01 -15 August Month in Black History
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The intent of these pages is to bring attention to missing and sometimes unknown
"facts" in history. If you have information to contribute email it to:


01 August 1619 - 1994

1619 - Twenty African "Negroes" became the first blacks to land in Protestant America at Jamestown, Virginia.  Surviving evidence suggests that the twenty Africans were accorded the status of indentured servants.

1834 - Slavery is abolished in the British Empire by the royal ascent of the King of England after having been voted by Parliament the previous year.

1838 - British slaves in the Bahamas are emancipated.

1852 - San Francisco Methodists establish the first African American Zion Methodist Church.

1867 - African Americans vote for the first time in a state election, in Tennessee, helping the Republicans sweep the election.

1867 - General Philip H. Sheridan dismisses the board of aldermen in New Orleans and named new appointees, including several African Americans.

1868 - Governor Henry C. Warmoth of Louisiana endorses a joint resolution of the legislature calling for federal military aid.  Warmoth says there had been 150 political assassinations in June and July.

1874 - Charles Clinton Spaulding is born in Columbus County, North Carolina. He will become a businessman who will rise to the presidency of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company.  His business acumen will help the company survive the years of the Great Depression. Also active in the Durham, North Carolina community where the corporation is located, he will work to increase the numbers of registered African American voters and convince the city to hire African American police officers.

1879 - Mary Eliza Mahoney graduates from the nursing program at the New England Hospital for Women and Children.  She is the first African American to graduate from a nursing school.

1895 - Benjamin Elijah Mays is born in Ninety-Six, South Carolina. He will become a renowned educator and president of Morehouse College. After retiring as the president of Morehouse, he will be elected to the school board of Atlanta, Georgia and will later serve as its president. In 1982, he will be awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal.   He will join the ancestors in 1984.

1914 - Marcus Garvey establishes the Universal Negro Movement Improvement and Conservation Association and African Communities' League, later shortened to UNIA.  In New York City six years later to the day, the UNIA will meet in Madison Square Garden as Garvey presents his "Back to Africa" plan and a formal Declaration of Rights for black people worldwide.

1918 - Theodore Juson Jemison, Sr. is born in Selma, Alabama. He will become a Baptist minister and will later be elected president of the National Baptist Convention USA.

1920 - The national convention of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association opens in Liberty Hall in Harlem. The next night Garvey addresses twenty-five thousand Blacks in Madison Square Garden.  Garvey's nationalist movement reaches its height in 1920-21.

1925 - The National Bar Association, dedicated to "advance the science of jurisprudence, uphold the honor of the legal profession... and protect the civil and political rights of all citizens of the several states of the United States," is formally organized in Des Moines, Iowa by 12 African-American legal pioneers including George H. Woodson, S. Joe Brown, and Gertrude E. Rush.

1930 - Geoffrey Holder is born. He will become a Broadway dancer and actor and will be best known for his performances in "Annie" and "The Wiz."

1936 - Benjamin E. Mays, who has been called "the greatest school master of his generation," is named president of Morehouse College.

1941 - Ronald H. Brown is born in Washington, DC.  He will become the first African American chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Secretary of Commerce. He will join the ancestors in 1996 in Croatia when his plane crashes while on an official tour of the Balkans for the Department of Commerce.

1943 - Race-related rioting erupts in New York City's Harlem section, resulting in several deaths.

1944 - Adam Clayton Powell is elected to congress and becomes the first African American congressman from the East.

1950 - The American Bowling Congress ends its all-white-males rule.

1952 - Charles Clinton Spaulding joins the ancestors in Durham, North Carolina at the age of 78.

1960 - Benin changes its name to Dahomey and proclaims its independence from France.

1960 - Chubby Checker's "The Twist" is released.  The song inspires the dance craze of the '60s.

1961 - Whitney Young Jr. is named executive director of the National Urban League.

1964 - Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to be named to the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.

1970 - "Black Enterprise" magazine is first published.

1970 - Willie Stargell, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, ties the record of 5 extra base hits in a game.

1973 - Tempestt Bledsoe, actress, "The Cosby Show's" Vanessa Huxtable, is born.

1977 - Benjamin  L. Hooks becomes the Executive Director of the NAACP.

1979 - James Patterson Lyke is installed as auxiliary bishop of the Cleveland Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

1987 - Mike Tyson defeats Tony Tucker to become undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

1992 - The Supreme Court permits the administration to continue its special interdiction policy by which the U.S. Coast Guard patrols international waters near Haiti to prevent Haitian citizens from escaping from their country, and Haiti is the only country in the world to receive such treatment by the United States.

