16 -31 August in Black History
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1890 - Alexander Clark, journalist and
lawyer, is named minister to Liberia.
1922 - Author and journalist, Louis Lomax is born.
1938 - Revolutionary blues singer Robert L. Johnson joins the ancestors after a mysterious death in Greenwood, Mississippi. A revival of interest in his music will occur in the 1990's when a boxed set of 41 of his recordings is issued to critical and popular acclaim.
1952 - Reginald VelJohnson is born. He will become an actor and will be best known for his role as Carl Winslow in the TV series "Family Matters" and his role as a policeman in the movie "Die Hard."
1958 - Angela Bassett is born. She will become an actress/singer and will star in the movies "Malcolm X," "What's Love Got to Do With It," "Waiting To Exhale," and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back."
1961 - Christian Okoye is born in Nigeria. He will become a professional football player with the Kansas City Chiefs, as a running back. He will amass 4,897 yards from 1987-1992. He will be UP's AFL offensive player of the year in 1989.
1963 - Independence is restored to the Dominican Republic.
1970 - Activist Angela Davis is named in a federal warrant issued in connection with George Jackson's attempted escape from San Quentin prison.
1972 - A Methodist clergyman of African descent from Dominica, West Indies, Rev. Philip A. Potter, 51, is named General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. Serving until 1984, Potter will give strong spiritual guidance to the work of the WCC.
1987 - Charles Wesley joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. Noted historian and African American college president, he authored over a dozen books on African American life, including "The Negro in the Americas," "The Quest for Equality," "Negro Labor in the U.S. 1850-1925," "Richard Allen, Apostle of Freedom," and "The History of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, published when he was 92 years old.
1988 - Jailed Black South African nationalist Nelson Mandela, is stricken with tuberculosis.
1847 - Archibald Henry Grimke' is born
into slavery on a plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. His white father,
Henry Grimke', was of the famous Grimke' family which included abolitionist sisters Sarah
and Angelina. After being freed in 1852, Archibald will have a distinguished career
as a lawyer (Harvard Law, 1874), political delegate, newspaper publisher ("The
Hub" in Boston), and author.
1887 - Marcus Garvey is born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. He will become a charismatic black nationalist and founder of the UNIA, an organization dedicated to education, racial pride, and African development. He will also found the Black Star Line, an African American owned steamship company established to link new-world Blacks with their African motherland. Garvey and several associates will be railroaded by the U.S. government for "mail fraud" in connection with the sale of Black Star stock. Garvey will be convicted and serve five years in federal prison. The U.S. government trumped up these charges against Marcus Garvey because he was a threat to the status quo of the Negro people of America. That is why he was deported instead of being forced to serve his complete sentence here. The U.S. government simply wanted to get rid of him.
1920 - Isaiah Boyd Perry is born in Money Point (Norfolk), Virginia. He will grow up in Hampton, Virginia and will become the first faculty member of Hampton Institute to graduate from the Hampton Institute Laboratory High School (George P. Phenix), graduate from the Hampton Institute Trade School, graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree, and a Master of Science Degree and join the "Quarter of the Century Club" as a faculty member with twenty five years of service.
1931 - A'Lelia Walker Robinson joins the ancestors and residents of Harlem and New York City mourn her death. The daughter of Madame C.J. Walker, she had distinguished herself as hostess of the "Dark Tower" on Harlem's West 136th Street, a meeting place for Harlem Renaissance poets, philosophers, and artists such as W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Aaron Douglas, as well as European nobility and members of New York's social register.
1939 - Luther Allison is born in Widener, Arkansas. He will become a blues guitarist. Allison will spend his formative musical years in Chicago jamming with the West Side's best, including Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Freddie King. His first recording, "Love Me Mama" (Delmark, 1969), is considered a blues classic. Allison will come to national prominence with blistering performances at the 1969 and 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festivals, wowing young rock fans with his scorching guitar solos and soulful vocals. He will become the first blues act to sign with Motown Records in 1971, subsequently releasing three records for the label. He will tour nationally throughout the 1970s before relocating to Paris in the early 1980s where he will continue to release albums (many issued only in Europe) and tour incessantly, eventually becoming a European blues superstar.
