On This Day
366 – The Alemanni cross the frozen Rhine in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.
The Alemanni (also Alamanni; Suebi “Swabians”) were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, and later expanded into present-day Alsace, and northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German language in those regions, by the eighth century named Alamannia.
In 496, the Alemanni were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis and incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were gradually Christianized during the seventh century. The Lex Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the eighth century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. After an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, though, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes. During the later and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire, the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance. The chief family in Alamannia was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, and one of whom, Burchard II, established the Duchy of Swabia, which was recognized by Henry the Fowler in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire.
The area settled by the Alemanni corresponds roughly to the area where Alemannic German dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg.
The French language name of Germany, Allemagne, is derived from their name, from Old French aleman(t), from French loaned into a number of other languages.
Born On This Day
1898 – Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, American economist and lawyer (d. 1989)
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (January 2, 1898 – November 1, 1989), was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States (1921), and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was the first African-American woman to practice law in Pennsylvania. She was the first national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, serving from 1919 to 1923.
In 1946 she was appointed to the President’s Committee on Civil Rights established by Harry Truman. She was the first African-American woman appointed as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia. She and her husband were both active in civil rights. In 1952 she was appointed to the city’s Commission on Human Relations, serving through 1968. She was President of John F. Kennedy Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (1963).
Eugene Arthur Okerlund (December 19, 1942 – January 2, 2019) also known by his ring name “Mean” Gene Okerlund, was an American professional wrestling interviewer, announcer and wrestler. He was best known for his work in the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. Gene was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Hulk Hogan. He was signed to a lifetime contract with WWE and worked for promotional programs, mostly WWE Network programming and occasionally TV.
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