On This Day

Haile Selassie

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie

Profession: Ethiopian Emperor


Biography: Defining figure in Ethiopian history, Selassie served as Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor from 1930 to 1974.

He led his people in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and condemned Italy's use of chemical weapons at the League of Nations. His belief in multilateralism and collective security led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations.

After a two year famine in north-eastern Ethiopia that is estimated to have killed 200,000 people he was deposed in a military coup in 1974 and died in internment under suspicious circumstances a year later.

Among the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate.

Born: July 23, 1892
Birthplace: Ejersa Goro, Ethiopian Empire

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Leo

Died: August 27, 1975 (aged 83)
Cause of Death: Suspected assassination by strangulation

Historical Events

  • 1930-04-02 Ras Tafari Makonnen becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
  • 1930-11-02 Coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen as Haile Selassie I, 225th Emperor of Ethiopian Solmonic Dynasty
  • 1932-04-17 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia ends slavery
  • 1936-05-01 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie leaves Ethiopia as Italy invades
  • 1936-05-02 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie and family flee Abyssinia
  • 1936-06-30 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie asks the League of Nations for sanctions against Italy
  • 1941-05-05 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa
  • 1966-04-21 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie visits Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1974-09-12 Coup overthrows Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie on Ethiopia's national day
  • 1992-02-16 Ethiopia finds the remains of former Emperor Haile Selassie on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, under the private lavatory of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who overthrew the Emperor
  • 2000-11-05 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie is laid to rest 25 years after his death after a funeral procession through Addis Ababa

Famous Ethiopians