Black History Month 2022

war

Haiti Founded



Port-au-Prince, Haiti - The nation of Haiti began on this date. It was the only nation born from a successful slave revolt.

Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean. It was the second republic in the Americas. It was the first nation to abolish slavery.

The Haitian Revolution took more than 12 years. 3 colonial armies were defeated (2 French and 1 British). (22 August 1791-January 1, 1804), in the fight.

This revolution led France to sell the Louisiana Territory, to the United States (1803). In Europe, it launched the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).

War of 1812



United States - The United States lost the war to Britain.

Slavery War



United States - The final question of slavery was decided with hundreds of thousands of dead bodies. Black people won their freedom, after fighting, and winning the war.

Emancipation Proclamation Went Into Effect



Washington, D. C. - This executive order began the end of slavery, in the United States. While not a law, it had Presidential force behind it. The Proclamation removed legal enforcement and protection for slavery.

The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to States in open rebellion. It did not make slavery a crime, in the United States. On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued it. This was five (5) days after Antietam (i.e. the Battle of Sharpsburg).

Source:

Emancipation Proclamation

Robert Smalls' Escape



Charleston, South Carolina - Robert Smalls escaped slavery with a Confederate military transport ship. It was one of the most daring escapes of the American Slavery War (1861-1865).

Fall of 1861, Smalls steered the CSS Planter. It was a lightly armed Confederate military transport. This was under command of Charleston's District Commander, Brigadier General Roswell S. Ripley.

The CSS Planter surveyed waterways and laid mines. It also delivered dispatches, troops, and supplies.

Smalls piloted the Planter in Charleston harbor and beyond. This included area rivers and the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Smalls and the Planter's crew saw the federal blockade ships, from Charleston harbor. They were in the outer harbor, seven (7) miles away. Smalls had the confidence of the Planter's crew. To the Planter's owners, the crew behaved.

Sometime in April 1862, Smalls planned an escape. He met the other enslaved, except one. That one he did not trust.

Friday, May 12th, 1862, the Planter stopped at Coles Island, on the Stono River. A Confederate post was being dismantled. The ship loaded four large guns. The guns were to be sent to a fort in Charleston harbor.

At Charleston, the Planter added 200 lb (91 kg) of ammunition and 20 cord (72 m3) of firewood.

Friday evening, May 12th, the Planter was docked. It was at the wharf, below General Ripley's headquarters. Its three (3) white officers left the ship to spend the night ashore. Smalls and the crew remained on board, as usual.

Before departure, Smalls asked Captain Relyea to allow crew families to visit. The request was granted. But, Smalls was told the families must depart before curfew.

The families arrived onboard. There, the plan was revealed to them. Only Hannah, Smalls' wife, knew he wanted to escape.

Hannah never knew her husband planned to escape that night. She resisted, at first. But, she told him, 'It is a risk, dear, but you and I, and our little ones must be free. I will go, for where you die, I will die.'

Other women resisted. They cried and screamed, and the men struggled to quiet them. After, the initial shock, those women were glad for a chance at freedom.

Later, three (3) crew members made a pretense that family members had been escorted back home. It was a trick. The crew members circled around and hid on another ship. It was docked at the North Atlantic wharf.

Around 3 a.m., Saturday, May 13th, Smalls, with seven of the eight slave crewmen, began their escape. Smalls wore the captain's uniform. He wore a straw hat similar to the captain's.

While working on the Planter, Smalls watched Captain Charles C. J. Relyea. Smalls learned his manners to complete the disguise. He hoped to fool onlookers from shore.

Smalls sailed the Planter past Southern Wharf. He stopped at another wharf, where his wife and children boarded. Families of other crewmen boarded, too.

Smalls had to get past five Confederate harbor forts. At each fort, he gave the correct signals at checkpoints.

Around 4:30 a.m., the Planter made it past the last fort, Fort Sumter.

The Fort Sumter alarm was raised after the Planter was beyond gun range. Smalls replaced the rebel flags with a white bed sheet, his wife brought. Then, Smalls headed to the Union Navy fleet.

The USS Onward was about to fire on the Planter, until a crewman saw the white flag. The sheet was difficult to see, in the dark. The sunrise made it visible.

John Frederick Nickels, Captain of the Onward, boarded the Planter. Smalls asked to display a United States flag. The Planter and its cargo were surrendered, to the United States Navy.

Everyone on the Planter, escaped enslavement and made it to freedom.

