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A brief history of the Tea Party movement

by Luke X. Martin
Feb 10, 2010

The Tea Party movement has a longer history than most people realize.  Following is an incomplete history of the movement, including some of its seminal events.

July 23, 1991 - 300 to 400 protestors threw tea bags onto the steps of the state capitol in Austin, Texas to protest higher taxes.  Similar protests took place nationwide, throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Dec. 16, 2007 - Ron Paul supporters held an anti-tax protest, throwing banners into boxes that read "tyranny" and "no taxation without representation" to re-enact the Boston Tea Party. 

Jan. 27, 2009 - Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called for a dramatic cut in the corporate tax rate and harshly criticized the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, calling it the "porkulus" bill.

Feb. 1, 2009 - FedUpUSA called for Americans to send tea bags to their congressmen in Washington.

Feb. 10, 2009 - Mary Rakovich, a leader of the America Coast 2 Coast conservative advocacy group, led a protest outside a town hall meeting in Fort Myers, Fla., hosted by Pres. Obama.  The group held signs emblazoned with cartoon pig heads that read "$650,000,000 for DTV coupons."

Feb. 16, 2009 - The day before Pres. Obama signed the stimulus bill into law, about 100 people gather in downtown Seattle to protest the federal stimulus bill. Organizer Keli Carender called it the "Porkulus Protest."

Feb. 17, 2009 - Protesters held a rally in Denver, Colo., where Pres. Obama signs the stimulus bill into law.  The protest drew about 200 people, who ate pork sandwiches for lunch.

Feb. 18, 2009 - About 500 people gathered in Mesa, Ariz., to protest Pres. Obama's signing of the bill.

Feb. 19, 2009 - CNBC on-air editor Rick Santelli blasted Pres. Obama for "promoting bad behavior" by deciding to back mortgages with federal money.  Santelli said, "we're thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July."

Feb. 21, 2009 - More than 100 people gathered in Overland Park, Kan., to protest the federal stimulus bill. 

Feb. 27, 2009 - The Nationwide Chicago Tea Party was held in over 40 locations around the country.  200 to 300 protesters gather in Daley Plaza.

Apr. 15, 2009 - Tax-day protests were held in as many as 740 locations nationwide.  Someone threw a box of tea bags over the White House fence.  The total number of protesters varies widely, and many accuse the media of underestimating the number of people involved.

June 29, 2009 - About 4,000 people marched in Nashville, Tenn., to protest Pres. Obama's cap and trade initiative and universal health care legislation.

July 4, 2009 - Several Tea Party protests were held to coincide with Independence Day.

July 31, 2009 - Sept. 8, 2009 - During Congress's August break, Tea Party leaders organized "Recess Rallies" at town hall meetings nationwide.  The meetings were intended to inform the public about proposed health care reforms, which protesters disagreed with.

Sept. 12, 2009 - The 9/12 protests were held at the National Mall in Washington.  Thousands attended, but some protesters contest many more were present.

Jan. 16, 2010 - More than 1,500 people gathered in Franksville, Wis., to protest health care reform and a loss of liberty.

Jan. 28, 2010 - Tea Party protests were held in Buena Park, Calif., over health care reform and deficit spending.  More than 200 people took part.  Protests over a high speed rail project were also held in Tampa, Fla., which drew several hundred people.

Feb. 3, 2010 - Several hundred gather in Lansing, Mich., to send and anti-tax, limited government message to Gov. Jennifer Granholm and politicians in Washington.