1992 - Gail Devers wins the women's 100 meters at the Barcelona Summer Games.

1993 - Ronald H. Brown, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is appointed head of the Department of Commerce by President-elect Bill Clinton.

1994 - Supporters of Haiti's military rulers declare their intention to fight back in the face of a U.N. resolution paving the way for a U.S.-led invasion.


02 August 1847 - 1986

1847 - William A. Leidesdorff,  born in the Danish West Indies to a Danish father and a Black native mother, opens the first commercial steamship service on San Francisco Bay.

1847 - William A. Leidesdorff,  born in the Danish West Indies to a Danish father and a Black native mother, opens the first commercial steamship service on San Francisco Bay.

1920 - Marcus Garvey presents his "Back To Africa" program in New York City.

1924 - James Baldwin is born in New York City.  He will become one of the most prolific and influential African American authors of fiction ("Go Tell it on the Mountain", "Another Country", "Giovanni's Room"), drama ("Blues for Mr. Charlie", "Amen Corner"), and essay collections ("Notes of a Native Son", "The Fire Next Time").

1945 - Jewell Jackson (later McCabe) is born in Washington, DC.  She will become president of the Coalition of 100 Black Women, whose mission is to develop a forum for African American women leaders.

1946 - Bob Beamon is born.  He will become a track and field star.   Specializing in the long jump, he will win Olympic gold in 1968 for a jump of 29' 2" (8.9m).

1951 - While manning his machine gun during a surprise attack on his platoon, private first class William Henry Thompson of Company M, Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment, becomes the first African American to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Korean conflict.

1964 - A racially motivated disturbance begins in Jersey City, New Jersey.

1966 - The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School, later Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, is chartered in Los Angeles, California.  It is the only African American-focused medical school west of the Mississippi.

1967 - "In the Heat of the Night", starring Sidney Portier and Rod Steiger, premieres.

1967 - Claude A. Barnett, who founded the Associated Negro Press, joins the ancestors at the age of 78.

1980 - Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns wins the WBA Welterweight title. This is one of five weight classes in which he has won a boxing title, making him the first African American to win boxing titles in five different weight classes.

1982 - Jackie Robinson, the first African American to break the color barrier in major league baseball, is honored by a commemorative stamp issued by the Postal Service, the fifth in its Black Heritage USA series.

1986 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee (United States) sets record for the heptathlon (7161 pts).


03 August 1832 - 1989

1832 - Edward Wilmot Blyden is born in St. Thomas, West Indies. By the age of 24, he will migrate to Liberia and become an established author of the pamphlets "A Voice from Bleeding Africa", in which he attacks slavery, and "A Vindication of the African Race." Throughout his life, he will be an advocate of African Americans returning to their ancestral homes.

1865 - The provisional governor of Florida abolishes slavery by proclamation.

1908 - A site plan for the town of Allensworth, California, is filed with the Tulare County recorder. The town is founded by African American Allen Allensworth, "in order to enable black people to live on an equity [basis] with whites and to encourage industry and thrift in the race."

1928 - Allenworth Township established in California to former slaves

1928 - William A. Scott, III, founds the "Atlanta World" newspaper.  It will become a bi-weekly in 1930 and on March 13, 1932, will become the "Atlanta Daily World," the first African American daily newspaper in modern times.

1956 - Willie Williams of the United States sets the then 100 meter record at 10.1 seconds.

1957 - Archibald J. Carey, Chicago minister and attorney, is appointed the first African American chairman of the President's Committee on Government Employment Policy.

1960 - The Republic of Niger achieves its independence from France.

1970 - Two thousand delegates and observers attend the Congress of African Peoples convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

1972 - The Federal Communications Commission upholds a political candidate's right to broadcast paid commercials with racist content if such broadcast presents no danger of violence or incitement to violence.

1989 - Rickey Henderson sets American League mark of 50 stolen bases in nine seasons.


04 August 1810 - 1996

1810 - Robert Purvis is born.  He will become an abolitionist and will be on the first board of managers of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

1870 - White conservatives suppress the African American vote and capture the Tennessee legislature in an election marred by assassinations and widespread violence.  The campaign effectively ends Radical Reconstruction in North Carolina. The conservative legislature will impeach Governor Holden on December 14.