New York Race Riot of 1863



Manhattan, New York - Whites began the riot because of the draft, for the American Slavery War. It ended as a full-blown race riot, when whites murdered dozens of black people. 119 was the official death toll. Some claim the count was almost one thousand (1,000) dead.

New York had many pro-slavery supporters in the city, at the time. Most white workers in New York sided with Southern slave traders, owners, and politics. Many were Irish immigrants. Much of the violence was due to white hatred of competition from black workers.

Of the many deaths, whites lynched ten (10) black people. Among them was a 7 year-old, black boy. The whites went after inter-racial couples and abolitionists. The white mob burned a black orphanage. The most violent were the longshoremen (dock workers).

It was the worst riot, of any kind, in American history. No one was charged or prosecuted for any violence committed against the black victims.

Source:

New York Race Riot of 1863

Fighting to End Slavery: Massachusetts 54th



Charleston, South Carolina - It was cold and windy for the men of the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry, this Christmas day. Many were in a sour mood. They were in combat. They missed their families, friends, and sweethearts.

Encamped on Morris Island, on the outskirts of Charleston, the men watched the Union shelling of the besieged city.

Our rifles had sounded their fearful Christmas chimes by throwing shells into the city for three hours after one o'clock that morning, recalled Capt. Luis F. Emilio. He added, 'About 3 a.m. a fire broke out in Charleston which illumined the whole sky and destroyed twelve buildings before it was subdued, the falling walls injuring many firemen.'

Emilio, a white Salem, Mass., native, who had just turned 19 three days earlier, had been the acting commander of the regiment for some time following the famed attack on Fort Wagner that July.

From storming the fort on July 18th, Col. Robert Gould Shaw was killed, the regiment's first commander. Two Berkshire County men were killed in the failed attack. One was Henry Burghardt, of Lee. The other was Pittsfield native Eli Franklin. Burghardt was killed in action. Franklin died from his battle wounds, two (2) days later.

In September, Edward Needles Hallowell became the new commander of the 54th. Hallowell was wounded during the Fort Wagner battle, as Shaw's second in command.

That same month, the Confederates abandoned Fort Wagner. That helped open the way for the siege of Charleston.

For months after the attack, the soldiers' spirits were high. They knew they had proved their valor. It showed the fighting ability of all their black brothers. Yet, by Christmas, after months of seeing no real action, they were feeling low.

'The whole face of nature now presents a drear and gloomy appearance, and the thousands who a month or two ago were full of hope and expectation have gradually come down to that frame of mind so well adapted to wait till something turns up,' commented Cpl. James Henry Gooding, a black soldier from the 54th, in a December 1863 letter to the New Bedford (Conn.) Mercury.

The entire month, both the weather and the men's spirits, had been overcast and dreary. There was the shooting of a white deserter from a New Hampshire regiment. The men were required to watch. The same month there was an explosion. It killed several soldiers.

The Confederates steadily attacked the Union. But, it was unusual for a shell to make it into the Union fortifications. This time, a magazine was being repaired by engineers. That made it vulnerable. The shell fell among munitions that went off. Four (4) were killed. Eleven (11) were seriously wounded, according to Gooding.

Added to these events were the continued problems with the men's pay.

The enlisted men of the 54th and its brother regiment, the 55th, fought to get the $13 a month they were due. Government paymasters, cited an 1862 law. They would only pay $7.

Christmas was a subdued affair. For Thanksgiving, the men attended a rousing church service and enjoyed a festive meal. It was followed by an afternoon filled with games. There were sack races and money for the first man to make it to the top of a greased pole.

In contrast, the highlight of Christmas Day was the arrival of letters from home.

Freedmen's Bureau Created



Washington, D. C. - The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. It became part of the War Department (called the Defense Department after 1949).

The supposed goal of the Act was to help freed black people find relief and become self-sufficient. Since it was a product of the Slavery War, the bill was to expire after one (1) year.

Major General Oliver Otis Howard was the first commissioner of the bureau. This is the same Howard that helped found Howard Seminary (later, Howard University).

A second Freedmen's bill was passed in 1866, which extended the duration of the Bureau until 1868.

In 1872, the Bureau closed.

Source:

Freedmen's Bureau

Otis Howard

Ku Klux Klan Formed



Pulaski, Tennessee - The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed. Six (6) ex-Confederate officers, Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe, were its first members.

The KKK was the most violent and racist terrorist group, in United States history. Its purpose was to harass and attack black Americans.

The KKK only allowed white male members. The women's version was the Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). It has always helped the KKK, in its many forms, until today.

