Marc talks about what happened on this day in history, including the day the city of Baltimore was founded, the day President Lincoln issued an “eye-for-eye” order to shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot, and the day Charles Mingus recorded his solo Piano Album ‘Mingus Plays Piano’.
1608 – Samuel de Champlain and his war party advance on Iroquois territory at Ticonderoga New York (currently known as Crown Point New York), leading to a battle that eventually leads to the French and Indian Wars. Champlain was an explorer and nation builder who sailed to the ‘New World’ with the intention of founding a permanent settlement for the French. He proceeded to broker an alliance with northern tribes of the area in and surrounding what is now known as Quebec City; a strategic area that sits on cliffs overlooking the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Champlain offered the protection of France to the Northern Tribes in exchange for trading rights and freedom of movement through Quebec and north/northwestern New York. The Algonquin, Huron and Montagnais sent warriors to accompany Champlain and a band of French soldiers south, to confront their now common foe. The party came upon 200 Iroquois warriors and a gun battle ensued. As the story goes Champlain fired 4 bullets from his gun, killing two Iroquois chiefs in one volley. The Iroquois retreated but this was far from a clear cut victory for France. Champlain is the catalyst for events that lead to nearly 200 years of war in the US from the French and Indian wars to the American Revolution; forever changing the landscape of North America and helping to sealing the fate of the Native Americans.
1715 – Spanish treasure fleet disappears of the coast of St. Lucie Florida. On this day in history a Spanish treasure fleet of eleven ships plus on French merchant vessel are caught in a massive hurricane on their way from Havana to Europe; the ships never makes it past Cape Canaveral Florida. The hurricane destroyed all the ships save for the French vessel. In total, the Galleons were loaded with over $14m Pesos in gold, silver, jewels and doubloons. A Spanish salvage expedition operated for four years after the sinking of the ships, but were oft raided by British and pirates before it was abandoned all together. Interest in the site was reignited in the 50’s and 60’s as doubloons and all manner of treasure began to wash up on the beaches of St. Lucie Florida, attracting tourists and treasure hunters from all around the world.
1729 –The city of Baltimore Maryland was founded on this day in 1729 by Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert, who was the proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland. The city was built around the Port of Baltimore at Locust Point. Calvert named the city after his estate in Ireland ‘Baile an Ti Mhoir’ which literally translates to ‘Town of the Big House’.
1733 –The first Masonic Grand Lodge in future United States is constituted in Massachusetts.
1839 – Slaves aboard La Amistad revolt and capture the ship. The Spanish slaver, Amistad sailed from east Africa to the Caribbean with 53 kidnapped men who were to be sold as slaves upon arrival in Cuba. The slaves were bought by two Spaniard Don Pedro Montes and Don Jose Ruiz. The slaver set off again destined for another area of Cuba when the kidnapped men revolted killing all on board the ship save for Montes and Ruiz. The two men were commanded to turn the ship around and sail back to Africa. The Spaniards deceived their captors, sailing east by day and heading west under the cover of darkness. They continued in this back and forth pattern until the ship ran aground off the coast of Long Island, New York. The ship was and the African men on board were seized by the United States government as Cargo and the men were put on trial, charged as mutineers and criminals. The case was appealed many times and eventually made it to the United States Supreme Court. The case of the US v La Amistad is considered one of the most critical cases to have dealt with the issue of slavery and civil rights. The verdict was handed down by the Supreme Court; and the African men aboard the Amistad were declared to have never property or criminals, rather they were “unlawfully kidnapped.’ In 1842 the surviving 36 Africans sailed to Sierre Leone. The Spanish Government, with the support of several southern law makers continued to put pressure on the United States government for compensation of lost cargo, in the years following the verdict.
1863 –President Lincoln issues “eye-for-eye” order to shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot. In addition a rebel prisoner would receive life in prison with hard labor for every black prisoner sold back into slavery. The order was seen more as an intimidation tactic and had a very slight, if any, impact on the treatment of Black prisoners of war in Confederate custody.
1863 –American Indian Wars: Representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (Shoshone) sign the Treaty of Box Elder.
1866 – New Orleans, Louisiana’s Democratic government orders police to raid an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing 40 people and injuring 150.
1914 – Austria –Hungary and Russia proclaim general mobilization. 100 years ago today German pronounced a ‘State of imminent Danger of War’ as they prepared to mobilize their troops, in response to Russian mobilization onto the Austro-Hungarian frontier. War was declared within 24 hours as Serbian, Austro –Hungarian, French and Belgium all began the strategic mobilization of military personnel and weaponry.
1916 –Black Tom Island explosion in Jersey City, New Jersey. Black Tom Island was a munitions yard that stored and sold on American made weaponry. The British had a blockaded Germany, therefor the US was only able to sell the munitions to allied forces. Germany planned the bombing which was carried out around midnight on the 30th of July by three agents, Kurt Jahnke, Lothar Wizke and associate Michael Kristoff (others have since been linked to the terrorist attack). The explosion at the munitions yard was enormous and was felt as far away as Philadelphia and breaking windows in a radius of 25 miles from the sight of the explosion. Damage from the Blast was estimated at $20 million.
1930 –Uruguay wins the firs FIFA World Cup in the nation’s capital city of Montevideo.