1875 - The Convention of Colored Newspapermen is held in Cincinnati, Ohio. The meeting is attended by J. Sella Martin of the "True Republican", Mifflin W. Gibbs, former publisher of California's "Mirror of the Times" representing the "Pacific Appeal", Henry McNeal Turner of Philadelphia's "Christian Recorder", the San Francisco "Elevator's" L. H. Douglass, and Henry Scroggins of the "American Citizen" (Lexington, Kentucky).  Chairman P.B.S. Pinchback states the aim of the national organization: "to make colored people's newspapers self-sustaining."  At the time of the convention, Martin's "New Era" and Frederick Douglass' "North Star" are among eight African American newspaper failures.

1885 - W.C. Carter invents the umbrella stand.

1890 - Sam T. Jack's play "Creoles" opens in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is the first time African American women are featured as performers on the stage.

1891 - George Washington Williams dies in Blackpool, England at the age of 41.  He was the first major African American historian and published his major work, "History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880" in 1883.

1896 - W.S. Grant patents a curtain rod support.

1897 - Henry Rucker is appointed collector of Internal Revenue for Georgia.

1901 - Daniel Louis Armstrong is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will become a jazz musician specializing in the cornet and trumpet. He will win a Grammy Award for his rendition of "Hello, Dolly!" in 1964.  He will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1971. Some of his other hits will be "It's a Wonderful World," "Mack the Knife," and "Blueberry Hill."  He will also be featured in films: "The Five Pennies," "The Glenn Miller Story," "Hello Dolly!," and "High Society." He will be referred to as the American ambassador of good will and will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Throughout his life, he will resent the nickname "Satchmo", short for satchel mouth.

1916 - The United States purchases the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.

1931 - Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, heart surgeon, founder of Chicago's Provident Hospital, dies.

1936 - "Long" John Woodruff, of the University of Pittsburgh, wins a gold medal in the 800-meter run at the Olympic Summer Games in Berlin, Germany. He, like Jesse Owens (who had won his second medal earlier in the day), will be snubbed by Adolph Hitler, who believes that blacks are incapable of athletic achievement.

1936 - Jesse Owens sets a new Olympic running broad jump record by leaping 26' 5 5/16".

1953 - The movement of African American families into the Trumbull Park housing project in Chicago, Illinois, triggers virtually continuous riot conditions which will last more than three years and require the assignment of more than one thousand policemen to keep order.

1962 - Nelson Mandela is captured and jailed by South African police.

1964 - James E. Chaney and two other civil rights workers' bodies are found in an earthen dam on a farm in Philadelphia, Mississippi. They had been missing since June 21.   The FBI said that they had been murdered on the night of their disappearance by segregationists.  Eighteen whites, including several police officers, were charged with conspiracy to deprive the victims of their civil rights.

1969 - Willie Stargell is the first to hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium.

1980 - Maury Wills is named manager of the Seattle Mariners. He is the third African American to be named a major league manager.

1985 - California Angel Rod Carew gets his 3,000th base hit.

1996 - On the final day of the Atlanta Olympics, Josia Thugwane became the first black South African to win a gold medal as he finished first in the marathon.


05 August 1763 - 1992

1763 - William Richmond is born free on Staten Island, New York.  One of the first African Americans to attempt winning a title in any sport, Richmond will travel to England to fight, among others, boxing champion Tom Cribb in a losing effort.

1864 - John Lawson, an African American gunner on the flagship of Admiral David Farragut, exhibits marked courage in the Battle of Mobile Bay and wins the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1865 - President Andrew Johnson moves to reverse the policy of distributing abandoned land to freedmen.

1892 - Harriet Tubman receives a pension from Congress for her work as a nurse, spy, and scout during the Civil War.   She, along with Sojourner Truth, Susie King and almost 200 other African American women, served as nurses during the war at 11 hospitals in three states.

1900 - James Augustine Healy, the first African American Roman Catholic bishop, joins the ancestors in Portland, Maine.  He is the brother of Patrick Francis Healy, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. and first African American president of a predominantly white university (Georgetown University).

1936 - Jesse Owens wins his third gold medal by running a 200-meter race in 20.7 seconds at the Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany.

1938 - James Cone, who will become an articulate scholar and author on black theology, is born in Fordyce, Arkansas.

1938 - Ja'net DuBois, actress on "Good Times'" Willona Woods, and "Beverly Hills 90210's" Arlene, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1962 - Nelson Mandela is charged with incitement and illegally leaving South Africa.

1962 - Patrick Ewing,  NBA center, 3-time All-American, NBA Rookie of the Year with New York Knicks in 1986, is born.

1966 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is stoned by hecklers during a Chicago, Illinois civil rights march.

1968 - Senator Edward Brooke is named the temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention in Miami, Florida.

1984 - Track and field stars Evelyn Ashford and Edwin Moses win Gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.