The violence of the KKK led the United States government to pass the Enforcement Acts. These three (3) Acts passed in 1870 and 1871, made the actions of the KKK illegal.

The Enforcement Acts led to a gradual decline in KKK activity.

'The Birth of A Nation' (1915) led to a rebirth of the KKK in 1915. President Woodrow Wilson saw the film at the White House. He called it history written in lightning. This effect led to the era of the second KKK.

This second era of the KKK lasted until World War 2. This was its largest and most powerful period. There were tens of thousands of members all over the country. In the 21st Century, the KKK is very limited, but still aided by the WKKK.

Buffalo Soldiers Act Passed



Washington, D. C. - The Buffalo Soldiers came from the 'Act to increase and fix the Military Peace Establishment on the United States.' It was drawn from black soldiers who served in the Slavery War.

Source:

Buffalo Soldiers Act p.332 (364)

New Orleans Massacre of 1866



New Orleans, Louisiana - On Monday, local police and other whites killed 34-50 black people and injured another 150. The race riot happened in one day.

By 1864, the American Slavery War ended for Louisiana. On May 27th, 1864, Louisiana created a new constitution. It promised black soldiers, black land owners, and literate black people the right to vote.

On April 11th, 1865, Lincoln promised all black people the right to vote. Lincoln's killer, John Wilkes Booth, was at the speech. Booth killed Lincoln 4 days later.

Black codes followed Lincoln's death. These limited the rights of black people in Louisiana and other Southern states. This increased hostility toward black people in Louisiana.

May 1st to 3rd, whites massacred black people in Memphis, sparked by white police violence. This was fresh in the mind in New Orleans, as a constitutional convention was held July 27th.

Ex-Confederate soldiers, led by New Orleans Sheriff Harry T. Hays, disrupted the convention. It was moved to July 30th.

At 12:00 p.m. (noon), July 30th, the convention was held. A crowd of white opponents waited outside. 200 freedmen (mostly veterans) paraded to the convention in support.

The freedmen neared the convention. The opposition bothered the freedmen more the closer they got to the convention. Sheriff Hays arrived and began to fire blindly into the crowd. Many black people died. Others ran into the Mechanics Institute.

General Absalom Baird wired the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton.

Baird said the following 'It was no riot. It was an absolute massacre by the police, which was not excelled in murderous cruelty by that of Fort Pillow. It was a murder which the Mayor and police of the city perpetrated without the shadow of a necessity.'

This massacre and the one in Memphis, May 1st-3rd, led to Reconstruction policies of the former Confederate South.

Atlanta Vaccination War



Atlanta, Georgia - White doctors and white police forced black people to take injections. The claim by whites was that it was to stop smallpox. An inoculation for smallpox was known more than 150 years before, by the black man Onesimus.

Under the pretense of vaccination, white police broke into a black home. Inside, there was a wedding, with guests. The white police held everyone inside the home. White doctors came and forcibly injected them.

A judge was over a city court, where many black people were normally brought. When the judge gave the word, whites locked all inside. Black people were forced to take injections. The white police used violence to force injections.

Planned Parenthood Started



Brooklyn, New York - Planned Parenthood was founded. Margaret Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell were its founders. The goal was to reduce births and family sizes of those they deemed unfit. It began as the Negro Project.

Sanger was a eugenicist. The Eugenics Society was founded in 1907. Eugenics was an attempt at a formal, scientific racism. It promoted the birth of superior races over the inferior. Black people were legally decided to be an inferior race, at that time.

From its start, Planned Parenthood made black women its focus. It has worked for many decades to reduce the number of black people. Abortion of black babies has always been its number one goal. It has never made healthy black babies or mothers a serious goal.

Racism in the War Industry



Washington, D. C. - The 'Prohibition of Discrimination in the Defense Industry' was signed. It was Executive Order 8802.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued this order. It was meant to stop a planned march on Washington, by black people. The march was planned for the following week.

A. Phillip Randolph planned the March on Washington Movement (MOWM), for July 1st, 1941. 100,000 black people were to attend. After Order 8802 was issued, Randolph stopped the march.

The Order said racial bias was not allowed in the war business. It had little power. On May 27th, 1943, Executive Order 9346 replaced Order 8802 and 8823, with much more Presidential power.

Doris Miller's Heroics at Pearl Harbor



Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Doris Miller shot down several enemy fighters and helped wounded sailors. He served, as a cook, on the battleship West Virginia, which was sunk in the attack.

Miller had no training on the anti-aircraft gun he used. Many of the white sailors fled, which gave him the chance to use the gun. For his actions, he was given the Navy Cross. It was the first time it was given to a black man.