1945 –WWII: Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen. On voyage to the Philippines in preparation for invasion of Japan, the large cruiser traveled unescorted through Japanese controlled waters. Just after midnight on the 30th of July, the USS Indianapolis was struck by two Japanese torpedoes that ignited a powerful explosion tearing the ship in two. Within 12 minutes the ship sank. Of the 1,196 membered crew an estimated 900 survived the initial blast. No alarm was raised when the ship failed to arrive at its scheduled destination and the survivors were left to languish at sea for four days until rescue came in the form of a Navy reconnaissance plane that happened to spot the survivors from above. Of the 900 that survived the blast only 317 survived, men drowned from exhaustion, hypothermia, injuries from the blast and some were eaten by sharks.
1956 –A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S national motto.
1962–Trans-Canada Highway, the largest national highway in the world is officially opened.
1965 –Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law. Part of Johnson’s great society, the Social Security Act of 1965 saw the creation of federal health insurance programs Medicaid and Medicare, created to provide health insurance for the elderly and poor. The bill was signed in Independence Missouri and Johnson attributed Harry S. Truman’s prior efforts at creating a national health insurance initiative as the catalyst for the passing of the 1965 Act. Of Truman Johnson praised him for “planting the seeds of compassion and duty which have flowered into care for the sick and serenity for the fearful.’
1966 –England wins World Cup behind a Geoff hat trick in a 4-2 victory over West Germany at London’s Wembley Stadium.
1970 –Louis E. Lomax, author and first African American TV journalist dies in a car crash near Santa Rosa, California when his brakes fail to work. Lomax earned a MA of Arts degree from American University in 1944 and a PH.D from Yale University in 1947. In 1959 he became the first black journalist on television when he joined WNTA-TV in NY. At the time of his death Lomax was working on a documentary concerning the role of the FBI in the death of Malcolm X and had a 161 page FBI file. Lomax was an author of many books and essays including ‘The Reluctant African’ and ‘To Kill a Black Man’.
1974 –Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.
1975 –Jimmy Hoffa last seen on this day in the parking lot of Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at 2:30pm. He is never seen or heard from again and is declared dead on this date in 1982.
1980 –Jerusalem Law is passed by the Israel Knesset. Officially called the Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel. The law was originally proposed by Ultra nationalist Knesset member Geulah Cohen. The law declares Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, essentially formalizing the 1967 annexation of Arab east Jerusalem. Basic Law declares, inter alia: Complete and united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel; Jerusalem is the seat of the President of the state, the Knesset, the government and the Supreme Court; the holy places shall be protected from desecration and any other offense and from anything that is likely to prejudice the freedom of access of the religious communities to the places holy to them; the government shall attend to the development and prosperity of Jerusalem and to the well-being of its inhabitants by means of allocation of special funds, including a special annual grant to the Jerusalem municipality, subject to the approval of the Economic Committee of the Knesset; Jerusalem shall be granted special preference in the activities of the authorities of the state, for the development of its economy and infrastructure and in other areas. The law was immediately condemned by the international community and nations began to relocate their embassies outside of Jerusalem. To this day, not a single nation has its embassy in Jerusalem; the majority of international embassies are located within the outer suburbs of the city or Tel-Aviv. Jerusalem has never been recognized as the capital of Israel by the international community.
2006 –The world’s longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on the BBC. The show had aired for 42 years.
2008 –Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was extradited to The Hague to face genocide charges after nearly 13 years on the run.
1751 –Maria Anna Mozart, Austrian pianist
1818 – Emily Bronte, English novelist and poet; wrote “Wuthering Heights”
1863 –Henry Ford, American businessman, and founder of the Ford Motor Company
1904 –Salvador Novo, Mexican Poet and Playwright
1914 –Michael Morris Killanin, Irish author and president of the International Olympic Committee
1922 –Henry W. Bloch, American banker and businessman, co-founder H&R Block\
1926 –Betye Saar, artist and educator. Worked in the medium of assemblage. Liberation of Aunt Jemima one of her most famous works.
1939 –Peter Bogdanovich, American actor, director, producer and screenwriter
1939 –Eleanor Smeal, American activist, founded the Feminist Majority Foundation.
1936 –George “Buddy” guy, hall of fame blues guitarist born on this day in Lettsworth Louisiana. Inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn amongst others. His career took off during blues revival of the 80’s and 90’s. ‘Breaking Out (1988), ‘Damn right, I’ve got the Blues’ (1991).
1937 –James Spaulding, saxophonist born in Indianapolis, IN
1956 – Carl Perkins was on the UK singles chart with his debut UK hit ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. Johnny Cash planted the seed for the song in the fall of 1955, while Perkins, Cash, Elvis Presley, toured throughout the South. Cash told Perkins of a black airman whom he had met when serving in the military in Germany. He had referred to his military regulation air shoes as “blue suede shoes.” Cash suggested that Carl write a song about the shoes. (Thisdayinmusic.com)
1963 –Charles Mingus records solo Piano Album entitled ‘Mingus Plays Piano’
1966 –The Troggs begin two week run at No.1 with the single ‘Wild Thing’.
1977 – Andy Gibb enjoys four weeks at the top of the US chart with No.1 single ‘I Just Wanna Be Your Everything.”
1986 –RCA drops John Denver from its roster after the release of his singe ‘What are We Making Weapons for’. RCA owned by General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the United States.
To continue your exploration of this day in history, take a look at some of our favorite sources:Charles H. Wright Museum: Today in Black History; African American Registry;BlackPast; NYTimes on this Day; EyewitnessToHistory.com; The Civil War Trust;Voices in Labor: Today in Labor History; Union Communication Services at The Worker Institute: Today in Labor History; BBC On This Day; The Holocaust History Project; PBS African American World; PBS; Today in Women’s History; South African History Online; This Day In North American Indian History; Jewish Virtual Library; The People History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; Yenoba; and This Day in Music