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January 2021 Cultural Events

Shaheen & Gordon celebrates January cultural events

Shaheen & Gordon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee hopes you find this information insightful and educational.


1863: Emancipation Proclamation

On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation. While many believe that the proclamation freed all slaves, it only declared slaves free in the states not under Union control. This directly connected the issue of slavery to the Civil War. The proclamation also allowed black soldiers to fight for the Union, which was urgently needed at the time


1973: Maryland becomes the first state to statutorily ban same-sex marriage This discriminatory ban was upheld until 2013.


1892: Opening of Ellis Island as an immigration gateway

Ellis Island was America’s largest and most active immigration station where over 12 million immigrants were processed. The purpose was to make sure that newcomers to the United States were legally and medically fit to enter the country.


1923: The Rosewood Massacre

This horrible event perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan began on January 1, 1923 in the then predominantly black town of Rosewood, Florida. A rumor that a black man had attacked a white woman, Fanny Taylor. A mob of white citizens, including a group of about 500 Ku Klux Klan members, attempted to track down the alleged assailant in Rosewood. In doing so, they terrorized the community by shooting residents, burning buildings, and lynching and mutilating residents. Several members of the Rosewood community were murdered, and the town was burned. A grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict anyone.


Makar Sankranti or Maghi (Hindu)

Makar Sankranti marks the termination of the Winter season and the celebration of a new harvest season. It is dedicated to Lord Sun. It also refers to a specific solar day in the Hindu calendar. On this auspicious day, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Capricorn or Makar which marks the end of winter month and start of longer days. This is the beginning of the month of Magh. To recompense for the distinction that happens due to the revolution around the sun, every 80 years the day of Sankranti is deferred by one day. From the day of Makar Sankranti, the sun begins its northward journey or Uttarayan journey. Today, the festival is celebrated in many ways across the world. In some areas of

India, the celebration takes the form of flying kites, sharing special food, and bathing in rivers.



Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.! (1929-1968)

(Observed) National holiday celebrating the birthday of this social justice and civil rights leader

While we are taught of Dr. King’s many achievements in the civil rights movement, it is not as often iterated that at the age of thirty-five, being the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, he turned over the prize money, totaling $54,123 to the furtherance of the movement. This brave and righteous leader achieved significant progress for the rights of black Americans before his life was tragically cut short. Dr. King was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, but his influence did not end there. Dr. King’s work as a proponent for peaceful justice and social equality has inspired leaders around the world perpetuating his legacy of equal rights for all.

Did you know? New Hampshire was the last state in the country to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day? It became official in the year 2000.


1973: Roe v.Wade

In its landmark 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declares that the Constitution protects a woman’s

legal right to an abortion.


1849: Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to graduate from medical school and become a doctor in the United States. Born in Bristol, England, she graduated from Geneva College in New York with the highest grades in her entire class. Blackwell championed the participation of women in the medical profession and ultimately opened her own medical college for women.


2013: The U.S. military removes a ban against women serving in combat positions

While the number of women serving in combat positions and officer positions remains significantly lower than the number of men serving in similar positions, there has been increases in women in these positions in every branch of the military. The Air Force has the best female representation of all branches, while the Marines and Special Forces Units have the lowest representation of females. There are 613 female Marines, while none of the traditional Special Operations components have been integrated.


International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

The UN General Assembly designated this day the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz- Birkenau to honor the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.


Peterson, Kavan (November 3, 2004). “50-state rundown on gay marriage laws”. Pew Research Center. ebf5b7552518/?utm_term=.3191095083a5