1992 - Federal civil rights charges are filed against four Los Angeles police officers acquitted of state charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.  Two of the officers will be convicted later of federal charges of violating King's civil rights.


06 August 1795 - 1996

1795 - Absalom Jones is ordained a deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

1816 - Peter Salem, Battle of Bunker Hill hero, joins the ancestors in Framingham, Massachusetts.

1861 - Congress passes The First Confiscation Act, authorizing the appropriation of the property, including slaves, of rebel slaveholders.

1925 - African American lawyers organize the National Bar Association and name George H. Woodson of Des Moines, Iowa, as President, and Wendell Gree of Chicago, Illinois, as Secretary.

1930 - Abbey Lincoln, actress/singer ("Nothing But a Man", "Mo Better Blues"), is born.

1934 - United States troops leave Haiti, which it had occupied since 1915.

1941 - An African American private and a white military policeman are shot to death on a bus in North Carolina during a fight between African American and white soldiers.   This was the first of a series of serious racial incidents (between African American and white soldiers and African American soldiers and white civilians) which will continue throughout the war.

1952 - Satchel Paige, at age 46, becomes the oldest pitcher to complete a major-league baseball game.  Paige shuts out the Detroit Tigers 1-0 in a 12-inning game.

1962 - Jamaica becomes independent after 300 years of British rule.

1965 - The Voting Rights Act is signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the same room that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and a host of others witness the signing of the act, which suspends the use of literary tests and calls for federal examiners to ensure fair elections in the South.

1965 - David Maurice Robinson is born. He will become a NBA center (San Antonio Spurs), NBA Rookie of Year (1990), and will lead the NBA in scoring in 1994.  He will help lead the Spurs to the NBA Championship in 1999.

1969 - The Learning Tree, directed by Gordon Parks, Jr., premieres.  The film is the first directed by an African American in modern times.

1973 - Stevie Wonder is nearly killed in an automobile accident near Durham, North Carolina, where he was to perform in a benefit concert.  Wonder suffers severe brain contusions and a broken skull and will be in a coma for ten days as a result of his injuries.

1977 - Sir Alexander Bustamante, Jamaica's first Prime Minister, joins the ancestors.

1984 - Carl Lewis wins 2nd (long jump) of 4 gold medals in the Summer Olympics.

1988 - Once accused by African American artists of racism, MTV, the 24-hour cable music channel, premieres Yo! MTV Raps.  It will become one of the station's most popular programs.

1994 - In Wedowee, Alabama, an apparent arson fire destroys Randolph County High School, which had been the focus of tensions over the principal's stand against interracial dating.

1996 - Officials announce that the Air Force had punished 16 officers in connection with the crash that killed Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 others the previous April.


07 August 1846 - 1989

1846 - Frederick Douglass is speaker at the World's Temperance convention in London, England.

1904 - Ralph Johnson Bunche is born in Detroit, Michigan.  A political social scientist, he will achieve fame as the first African American Nobel Prize winner (1950) for his role as U.N. mediator of the armistice agreements between Israel and her Arab neighbors in the Middle East wars of 1948, for which he will be awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1949).  He will serve as the undersecretary of the United Nations from 1955 until he joins the ancestors in 1971.

1932 - Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia becomes the first man to win the Olympic marathon twice (running barefoot).

1936 - Rahsaan Roland Kirk is born in Columbus, Ohio.  Blind from the age of two, he will begin playing the tenor saxophone professionally in Rhythm & Blues bands before turning to jazz.  He will be best known for his ability to play more than one instrument at once, his self-made jazz instruments, and for his creative improvisational skills. Rahsaan will also become an activist in getting support for what he will term "Black Classical Music."  He will participate in several takeovers of television talk shows during which he would demand more exposure for black jazz artists.

1945 - Alan Page, who will be a 6-time NFL All Pro, Professional Football Hall of Famer, 1971 NFL Player of the Year, and Minnesota State Supreme Court justice(selected 1992), is born in Canton, Ohio.

1946 - First coin bearing portrait of an African American (Booker T. Washington) is authorized.

1948 - Alice Coachman becomes the first woman (and first African American woman) to win an Olympic gold medal in Track and Field competition (the high jump) during the Summer Games in London. She also will be the only American woman to win a track event that year.  She will later become inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

1954 - Charles H. Mahoney is confirmed by the Senate and becomes the first African American to serve as a full-time delegate to the United Nations.

1960 - African American and white students stage kneel-in demonstrations in Atlanta churches.

1966 - A racially motivated disturbance starts in Lansing, Michigan.