1960 - Gabon declares its independence from France.
1984 - Roberto Clemente becomes the second baseball player to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
1988 - Butch Reynolds of the United States sets the 400 meter record (43.29) in Zurich, Switzerland.
1990 - Pearl Bailey, broadway actress and singer, joins the ancestors at the age of 72 after succumbing to a heart attack in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1791 - Benjamin Banneker publishes his
1909 - Howard Swanson is born in Atlanta, Georgia. He will become a classical composer who will study in the United States and Paris, France, and will write music for orchestra, solo voice, piano, and chamber ensembles.
1934 - Roberto Clemente is born in Puerto Rico. He will win the Gold Glove award TWELVE consecutive years and play in twelve All-Star games. He will be the National League's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1966, the MVP in the 1971 World Series, win four separate National League batting titles, post a .317 career batting average, and play eighteen seasons, amassing 3,000 hits and hammering 240 home runs. He will join the ancestors at the age of 38, on a mercy mission to deliver relief supplies to the victims of a Nicaraguan earthquake. Tragically, his plane, carrying food, clothing and medical supplies, will crash moments after takeoff from San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 31, 1972.
1935 - Rafer Johnson is born in Hillsboro, Texas. He will become an Olympic athlete, winning a gold medal in the decathlon in the 1960 Summer Games in Rome and lighting the torch in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
1941 - Matt Snell is born. He will become a professional football player (running back for the New York Jets). He will be one of the key players in the Jets victory in Super Bowl III over the Baltimore Colts.
1954 - James E. Wilkins becomes the first African American to attend a U.S. presidential cabinet meeting. He is Assistant Secretary of Labor and attends because the Secretary and Under-Secretary are away.
1963 - James Meredith becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
1964 - South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games because of its apartheid policies.
1970 - Malcolm-Jamal Warner is born. He will become an child actor and will star on the "The Cosby Show" as Theodore "Theo" Huxtable. He will also star as "Here and Now's" Alexander James and "Malcolm and Eddie's" Malcolm.
1976 - Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr. assumes command of the U.S. Third Fleet.
1977 - Steven Biko, one of the most influential black student leaders in South Africa, is arrested in Port Elizabeth on charges of fomenting unrest among blacks in the city through his writings. Biko will join the ancestors in police detention less than a month later, as a result of a beating by the police.
1981 - Football running back, Herschel Walker, of the University of Georgia, takes out an insurance policy with Lloyd's of London. The All-American is insured for one million dollars.
1987 - Earl Campbell, the 'Tyler Rose', announces his retirement from professional football. Campbell, the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner, played eight seasons in the National Football League -- and was a star for the Houston Oilers.
- Benjamin Banneker sends a copy of his just-published almanac to Secretary of State,
Thomas Jefferson, along with a letter confronting his hypocrisy-if not indeed the
hypocrisy of white America-in enslaving African Americans while at the same time declaring
the "true and invaluable doctrine" of the "natural rights" of
1888 - The first beauty contest is held in Spa, Belgium. The winner is an eighteen year old beauty from the West Indies.
1926 - Theodore Flowers, known as the "Georgia Deacon," wins the world middleweight boxing title in New York City.
1940 - Johnny Nash is born. He will become a singer and will be known for his songs, "I Can See Clearly Now," "Stir It Up," "Hold Me Tight," and "A Very Special Love."
1946 - Charles F. Bolden, Jr., is born in Columbia, South Carolina. A pilot who flew over 100 sorties in Southeast Asia, Bolden will be named an astronaut in 1981. He will become a veteran pilot of several missions, including the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1992, when he will participate as a presenter of a special Academy Award to science-fiction film producer George Lucas.
1950 - Edith Spurlock Sampson becomes the first African American appointed to serve on the United States delegation to the United Nations.
1954 - Dr. Ralph J. Bunche is named undersecretary of the United Nations.
1982 - Renaldo Nehemiah of the United States sets record for the 110 meter hurdles in 12.93 seconds.
1989 - Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu is among hundreds of black demonstrators who are whipped and sandblasted from helicopters as they attempt to picnic on a "whites-only" beach near Capetown, South Africa.
