January 8, 1811: Charles Deslondes led a rebellion of some 500 enslaved black people in New Orleans, Louisiana, in what became known as the German Coast Uprising. After black people in Haiti won their independence from the French in 1804 following a thirteen-year war, surviving white planters relocated from Haiti to Orleans Territory (now the State of Louisiana). Many brought with them enslaved black laborers, including Charles Deslondes, who had been born into slavery in Haiti. Orleans Territory's black population tripled between 1803 and 1811, leaving whites fearful of a black rebellion.
In early January 1811, Charles Deslondes convened a meeting of enslaved black people to plan an anti-slavery rebellion in New Orleans. The rebellion began on January 8, 1811, with a plantation attack that left one white man dead. The rebels then traveled along the Mississippi River, attacking plantations and recruiting more fighters. Some enslaved blacks joined the rebels, while others warned their masters and tried to avert plantation attacks. Many whites escaped across the river. On January 11, a militia of white planters confronted Charles Deslondes and the rebels in a brief battle, killing many and forcing others to flee. Deslondes and his supporters were captured. Some were returned to their plantations; others were tried and executed, their corpses publicly displayed as warning against future uprisings. The final death toll included two whites and ninety-five blacks. The territorial legislature later voted to financially compensate whites whose enslaved black laborers had been killed.
January 8, 1964: five Alabama National Guardsmen were indicted for explosions set off near the University of Alabama campus the previous October.
January 8, 1989: the oldest integration law suit in the US was settled when the St. Helena Parish schools were officially integrated. The suit was originally filed by a John Hall and the NAACP in 1952.
January 8, 1996: in Knoxville, Tenn., a fire destroyed the sanctuary of the Inner City Baptist Church and racial slurs were painted on the walls. Molotov cocktails, cans of kerosene and gunpowder were discovered in the rubble.
January 8, 2001: President Bill Clinton awarded the Presidential Citizens Medals to Muhammad Ali, Irene Morgan Kirkaldy and others
January 8, 2005: President G W Bush awarded Muhammad Ali the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor.
January 8, 2016: Mississippi lawmakers honored Vernon Dahmer Sr. 50 years after the civil rights leader was killed when Ku Klux Klansmen firebombed his family's home near Hattiesburg. Dahmer's widow, Ellie, and several relatives received a standing ovation in the state Senate. Dahmer defied the white segregationist power structure by registering black voters in the 1960s.
January 8, 1867: Congress overrode President Andrew Johnson's veto of a bill granting all adult male citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote. It was the first law in American history that granted African-American men the right to vote. According to terms of the legislation, every male citizen of the city 21 years of age or older has the right to vote, except...
- welfare or charity recipients,
- those under guardianship,
- men convicted of major crimes, or
- men who voluntarily sheltered Confederate troops or spies during the Civil War.
January 8, 1868: Susan B. Anthony published the women's rights weekly journal The Revolution. Its motto was: "The true republic—men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less."
January 8, 1917: a New York court acquitted Emma Goldman of the charge of circulating birth control information.
January 8, 1975: Ella Grasso became Governor of Connecticut, the first female U.S. governor who did not succeed her husband.
January 8, 1889: the tabulating machine was patented by Dr. Herman Hollerith. His firm, Tabulating Machine Company, later became International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
US Labor History
January 8, 1920: the AFL Iron and Steel Organizing Committee ends the “Great Steel Strike.” Some 350,000 to 400,000 steelworkers had been striking for more than three months, demanding union recognition. The strike failed.
January 8, 1945: the US Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a Texas law that limited labor union organizing by requiring union organizers to obtain an organizer’s card before they could solicit people to join a union. The plaintiff, Thomas, was president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW), and was convicted of speaking at a union organizing meeting without a card. The court, in Thomas v. Collins, declared the law a prior restraint on freedom of speech.
January 8, 1954: President Eisenhower proposed stripping convicted Communists of their U.S. citizenship.
