Thursday, January 17, 2008

On January 17, ...

... 1997, in an "unexpected" move, Ireland's High Court "granted the first divorce in modern Irish history." The decree was issued more than a month before the date that statutes enabling divorce -- enacted pursuant to a constitutional change that had been "narrowly approved" 14 months earlier by "voters in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country" -- were to have taken effect.
... 1996, "the black Congresswoman and scholar who stirred the nation with her Churchillian denunciations of the Watergate abuses of President Richard M. Nixon," Barbara Jordan, died in Texas from pneumonia brought on as a complication of leukemia. Jordan (left) had been born 59 years earlier in Houston, the daughter of a minister and a domestic worker. She attended segregated public schools and an all-black university before earning her law degree from Boston University, then returning home to Texas to set up a law practice. In the course of her career Jordan: was elected, in 1966, Texas' 1st African American state Senator, then, later, the 1st woman and 1st African American Texan elected to Congress; and, as shown in this video clip below, became in 1976 the 1st African American woman to give a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Upon her death the New York Times called Jordan "one of American politics' pioneer black women." (photo credit)

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