1565 - Artisans and farmers of African
descent aid explorer Menendez in the building of St. Augustine, Florida
1619 - The first group of 20 Africans are brought by the Dutch to the colony at Jamestown, Virginia. The early African arrivals are considered indentured servants, and indeed records in the Chesapeake area show many freed people of African descent. In 1650, the laws are changed to make servitude permanent for the Africans and their offspring.
1856 - Wilberforce University is established in Ohio.
1931 - Don King is born. He will become a boxing promoter who will control the heavyweight title from 1978-1990 while Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson are champions.
1942 - Isaac Hayes is born in Covington, Tennessee. His soundtrack for the movie "Shaft" will earn him an Oscar and two Grammys. He will win a Grammy again in 1972 for his album, "Black Moses."
1954 - Al Roker, co-anchor of the "Today" show, is born.
1964 - The Economic Opportunity Act is signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act initiates what will popularly be called the "War on Poverty."
1989 - The first National Black Theater Festival closes in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Organized by Larry Leon Hamlin, the festival draws over 20,000 people to performances of African American Classical and contemporary plays by groups such as the Crossroads Theater on New Brunswick, New Jersey and the Inner City Cultural Center of Los Angeles.
1993 - Dr. David Satcher is named director of the Centers for Disease Control.
1994 - Benjamin Chavis, Jr. is fired as head of the NAACP after a turbulent 16-month tenure.
1831 - Responding to a vision commanding
him to lead his people to freedom, Nat Turner and a group of seven freedom-fighting slaves
kill five members of the Travis family in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner's revolt
will last two days, involve 60 to 80 freedom-fighting slaves and result in the deaths of
at least 57 whites before they go into hiding. Nat Turner manages to escape capture
for over six weeks. After his capture, he confesses to his actions, is tried, and
executed. This revolt is significant because it will make the problem of slavery
visible to the Northerners, who within the next 30 years will fight and die to end
America's "peculiar institution."
1906 - William "Count" Basie is born in Redbank, New Jersey. One of the most influential forces in jazz, he will amass numerous awards, including three Grammys and Kennedy Center Honors in 1981 . He will join the ancestors in 1984.
NOTE: Many sources will have 1904 for Count Basie's birth year. Our source for his birth and death is the Kennedy Center Archives documenting "The Honors" bestowed on him in 1981.
1927 - The Fourth Pan-African Congress meets in New York City.
1932 - Melvin Van Pebbles is born in Chicago, Illinois. A writer and dramatist, he will produce some of the more important African American feature films of the 1960's and 1970's, including "Story of a Three Day Pass," "Watermelon Man," "Sweet Sweetback's Baadass Song" and the classic, "Putney Swope."
1936 - Wilt Chamberlain is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Achieving a height of 6'11" in high school, he will be recruited to play basketball for Kansas University. Chamberlain will leave Kansas University in his third year to play with the Harlem Globetrotters and join the Philadelphia Warriors (later 76ers) in 1959. He will join the Los Angeles Lakers in 1969 and become a player-coach for the San Diego Conquistadors of the American Basketball Association. He will lead the NBA in scoring seven times, accumulate a 4,029 season point record and become a seven-time all-NBA first teamer. He will join the ancestors in 1999.
1938 - The classic recording, "Ain't Misbehavin" is made by Fats Waller.
1939 - Clarence Williams III is born in New York City. He will become an actor best known for his starring role in the television serries, "The Mod Squad" as Lincoln.
1943 - Harriet M. West becomes the first African American woman Major in the Women's Army Corps (WAC). She becomes chief of planning in the Bureau Control Division at the WAC headquarters in Washington, DC.
1945 - Willie Lanier (Pro Football Hall of Famer and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker: Super Bowl IV), is born.
1954 - Archie Griffin (Heisman Trophy winner: Ohio State [1974 & 1975]; Cincinnati Bengals running back: Super Bowl XVI), is born.
1968 - Marine James Anderson Jr. becomes the first African American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War.
1972 - The Republican National Convention convenes in Miami Beach, Florida, with fifty-six African American delegates, 4.2 per cent of the total.
1986 - More than 1,700 people die when toxic gas erupts from a volcanic lake in the West African nation of Cameroon.
