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Amsterdam News: 2013 Year in Review

The biggest news from the Black community in 2013

12/26/2013, 11:56 a.m.
Fight on for Trayvon

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Lenox Lounge finds new home

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Black firefighters

January

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Obama inauguration 

  1. A judge rules that the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) “Clean Halls” program is unconstitutional.
  2. President Barack Obama signs the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, intended to prevent the “fiscal cliff.”
  3. Weeks after the tragic mass shooting in Sandy Hook, Conn., during which 26 people were killed, including children, school districts across the nation consider arming teachers with guns.
  4. Harlem’s famed Lenox Lounge announces plans to reopen at a new location on Lenox Avenue.
  5. Elected officials push for early voting in New York.
  6. Raphael Ward, 16, is murdered over a $600 Marmot coat in the Lower East Side.
  7. Nearly 300 Black and Latino firefighters retake the FDNY’s entrance exam thanks to a ruling that found the test to be discriminatory.
  8. The Black AIDS Institute names Dr. Neil Lowe as its new chairman.
  9. The Black sorority Delta Sigma Theta Inc. celebrates its centennial anniversary.
  10. Well-known funeral director George Benta of Benta’s Funeral Home passes at age 91.
  11. New York state passes the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act. The new law bans possession of high-capacity magazines and requires a state registry for assault-class weapons and background checks.
  12. The Amalgamated Transit Union, which consists of school bus drivers, begins its strike, leaving thousands of parents scrambling to figure out how they will transport their children to and from school.
  13. The nation experiences a flu epidemic, with New York taking a major hit. Over 19,000 cases are reported.
  14. A rash of shootings plague Brooklyn, with one of the victims being a 2-year-old.
  15. NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly defends the use of stop-and-frisk, stating that the tool is necessary in curbing violence.
  16. Muslims rally against racial profiling by the NYPD.
  17. State Sen. Eric Adams announces his run for Brooklyn borough president.
  18. The city’s Department of Education (DOE) announces it will close 17 schools due to low performance.
  19. The third anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti is marked.
  20. The inauguration for Obama’s second term takes place. It falls on the same day as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  21. Rev. Jesse Jackson hosts his 16th annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit.
  22. State Sen. Shirley Huntley pleads guilty to stealing more than $87,000 from a sham nonprofit.
  23. Fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton is murdered in Chicago while standing with friends in the park. The teen is killed a week after performing at Obama’s inauguration. First lady Michelle Obama attends Pendleton's funeral.

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Dr. William Pollard

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Trayvon Martin's parents

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1199 SEIU President, George Gresham, speaks at LICH Protest

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George Zimmerman

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Rosa Parks Statue in the U.S. Capitol

February

  1. Black History Month kicks off with the theme “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.
  2. Obama replaces Hillary Clinton with John Kerry as secretary of state.
  3. Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch dies at age 88.
  4. Medgar Evers College President Dr. William Pollard steps down.
  5. As temperatures get cold, those still affected by Hurricane Sandy report not having any heat.
  6. The family of Trayvon Martin celebrates what would have been his 18th birthday.
  7. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announces that it will consider leasing community space and playgrounds for developers to build luxury high-rise apartments.
  8. Obama delivers his State of the Union address, highlighting the need to put Americans to work.
  9. Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address in Harlem at City College.
  10. The city marks 100 days since Hurricane Sandy with the receipt of much-needed recovery funds by the federal government.
  11. Rep. Gregory Meeks reports that 1,000 people in his district are still without power.
  12. Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation due to health issues. He is the first pontiff in 600 years to do so.
  13. Former Black Los Angeles police officer and New York native Christopher Dorner is charged with the murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of three other officers. He later dies by suicide during a standoff.
  14. Jazz great Donald Byrd dies at age 80.
  15. A grand jury fails to indict airport detective Hassan Hamdy, who shot unarmed National Guardsman Noel Polanco in Queens.
  16. Rep. Charles Rangel introduces a bill that would bring back the draft and make it co-ed.
  17. Harry Belafonte receives the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, the civil rights organization’s highest honor.
  18. The Amalgamated Transit Union ends its strike.
  19. The State University of New York (SUNY) shuts down Long Island College Hospital, which has 2,000 employees.
  20. Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind comes under fire when a photo of him in blackface at a Purim party surfaces.
  21. The world marks one year since the killing of Black, unarmed 17-year-old Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman. Martin’s parents come to the city for a vigil held in Union Square attended by hundreds.
  22. The National Urban League announces plans to relocate its national headquarters to a new building on 125th Street in Harlem.
  23. A statue of Rosa Parks is unveiled at the U.S. Capitol. It’s the first statue of an Afcan-American woman in the National Statuary Hall.
  24. The organization 100 Black Men Inc. marks 50 years.