History of movement

Commentaries on origin

Fox News Channel commentator Juan Williams has said that the Tea Party movement emerged from the 'ashes' of Ron Paul's 2008 presidential primary campaign. Indeed, Ron Paul has stated that its origin was, on December 16, 2007, when supporters held a, 24 hour record breaking, 'moneybomb' fundraising event on the Boston Tea Party's 234th anniversary, but that others, including Republicans, took over and changed some the movement's core beliefs. Writing for Slate.com, Dave Weigel has argued in concurrence that, in his view, the 'first modern Tea Party events occurred in December 2007, long before Barack Obama took office, and they were organized by supporters of Rep. Ron Paul', with the movement expanding and gaining prominence in 2009..


Early local protest events

In September 2005, Birmingham, Al talk show hosts Russ and Dee Fine led a large scale 'Tea Party' protest against illegal immigration in Birmingham, AL. On January 24, 2009, Trevor Leach, chairman of the Young Americans for Liberty in New York State organized a 'Tea Party' to protest obesity taxes proposed by New York Governor David Paterson and call for fiscal responsibility on the part of the government. Several of the protesters wore Native American headdresses similar to the band of 18th century colonists who dumped tea in Boston Harbor to express outrage about British taxes..

First national protests

On February 19, 2009, in a broadcast from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, CNBC Business News editor Rick Santelli criticized the government plan to refinance mortgages, which had just been announced the day before. He said that those plans were 'promoting bad behavior' by 'subsidizing losers' mortgages'. He suggested holding a tea party for traders to gather and dump the derivatives in the Chicago River on July 1. A number of the floor traders around him cheered on his proposal, to the amusement of the hosts in the studio. Santelli's 'rant' became a viral video after being featured on the Drudge Report.
Fox News called many of the protests in 2009 'FNC Tax Day Tea Parties' which it promoted on air and sent speakers to. This was to include then-host Glenn Beck, though Fox came to discourage him from attending later events.