1998 - Juanita Kidd Stout, the first African American woman to serve on the supreme court in any state (January, 1988), joins the ancestors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Stout loses a battle against leukemia at Thomas Jefferson Hospital.
1788 - The British settlement in Sierra
Leone is founded to provide a home in Africa for freed slaves and homeless Africans from
1791 - The Haitian Revolution begins with revolt of slaves in the northern province.
1791 - Mathematician Benjamin Banneker serves on commission which will survey the District of Columbia.
1843 - Henry Highland Garnet issues a call for slave revolt in "An Address to Slaves of the United States" before a national convention of African Americans in Buffalo, New York.
1867 - Fisk University is established in Nashville, Tennessee.
1917 - John Lee Hooker, who will become a renowned blues singer and guitarist, is born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
1950 - Althea Gibson becomes the first African American competitor in national tennis competition.
1951 - The Harlem Globetrotters play in Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany before 75,052 non-paying spectators. This is the largest crowd to witness a basketball game (up to that time).
1978 - Jomo Kenyatta (original name KAMAU NGENGI), president of Kenya, joins the ancestors after succumbing to heart failure in his sleep while vacationing in Mobasa, Kenya at the age of 83. He was the leading force in Kenya's independence struggles.
1979 - 200 African American leaders meet in New York City in support of Andrew Young (after he had resigned as U.N. ambassador under pressure for "unauthorized" meeting with the PLO) and demand that African Americans be given a voice in shaping American foreign policy.
1984 - Evelyn Ashford of the United States ties the world women's mark for the 100 meters (10.76 seconds).
1984 - New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden becomes the 11th rookie to strikeout 200 batters.
1989 - Huey Percy Newton joins the ancestors in Oakland, California. The founder of the Black Panther Party is shot to death outside a crack cocaine house, allegedly by a drug dealer whom Newton had robbed (Gunman Tyrone Robinson will sentenced later to 32 years to life in prison).
1826 - Edward A. Jones receives his B.A.
degree from Amherst College. John Brown Russwurm is considered to be the first
African American in America to graduate from college. Two years after entering
Bowdoin College, he receives his baccalaureate degree on September 6, 1826. Edward
A. Jones, the lesser known of the two, graduates just two weeks prior on this date in 1826
from Amherst College. Both men will receive their Masters Degrees, John in 1829 and Edward
1833 - Great Britain frees 700,000 slaves in its colonies.
1892 - O.E. Brown, inventor, receives a patent for a horseshoe.
1900 - The National Negro Business League is formed in Boston, Massachusetts. Sponsored by Booker T. Washington, the organization is established to stimulate the development of African American businesses.
1908 - Fifty-two nurses, led by Martha M. Franklin, form the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.
1917 - A riot occurs in Houston, Texas, when the 24th Infantry seeks revenge on the city's white police after the brutal beating of two of the regiment's soldiers. After two hours of violence, 15 whites, including four policemen, will be killed and 12 more are injured. Four soldiers will die as a result of the violence. One hundred and eighteen soldiers will be charged in connection with the riots and 19 executed, most in almost total secrecy, in one of the most infamous court-martials ever involving African Americans.
1989 - An African American teenager named Yusef Hawkins is chased and beaten to death by a mob of 30 white youths from the neighborhood of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, New York. The only provocation is that he is African American in an all-white neighborhood.
1854 - John VanSurley deGrasse, M.D., who
received his medical degree from Bowdoin College in 1849, becomes a member of the
Massachusetts Medical Society, a first for an African American.
1854 - National Emigration Convention meets in Cleveland with one hundred delegates. William C. Munroe of Michigan is elected president.
1937 - Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola is born in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He will a member of a very poor household of Yoruba-speaking Muslims. He will attend the Islamic Nawar Ud-Deen School and the Christian-run African Central School. After graduating from the Baptist Boys' High School, he will work as a bank clerk and a civil servant. He will go on to win a scholarship to Glasgow University to study accounting. He will graduate with several awards in 1965. He will return to Nigeria and will work for major firms before launching his own company, Radio Communications of Nigeria, in 1974. He will accumulate great wealth in a short period of time. His business interests will span 60 countries and include firms engaged in banking, shipping, oil prospecting, agriculture, publishing, air transportation, and entertainment. His Nigerian companies alone will employ close to 20,000 workers. He will oppose the Nigerian military dictatorship and on June 12, 1993, will be elected president in a long awaited presidential election, only to have the election results nullified by the country's military leader. When Abiola announces a year later that he is the country's legitimate leader, he will be imprisoned by the current dictator, General Sani Abacha. After Abacha joins the ancestors suddenly in 1998, attempts were made to free Abiola, but he will also join the ancestors on July 7, 1998, before his freedom becomes a reality. His death will cause violence to occur and spur anti-government anger throughout the country.