Music and more
(link to Music for more)
January 8, 1965: In response to ABC-TV’s Shindig!, Hullabaloo premieres on NBC. The first show included performances by The New Christy Minstrels, comedian Woody Allen, actress Joey Heatherton and a segment from London in which Brian Epstein introduced The Zombies and Gerry & the Pacemakers. (see Hullabaloo for more)
January 8, 1966: ABC’s Shindig!’s last show.
January 8, 1966: a San Francisco Acid Test by Ken Kesey at the Fillmore Auditorium.
Michael Rossman (S.F. Chronicle, 1/66): Up at the Fillmore Auditorium, Ken Kesey's Acid test event was in action when I got there around the middle of the evening. The people were like the backstage crowd at the California Hall dance (that the Airplane played the same night). The costumes were, wow! a strobe light was flickering at a very high frequency in one corner of the hall and a group of people were bouncing a golden balloon up and down in it. It was a most perturbing frequency. in one corner there was a piece of metal, tubular sculpture by Ron Boise, a thumping machine. If you hit it, you got different sounds if you hit it in different places. There was a lot of electronic equipment which sent out a low reverberation that resonated throughout the hall. and the whole place was filled with streamers and balloons. There were tV cameras and a tV screen, and you could see yourself in it. Onstage there was a rock group; anybody could play with them. It was a kind of social Jam session. a guy in a white mechanic's suit with a black cross on the front, and on the back a sign saying 'Please Don't Believe in Magic', ran up and down all night. Oh wow! Periodically the lights went out and everybody cheered. Giant Frisbees, balloons like basketballs, acrobats, girls in felt eyelashes four inches long, people with eyes painted on their foreheads, glasses low on the nose with eyes painted on them, men with foxes on their shoulders! Wow!
January 8 – February 18, 1966, The Beatles: Rubber Soul the Billboard #1 album. (see Rubber Soul for more)
January 8 – 21, 1966, The Beatles: “We Can Work It Out” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
January 8, 1966: U.S. forces launch Operation Crimp. Deploying nearly 8,000 troops, it is the largest American operation of the war. The goal of the campaign was to capture the Vietcong's headquarters for the Saigon area, which was believed to be located in the district of Chu Chi. Though the area in Chu Chi was razed and repeatedly patrolled, American forces failed to locate any significant Vietcong base.
January 8, 1967: America forces begin Operation Cedar Falls, which is intended to drive Vietcong forces from the Iron Triangle, a 60 square mile area lying between the Saigon River and Route 13. Nearly 16,000 American troops and 14,000 soldiers of the South Vietnamese Army move into the Iron Triangle, but they encounter no major resistance. Huge quantities of enemy supplies are captured. Over 19 days, 72 Americans are killed, victims mostly of snipers emerging from concealed tunnels and booby traps. Seven hundred and twenty Vietcong are killed.
January 8, 1973: North Vietnam and the United States resume peace talks in Paris.
January 8, 1973: in Washington, DC, the trial opened of seven men accused of bugging Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex.
January 8, 1974: the People First movement began in Salem, Oregon, with the purpose of organizing a convention where people with developmental disabilities could speak for themselves and share ideas, friendship and information.
January 8, 1978: gay activist, Harvey Milk, sworn in as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
January 8, 1998: Ramzi Yousef sentenced to life in prison for planning the first World Trade Center bombing.
January 8, 2011: Jared Lee Loughner shot and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Lee opened fire as the congresswoman met with constituents in Tucson; six people were killed and 12 others were injured.
Sexual Abuse of Children
January 8, 2002: Vatican published guidelines on how to deal with pedophile priests, saying all cases should be reported to Rome.
No Child Left Behind Act
January 8, 2002 President George W. Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act, intended to improve America's educational system.
Stop and Frisk Policy
January 8, 2013: Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said officers were routinely stopping people outside the buildings without reasonable suspicion that they were trespassing. The decision was the first federal ruling to find that the practice under the Bloomberg administration violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure and focused on police stops conducted in front of several thousand private residential buildings in the Bronx enrolled in the Trespass Affidavit Program. Property managers in that program have asked the police to patrol their buildings and to arrest trespassers.