1970 - Four persons, including the presiding judge, are killed in courthouse shoot-out in San Rafael, Marin County, California. Police charge that activist Angela Davis helped provide the weapons used by the convicts and will be sought for arrest and become one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "most wanted criminals."   She will be arrested in New York City in October 1970, returned to California to face charges of kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy and will be acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury.

1989 - Congressman George Thomas "Mickey" Leland, members of his staff and State Department officials die in a plane crash in the mountains near Gambela, Ethiopia.  Leland, the Democratic successor to Barbara Jordan, had established the Select Committee on Hunger in 1984 and was chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 99th Congress.  A successful campaigner for stronger sanctions against South Africa, Leland was on a visit to a United Nations refugee camp at the time he joins the ancestors.


08 August 1796 - 1984

1796 - Boston African Society is established with 44 charter members.

1805 - The First African Baptist Church is organized in Boston, Massachusetts, under the leadership of Thomas Paul.  It will be the first congregation to worship at the African Meeting House, which will be established on December 6, 1806 (It is the oldest church building in the United States built for and by African-Americans).

1843 - Natal (in South Africa) is made a British colony.

1866 - Matthew A. Henson, explorer and first person to reach the North Pole, is born in Charles County, Maryland.

1907 - Saxophonist Bennett Lester "Benny" Carter is born in New York City. He will play initially at age 23 and form his own big band in 1940.  Carter will either play with, conduct or write arrangements for Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, and many others.

1923 - Jimmy Witherspoon is born in Gordon, Arkansas.  He will become a bluesman and will record dozens of albums best known for songs such as "Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do," "Some Of My Best Friends Are the Blues" and "Blue Spoon."

1933 - "Joe Tex" Arrington, Jr. is born.  He will become a singer/songwriter.  He will be known for his recordings of "I Gotcha", "Hold What You've Got", "Skinny Legs and All", "Ain't Gonna Bump No More", and "With No Big Fat Woman."

1934 - Julian Dixon is born in Washington, D.C.  He will be elected to Congress representing California's 28th District in 1978.

1953 - "Sweet" Lou Dunbar is born.  He will become a professional basketball player with the Harlem Globetrotters.

1960 - Ivory Coast declares independence from France.

1968 - A racially motivated disturbance breaks out in Miami, Florida.

1974 - Roberta Flack receives a gold record for the single, "Feel Like Makin' Love".   Flack, born in Asheville, North Carolina and raised in Arlington, Virginia, had been awarded a music scholarship to Howard University in Washington, D.C., at the age of 15.  One of her classmates became a singing partner on several hit songs. Donny Hathaway joined Flack on "You've Got a Friend", "Where is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You". She will have 10 hits on the pop charts in the 1970s and '80s.

1975 - Julian "Cannonball" Adderley joins the ancestors at the age of 47 in Gary, Indiana.

1984 - Carl Lewis wins the 3rd (200 meter sprint) of 4 gold medals at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.


09 August

1848 - The Free Soil party is organized at a Buffalo, New York convention attended by African American abolitionists.

1905 - Robert N. C. Nix, Sr. is born in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  An 11 term congressman, he will be the first African American representative from Pennsylvania.

1909 - George William Crockett, Jr., is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He will become the first African American lawyer with the U.S. Department of Labor. Crockett will begin his judicial career in Michigan in 1966, when he is elected to the Recorder's Court, a post he will hold until 1978.  He will also serve as a visiting judge in the Michigan Court of Appeals and acting corporation counsel for the city of Detroit.  He will become a congressman in 1980 at the age of 71 and will be re-elected to serve each succeeding term until his retirement in 1991.

1936 - Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.

1945 - Ken Norton is born.  He will become a professional boxer and will win the WBC heavyweight champ in 1978.

1955 - Doug Williams is born in Louisiana.  He will become a NFL Quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins.  While playing for the Redskins, he will lead the team to a victory in the Superbowl XXII and will be named Most Valuable Player.

1960 - A racially motivated disturbance breaks out in Jacksonville, Florida after ten days of sit-in demonstrations, resulting in fifty persons injured.

1961 - James B. Parsons becomes the first African American appointed to the U.S. District Court.

1963 - Whitney Houston is born in Newark, New Jersey.  She will achieve fame as a single with her 1985 debut album, which will sell over nine million copies, have three number-one singles and earn a Grammy for the song "Saving All My Love For You." Her 1987 album "Whitney" will debut at number-one on the charts, a first for a female singer.

1967 - Deion Sanders is born.  He will become a professional football and baseball player.  He will become a NFL All-Pro, and as a major league center fielder, will lead both leagues in triples in 1992.