The United States Navy tried to hide Miller's feats. The black newspaper, the Pittsburgh Courier learned of an unnamed black man who was to get a commendation. Lawrence D. Reddick found his name after many attempts to get it from the Navy. After pressure from black people, the Navy finally gave Miller the credit he deserved.

After his heroics, Miller was raised to mess attendant. The Pittsburgh Courier said Miller should be taken out of the war and used to promote war bonds. Instead, the Navy sent him to the South Pacific. The ship where he served, was sunk by a Japanese submarine. Miller died in the attack, November 24, 1943.

Project 100,000 Announced



New York, New York - Project 100,000 was revealed in a speech. It was created by Robert Strange McNamara. The Project sent tens of thousands of young, black men to Vietnam.

McNamara was the Secretary of Defense. He served from 1961-1968. This included both United States Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy.

McNamara wanted to expand the military in Vietnam. The United States military lacked the manpower. McNamara's solution was young, black men.

In 1963, under Kennedy, McNamara increased the military in Vietnam, from 900 to 16,000. Kennedy had problems with black people who fought for Civil Rights. McNamara had a plan to solve the 'black problem' and Vietnam.

November 22, 1963, Kennedy was killed. McNamara kept his job under Johnson. Johnson faced the same 'black problem' as Kennedy. But, it was an election year. Johnson wanted nothing to hurt his campaign.

In 1964, McNamara tried a limited military program to target black men and Vietnam. It was the Special Training Enlistment Program (STEP). It reduced entry standards to get an extra 15,000 men into the military.

Congress rejected the STEP program. Funding was denied. It was called pointless. STEP used the military to replace existing jobs and education programs.

President Johnson won the election. With Johnson's full support, McNamara expanded his plans to send young, black men into Vietnam.

In 1965, once again, Congress denied McNamara funding. Undersecretary of Defense Alfred Fitt said McNamara was furious. McNamara continued without funding.

April, 1966, McNamara reduced the standard to enter the military. The score, for entry, was lowered on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT).

Tuesday, August 23, 1966, McNamara announced Project 100,000. It was at a speech in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was before Congress came back from recess.

By 1972, when Project 100,000 closed, more than 340,000 extra men were sent to Vietnam.

Adam Clayton Powell denounced the actions of Johnson and McNamara. He called them, Hitler-ish. Martin Luther King, Jr. condemned the Vietnam War. It was at a speech in New York called, 'Beyond Vietnam.' Muhammad Ali said the Vietnam War was started to get him.

Youngest American Killed in Vietnam War



West of Hội An, Quảng Nam Province, Vietnam - Dan Bullock was the youngest soldier to die in the Vietnam War. He was a black male, and only 15 years of age. His rank was private first class in the United States Marines.

Bullock was born December 21, 1953, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. His mother died when he was 12 years of age. He moved to Brooklyn to live with his father. Due to his life in Brooklyn, he joined the military.

On December 10, 1968, Bullock finished army basic training (boot camp). He was 14 years of age.

On May 18, 1969, he was sent to Vietnam. In three (3) weeks, he was killed, while on night watch duty.

Until 2000, there was no marker for his grave. His name appeared on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It was placed on Panel 23W, Row 96.

President Reagan Declared 'War on Drugs'



Washington, D. C. - President Ronald Reagan declared the 'War on Drugs' at the Justice Department. This was the second time the United States government made drugs a policy focus. The first time was by President Richard Nixon, in 1971.

Reagan made his 'drugs' speech years before the crack cocaine hysteria of the 1980s. It came before the mass incarceration law that Reagan signed, in 1984. By the time crack cocaine appeared, all the pieces were in place to wage a legal, civil war against black people. Over the next 20 years, prison rates of young, black men exploded.

Source:

Reagan's Drug War

World Trade Center Attacked (9/11)



New York, New York - Hundreds of black people were killed in terrorist attacks, in one day. They died at the World Trade Center. Many more were injured.

At 8:46 a.m., there was an explosion at the northern facade, of the North Tower, of the World Trade Center.

At 9:03 a.m., there was an explosion at the southern facade, of the South Tower, of the World Trade Center.

At 9:59 a.m., the South Tower collapsed.

At 10:28 a.m., the North Tower collapsed.

The Marriott World Trade Center was destroyed after both towers collapsed on it. It was 22 stories tall, with 825 rooms.

At 5:20:52 p.m., 7 World Trade Center collapsed. It was a 47-story building.

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