Thursday, January 31, 2008

On January 31, ...

... 2007, Adelaide Tambo (below), South African anti-apartheid activist, died at age 77 at her home in Johannesburg. According to her African National Congress biography:
Her political life started at the age of 10 after a police raid following a riot in Top Location, in which a police officer had been killed. Tambo's ailing grandfather, aged 82, was among those arrested and marched to the town square. Here the old man collapsed.
'I sat with him until he regained consciousness,' Tambo recalled in an interview. 'The way those young policemen pushed him around and called him 'boy' decided me. I swore I would fight them till the end.'
She spent much of her life in exile along with her husband, Oliver Tambo. During this time she was based in London and served as the ANC's a founder of the Afro-Asian Solidarity Movement and the Pan-African Women's Organisation. The couple returned to South Africa in 1990; Oliver died 3 years later. Upon the death of the woman known as "Ma Tambo" or "Mama Adelaide, "South Africa's 1st post-apartheid President, Nelson Mandela, "who shared her birthday, said he mourned the 'passing away of a close personal friend, a comrade and one of the great heroines of our nation.'"
... 1865, with negotiations under way to end the 4-year-old Civil War, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery by a vote of 113 to 58. The New York Times wrote of this step toward ratification,
the enthusiasm of all present, save a few disappointed politicians, knew no bounds, and for several moments the scene was grand and impressive beyond description. No attempt was made to suppress the applause which came from all sides, every one feeling that the occasion justified the fullest expression of approbation and joy.

The 13th Amendment -- one of IntLawGrrls' Legal Wonders of the World -- would take effect in December of the same year.

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