1971 - Le Roy (Satchel) Paige is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1984 - British decathlete Daley Thompson becomes the second man in history to win the decathlon back-to-back in the Olympic Games, while setting the record of 8,847 points.

1987 - Beatrice Foods, International is sold to TLC Group, a New York investment firm led by Reginald Lewis, an African American businessman and entrepreneur.  It is the largest business acquisition ever by an African American.

1987 - "Mean" Joe Greene and Gene Upshaw are inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.


10 August 1827 - 1989

1827 - A race riot occurs in Cincinnati, Ohio. More than one thousand African Americans leave the city for Canada.

1835 - A mob of white citizens and a hundred yoke of oxen pull an African American school house into a swamp outside the town of Canaan, New Hampshire.

1858 - Anna Julia Cooper is born in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She will become an influential African American intellectual, educator, and founder of Frelinghuysen University.

1867 - Famed Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge, joins the ancestors.

1944 - A race riot occurs in Athens, Alabama.

1948 - Patti Austin, popular contemporary soul singer (The Real Me), is born.

1965 - Thurgood Marshall named Solicitor General.

1967 - Riddick Bowe is born.  He will become a professional boxer, who will win the World Heavyweight Title with an unanimous decision over Evander Holyfield, and lose the title back to Holyfield in November, 1993.

1980 - Composer and violinist, Clarence C. White, joins the ancestors.

1981 - The Coca-Cola Bottling Company agrees to pump $34 million into African American businesses and the African American community, ending a national boycott called by Operation PUSH.

1984 - Olympic athlete Carl Lewis repeats Jesse Owens' record of four gold medals in the Los Angeles Olympic Games.

1985 - Michael Jackson buys ATV Music (including every Beatle song) for $ 47 million.

1989 - General Colin Powell is nominated to be chairman, Joints Chiefs of Staff, becoming the first African American to hold the post.


11 August 1841 - 1980

1841 - African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivers his first public speech before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Nantucket.  Having escaped from slavery only three years earlier, Douglass is legally a fugitive when he delivers his speech about his life as a slave. The Massachusetts Society immediately hires Douglass as a full-time lecturer.

1873 - John Rosamond Johnson is born in Jacksonville, Florida.  He will, with Bob Cole, be part of the famous vaudeville team Cole & Johnson.  He will best be remembered as a composer who, with his brother James Weldon Johnson providing the lyrics, will write "Lift Every Voice and Sing." 

1921 - Alex Haley is born in Ithaca, New York.  He will become an award-winning author, most notably for his authorship with Malcolm X of the latter's autobiography and for "Roots", which will win a special Pulitzer Prize.   "Roots" will be his most successful work, selling over 1 million copies and contributing to a new interest in African American history.

1925 - Carl T. Rowan is born in Ravencroft, Tennessee.   He will become one of America's most outspoken journalist with NBC News and The Chicago Daily News.  As an author, he will write "Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall," "Breaking Barriers," "Wait Till Next Year," "Go South in Sorrow," and "South of Freedom."  He will be appointed to the positions of Director: U.S. Information Agency and U.S. Ambassador to Finland.

1942 - Otis Taylor is born.  He will become a professional football player with the Kansas City Chiefs, playing wide receiver.  He will be the UPI AFC Player of the Year in 1971, and will help lead his team to Super Bowl I and a victory in Super Bowl IV.

1948 - Amanda Randolph appears on the television series "The Laytons" on the Dumont Network.  She and Bob Howard of CBS' "The Bob Howard Show", which premiered earlier in the summer, are the first African Americans to be featured in a national network television series.

1949 - Peter Murray Marshall of New York is appointed to the American Medical Association's House of Delegates.

1960 - The African country of Chad declares independence from France.

1962 - After integrated groups try to use the facilities, police close the Municipal parks and library in Albany, Georgia.

1964 - A racially motivated disturbance occurs in Paterson, New Jersey.

1965 - Racially motivated disturbances start in the Watts section of Los Angeles, California.   In six days, the death toll will stand at 34.  1,032 persons will be injured, 3952 will be arrested and $ 35 million in property will be lost.

1965 - The U.S. Senate confirms the nomination of Thurgood Marshall as U.S. Solicitor General.

1974 - Dr. Martin L. King's picture hung in Georgia capital.

1980 - Reggie Jackson hits his 400th homer.


12 August 1890 - 1977

1890 - The Mississippi Constitutional Convention begins systematic exclusion of African Americans from political life of the South, August 12-November 1.  The Mississippi Plan (Literacy and "understanding tests") is later adopted with embellishments by other states: South Carolina (1895), Louisiana (1898), North Carolina (1900), Alabama (1901), Virginia (1901), Georgia (1908), Oklahoma (1910).  Southern states will later use "white primaries" and other devices to exclude African American voters.

