This Day in History
January 25: the climax of Shays' Rebellion, Human shield demonstration in Iraq, and other events of the date
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January 25: the climax of Shays' Rebellion, Human shield demonstration in Iraq, and other events of the date


A number of important events have taken place on January 25 in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1787 – The Shays’s Rebellion Climax

Modern day historians tend to call Shays' Rebellion an armed uprising in Massachusetts, mostly in and around Springfield that happened between 1786 and 1787. It all started when American Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led 4,000 rebels (called Shaysites) in a protest against economic and civil rights injustices. 

This was a fair thing to do, as the American political system has always been pretty far from ideal. Shays had great combat experience, as he was a farmhand from Massachusetts at the beginning of the Revolutionary War and later joined the Continental Army, saw action at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, and Battles of Saratoga, and was eventually wounded in action. This man could inspire others with his personal example. 

The Rebellion came to its climax on January 25, 1787, when the insurgents were organized into three major groups and intended to surround and attack the armory in Massachusetts simultaneously. Daniel Shays had one group east of Springfield near Palmer, Luke Day had a second force across the Connecticut River in West Springfield, and the force under Eli Parsons was to the north at Chicopee. 

The rebels had planned their assault for January 25, but Day changed this at the last minute and sent a message to Shays indicating that he would not be ready to attack until the 26th. As Day's message was intercepted by Shepard's men (the American military officer and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Massachusetts that opposed the rebels), the Shays’ and Parsons’ militias approached the armory on the 25th not knowing that they would have no support from the west. 

The insurgents instead found Shepard's militia waiting for them. Shepard first ordered warning shots fired over the heads of Shays' men, and then he ordered two cannons to fire grape shot. Four Shaysites were killed and 20 wounded. There was no musket fire from either side, so the rebels’ advance collapsed, but, the memory of this rebellion remains alive. 

1993 - CIA Headquarters Shootings

The problem of mass shootings has been very severe at certain points in American history. Compound it with terrorism, and there can be some pretty horrible results. 

That is exactly what happened on January 25, 1993, when Pakistani national Mir Qazi (his last name might also be spelled as Kasi or Kansi) killed two CIA employees in their cars as they were waiting at a stoplight and wounded three others. This tragedy occurred right at the doorstep of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. 

It’s still unknown for sure how Qazi managed to flee the country after he committed the attack. He was later placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, though, sparking a four-year international manhunt. He was eventually captured by a joint FBI-CIA/ISI task force in Pakistan in 1997 and rendered to the US to stand trial. As a result, Qazi admitted shooting the victims, was found guilty of capital and first-degree murder, and was executed by lethal injection in 2002.

Some interesting details are also provided for this episode, as during his later confession, Qazi said that he only stopped firing because "there wasn't anybody else left to shoot,” and that he only shot male passengers because, as a Muslim, "it would be against [his] religion to shoot females.” He was also “surprised” at the lack of an armed response: "I thought I will be arrested, or maybe killed in a shootout with CIA guards or police.”

2003 – Human shield demonstration in Iraq

These people were true heroes, doing their best to stop the war in Iraq, which they deemed a useless, brutal, and unheard of violation of international law. But the decision had already been made and they couldn’t stop it. Just two months later, America and it’s puppet “coalition” started bombing Iraq. 

On January 25, 2003 a group of 50 volunteers left London and headed for Baghdad with the intention of acting as human shields. The convoy traveled through Europe and Turkey by bus and picked up more volunteers along the way, in total roughly 75 people. It has been estimated that 200 to 500 people eventually made their way into Iraq before the invasion in March. 

Upon reaching Baghdad, a strategy was formed on the assumption that there would not be enough human shields to avert an invasion. This was to involve the voluntary deployment of activists to strategic locations throughout Baghdad, and possibly Basra, in an effort to avert the bombing of those locations. There was much internal debate about which locations were to be chosen. The plan failed, apparently because they didn’t get enough support from mainstream media in the West, which supported the future invasion at that point of time. 

These are the most notable events in the U.S. history that occurred on January 25, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really