –Chaplin-Medic Massacre: 30 unarmed critically wounded US Army soldiers and a chaplain were killed by North Korean army near the village of Tuham, South Korea.

1951 –Leopold III abdicates from the Belgian throne, passing the crown to his eldest son Baudain. The WWI veteran attempted a brief resistance of German army in May of 1940 before surrendering the country to Nazi rule. The Belgian people were critical of his rule and felt that the King gave up to easily to the Germans, accusing him of treason. As the nation stood on the brink of Civil War, Leopold decided the only way to end the division amongst the Belgian populace by stepping down from power.

1951 –Catcher in The Rye, by J.D. Salinger published for the first time by Little, Brown and Company.

1965 –Mount Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opens.

1969 –Apollo II takes off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the moon.

1973 –Watergate Scandal: Former Whitehouse aide Alexander Butterfield testifies at Senate Watergate hearings and publicly reveals the existence of secretly recorded and potentially incriminating conversations.

1979 –Saddam Hussein becomes president of Iraq after the resignation of Ahmed Hussein al –Bakr.

1990 –Ukraine adopts the Declaration of State Sovereignty. On August 24th 1991 the parliament declared the Ukraine independents and called for a referendum to support the July 16th Declaration.

1999 –John F. Kennedy Jr, , his wife Caroline Bessette and his sister-in-law Lauren perished when their plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Their bodies weren’t discovered until days after the crash.

2008 -16 infants in the Gansu, Province China diagnosed with kidney stones after drinking tainted milk powder. The milk was tainted with melamine, a chemical commonly used in plastics, used to disguise the fact that the milk was diluted. It is believed that a total of 300,000 babies were affected from the tainted milk and six had died. Prosecutions soon followed the exposure of the tainted milk and the sentences handed down included 2 executions, 2 -15 year jail terms, 1 suspended death penalty and 3 life sentences.


1486 –Andrea Del Sarto, Italian painter and draftsmen

1723 –Sir Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter.

1862 –Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, journalist, women’s and civil rights activist.

1863 –Fannie Zeisler Austrian-born American pianist.

1872-Ronald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer, the first person to reach the South Pole.

1882 –Violette Neatley Anderson, the first African American woman admitted to practice before the United State Supreme Court.

1887-Shoeless Joe Jackson, American baseball player and manager.

1907 –Barbara Stanwyck, American motion-picture and television actress.

1907 –Orville Redenbacher, American farmer and businessman.

1921 –Guy Laroche, French couturier.

1934 –Donald Milford Payne the first African American to represent New Jersey in Congress.

1968 –Barry Sanders, Hall of fame football player, born on this day in Wichita Kansas.

Sources: The People History; This Day in Labor History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; This Day in Women’s History; This Day in African History;History.com; History Orb; Yenoba; Selected Black Facts; Phil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music