1891 - Lillian Evans is born in Washington, DC.  As Damme Lillian Evanti (a contraction of her maiden name and that of her husband, Roy W. Tibbs), she will become a world-famous opera star who debuts in France with the Paris Opera and performs in the United States and 11 countries on three continents. She will also become one of the founders of the National Negro Opera Company.

1922 - Frederick Douglass' home in Washington, DC is dedicated as a National Historic Site. The effort is lead my Nannie Burroughs, Hallie Q. Brown, and other members of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs.

1923 - Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell is born in Edgefield, South Carolina.  She will be a pioneering force in opening the modeling field to African Americans through her founding of the Grace Del Marco Model Agency and the Ophelia DeVore School of Self-Development and Modeling.

1933 - Camille Billops is born in Los Angeles, California. She will become a painter, archivist, sculptor, ceramist, and filmmaker and have solo exhibitions in the United States, Russia, Europe, Africa, and the Far East.

1960 - Ralph Boston of the United States, sets the long jump record at 26' 11".

1964 - A racially motivated disturbance occurs in Elizabeth, New Jersey and lasts for two days.

1965 - A racially motivated disturbance occurs on the west side of Chicago, Illinois and will last three days.

1965 - Jonathan M. Daniels, a white Episcopal seminary student from Massachusetts, is killed and Richard F. Morrisroe, a white Roman Catholic priest from Chicago, is seriously wounded by shotgun blasts fired by white special deputy sheriffs in Hayneville, Alabama.   They were participating in civil rights demonstrations in Lowndes County, Alabama.

1977 - Stephen Biko, leader of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, is arrested.  He will join the ancestors after succumbing to injuries from beatings after his arrest in police custody.


13 August 1881 - 1989

1881 - The first African American nursing school opens at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

1892 - The first issue of the Baltimore Afro-American is published.

1906 - African American soldiers raid Brownsville, Texas in retaliation for racial insults.  One white man is killed, two are wounded.

1911 - James B. Parsons is born in Kansas City, Missouri.  After an early career in music, he will become an attorney, superior court judge in Cook County, Illinois, and assistant U.S. Attorney, and in 1961, the first African American appointed to a lifetime federal judgeship in the continental United States.

1917 - Claudia McNeil is born in Baltimore, Maryland.  She will start her career as a singer and tour with Katherine Dunham before finding fame as an actress.  Among her most notable roles will be as Lena Younger in both the play and movie versions of "A Raisin in the Sun."

1948 - Kathleen Battle is born in Portsmouth, Ohio. She will become an operatic soprano, winner of Grammy awards in 1987 and 1988, and will be considered by many to be one of the finest modern opera singers.

1948 - Cleveland Indians rookie pitcher, Satchel Paige, throws his first complete game in the major leagues at the age of 42.  He allows the Chicago White Sox only five hits in the 5-0 shutout.

1953 - President Eisenhower establishes the Government Contract Compliance Committee to supervise anti-discrimination regulations in government contracts.

1963 - Noted civil rights and labor leader, A. Philip Randolph strongly protests the AFL-CIO Executive Council's failure to endorse the August 28 March on Washington.

1979 - Lou Brock, of the St. Louis Cardinals, gets his 3,000th career hit while leading the Cardinals past the Chicago Cubs, 3-2.

1983 - Daley Thompson of Britain wins the decathlon championship at the World Track and Field Championship in Helsinski, Finland.

1989 - Searchers in Ethiopia find the wreckage of a plane which had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Texas Congressman Mickey Leland and 15 other people. There are no survivors.

14 August 1862 - 1992

1862 - President Lincoln receives the first group of African Americans to confer with a U.S. president on a matter of public policy.  He urges African Americans to emigate to Africa or Central America and is bitterly criticized by Northern African Americans.

1876 - Prairie View State University is founded.

1883 - Ernest Everett Just is born in Charleston, South Carolina.  After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Darmount College in 1907, he will become a teacher at Howard University.  He spent summers working as a research assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In 1916 he receives his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  He will become a noted Marine Biologist and the head of the Physiology Department at Howard University.  He will be awarded the first ever NAACP's Spengarn Medal in 1915 for his research in biology.   In his early days at Howard, he will be one of the founders of Omega Psi Phi Fraernity and faculty advisor.  He will join the ancestors in October, 1941.

