630: In what is today Saudi Arabia, the Prophet Muhammad sets out of Medina to conquer Mecca in the name of Islam. He leads 10,000 men, including Bedouins gathered along the way, and enters Mecca without resorting to violence, eventually defeating the Quraysh tribe that opposed him.
- What Is the Quraysh Tribe of Mecca?
- Mecca’s Kaaba, Islam’s Holiest Site
- The 1979 Terrorist Take-Over of the Grand Mosque in Mecca
874: Hasan al-‘Askarī, 11th of the 12 Imams dies. The 12 Imams are considered in Shiite Islam to be the spiritual and political successors of the Prophet Muhammad, but not recognized as such by Sunni Islam.
- Islam’s Eternal Divide: Sunnis and Shiites
- The 12 Imams: A Chart Written in Martyrdom
- Twelver Shiites: A Definition
- What Is an Imam?
- Ashura, Twelvers’ Founding Myth
1890: Italy grasps Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa, as a colony.
1892: Ellis Island in New York City opens as the United States’ principal processing center for immigrants. Although most of the 12 million immigrants who went through the island until it closed in 1954 were of European origin, hundreds of thousands were from the Middle East. According to an Ellis Island museum document, 212,825 immigrants from lands at one time or another controlled by the Ottoman Empire passed through the island from January 1892 to June 1897 and from 1901 to 1931.
- Ellis Island, Arabs and Middle East Immigrants
- Ellis Island Passenger Search
- Ellis Island Timeline
- How Arab-Americans Vote
1927: Turkey adopts the Gregorian (i.e. Western) calendar as Turkey’s Kemal Ataturk continues the country’s secularization and westernization.
1930:Gaafar al-Nimeiry, American-backed dictator of Sudan between 1971 and 1985, and on whose watch Sudan took a turn for Islamic law, is born.
1949: India and Pakistan agree to a cease-fire after their first war over Kashmir, that one begun in 1947 when Muslims in Kashmir revolted and were backed by Pakistani troops. The cease-fire divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, but the province remains disputed. India and Pakistan fight major wars again in 1965 and 1971, and skirmish chronically in Kashmir, where Pakistan sends its specially trained Islamist militants—among them, militants who’d eventually form the Taliban.
1956: Sudan proclaims itself a republic independent of Egypt and Britain, which had controlled the country since 1899.
1975: More than 1,000 industrial workers riot over soaring prices and low wages in Cairo, the Egyptian capital. Police question 120 people and charge 56 with anti-state activities.
1983: The ARPANET becomes the Internet.
2004: Pakistan’s dictator, Pervez Musharraf, orchestrates a vote of confidence in Parliament, which he wins with 658 out of 1,170 votes, and declares himself president until October 2007.
- Profile: Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf
- Pakistan’s Rejection of Pervez Musharraf
- Pakistan Beyond Musharraf
- Pakistan’s 2008 Parliamentary Vote: What It means
- John McCain’s Waziristan Howlers
2008: The Mediterranean island-nations of Malta and Cyprus adopt the Euro currency, becoming the 14th and 15th Eurozone countries.