1908 -  A race riot occurs in Springfield Illinois and will last for five days.  Army troops are called out.  This riot will stir the conscience of American civil rights leaders and will lead to the founding of the NAACP.

1929 - Dick Tiger Ihetu is born in Nkwerre Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria. He will become a professional boxer and a world champion middleweight from 1962-63 and in 1964.  He will be the world lightweight champion from 1965 to 1968.  He will be elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

1938 - Niara Sudarkasa is born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She will be an anthropologist and groundbreaking educator, becoming the first African American professor to receive tenure at the University of Michigan, and the first woman president of Lincoln University, a traditionally male African American college.

1946 - Larry Graham is born.  He will become a musician (bassist) and singer.   He will perform with Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station.  He will leave Graham Central Station, start a solo career, and will be known for his songs, "One in a Million" and "I Never Forgot Your Eyes."

1946 - Antonio Fargas is born in the Bronx in New York City.  He will become an actor and will be best known for his role as "Huggy Bear" in the TV series, "Starsky & Hutch."

1956 - Jackee Harry is born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  She will become an actress and will star as "Sandra" in the television series "227" and the adoptive mother of one of a pair of twins in the television series "Sister, Sister."

1959 - Earvin Johnson is born in Lansing, Michigan.  Better known as "Magic," he will lead Michigan State University to the NCAA championship in 1979. After two years of college, he enter the NBA and be picked first in the draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He will become one of the best point guards in NBA history. After retiring from basketball, he will concentrate on his business ventures and will have success developing stadium-style movie theaters in inner city underserved areas.

1968 - Halle Berry is born.  She will become Miss World USA in 1986 and will have a successful acting career, starring in the mini-series "Queen" and the movie "Boomerang."

1970 - City University of New York (CUNY) inaugurates its open admissions policy designed to increase the number of poor and minority students.

1971 - Bob Gibson, of the St. Louis Cardinals, pitches a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It is the first no-hitter against the Pirates since 1955.

1992 - The White House announces that the Pentagon will begin emergency airlifts of food to Somalia to alleviate mass deaths by starvation.


15 August 1824 - 1999

1824 - Freed American slaves establish a settlement in West Africa that will eventually become the country of Liberia.

1843 - The Natioanl Black Convention meets at Buffalo, New York, with some seventy dalegates from twelve states.  The highlight of the cnvention will be a stirring address by Henry Highlight Garnet, a twenty seven year old Presbyterian pastor who calls for a slave revolt and a general slave strike.  Amos G. Beman of New Haven, Connecticut, is president of the convention.

1900 - Riots erupt in New York City as a white plainclothes policeman is killed in a fight with an African American man. It is the fourth racial riot in the city's history.

1906 - At the second meeting of the Niagara Movement at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, W.E.B. DuBois demands equal citizenship rights for African Americans, saying, "We will not be satisfied to take one jot or title less than our full manhood rights..."

1925 - Oscar Peterson is born in Montreal (Quebec), Canada.  Classically trained in the piano, he will work with top Canadian jazz bands until 1949, when he will first appear in New York City's Carnegie hall. He will be recognized as a jazz innovator who forges a synthesis of bop and swing into his own unique style.

1931 - Roy Wilkins joins the NAACP as assistant secretary.

1931 - The Spingarn Medal is awarded to Richard B. Harrison for his Portrayal of "De Lawd" in "The Green Pastures."

1935 - Vernon Eulion Jordan, Jr,  is born. He will become a civil rights activist and the head of the National Urban League.

1938 - Maxine Waters is born in St. Louis, Missouri.  A longtime California state legislator, in 1990, she will be the second African American woman from California elected to the United States Congress.

1945 - Gene Upshaw is born.  He will become a professional football player and a guard for the Oakland Raiders. After retirement from football, he will become the longtime president of the NFL Players Association.

1960 - The Republic of the Congo gains independence from France.

1962 - The Shady Grove Baptist Church is burned in Leesburg, Georgia.

1964 - A racially motivated disturbance occurs in Dixmoor, (a Chicago suburb) Illinois.

1964 - Ralph Boston of the United States, sets the then long jump record at 27' 3".

1975 - Joanne Little is acquitted of murder charges in the August 27, 1974, killing of a white jailer. The defense said she stabbed the jailer with an ice pick after he made sexual advances.

1979 - Andrew Young resigns under pressure as U.N. ambassador after unauthorized   meeting with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization. His resignation creates a storm of controversy and divides the African American and Jewish communities.

1999 - Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship, becoming the youngest player to win two majors since Seve Ballesteros.

     Updated by K. Ferguson Kelly:  March 16, 2002