1965 - Reggie Miller is born. He will become a professional basketball player and guard for the Indiana Pacers. He will play on the 'Dream Team' in the 1996 Olympics.
1967 - Amanda Randolph joins the ancestors at the age of 65. She had been an actress and was best known for her roles on the Danny Thomas Show and television's Amos 'n' Andy (Mama).
1987 - Bayard Rustin, longtime civil rights activist, early Freedom Rider, and a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, joins the ancestors in New York City. A Quaker, Rustin was best known as a civil rights advocate, first as one of the founders of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), then as a key advisor to a young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1862 - The Secretary of War authorizes
General Rufus Saxton to arm up to five thousand slaves.
1886 - Some six hundred delegates organize the American National Baptist Convention at a St. Louis meeting. Rev. William J. Simmons is elected president.
1886 - Kentucky State College (now University), chartered in May, 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons and only the second state-supported institution of higher learning in Kentucky, is founded in Frankfort, Kentucky. It will become a land grant college in 1890.
1925 - A. Phillip Randolph organizes the Sleeping Car Porters' Union (Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) at a mass meeting in the Elks' Hall in Harlem. He is elected president.
1927 - Althea Gibson is born in Silver, South Carolina. She will grow up to be a pioneer in the field of tennis, becoming the first African American to play tennis at the U.S. Open in 1950 and at Wimbledon the following year. In 1957, she will win the singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon, another first for an African American.
1950 - Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Jose Basora to win the world middleweight boxing title.
1964 - Blair Underwood is born. He will become an actor and will star in "Downtown," and will be best known for his role as "L.A. Law's" Jonathan Rollins.
1965 - James M. Nabrit Jr. is named ambassador and assigned to the United Nations' delegation.
1991 - African Americans receive seven Emmy awards, a record number up to that time.
1874 - Sixteen African Americans are
lynched in the state of Tennessee.
1900 - Hale Woodruff is born in Cairo, Illinois. He will study art in the United States, Paris and fresco painting with Diego Rivera in Mexico. He will also start the influential Atlanta University shows for African American artists in the 1940's.
1905 - George Washington joins the ancestors in Centralia, Washington. An African American settler of a vast land claim at the junction of the Shockumchuck and Chehalis rivers in 1851, Washington endured schemes of white settlers to take his land and the Indian Wars of 1853 to found the town of Centerville (later Centralia), Washington, in 1875.
1943 - William L. Dawson is elected as the Black Democratic Party Vice President candidate.
1947 - Don Bankhead becomes the first African American pitcher in major-league baseball. The Brooklyn Dodger hurler helps his own cause by slamming a home run in his first appearance at the plate.
1948 - Valerie Simpson (Ashford) is born in the Bronx, New York City. She will become an accomplished singer, composer, and producer. She will marry Nick Ashford and perform with him for many years.
1960 - Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will begin his musical career with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, later playing with his brother Wynton's quintet, will record with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sting, and become musical director for the Tonight Show in 1992.
1982 - Rickey Henderson ties Lou Brock's 1974 record of 118 stolen bases in a season, as the Milwaukee Brewers down the Kansas City Royals, 10-3.
1985 - Baltimore Oriole Eddie Murray knocks in 9 RBIs in a game vs the California Angels.
1998 - Attorney General Janet Reno reopens the investigation of the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., focusing on two allegations of a conspiracy beyond James Earl Ray.
1879 - African American publisher Robert
Lee Van is born.
1909 - Lester Young is born into a musical family in Woodville, Mississippi. Young was taught several instruments by his father. As a child he played drums in the family's band, but around 1928 he quit the group and switched to tenor saxophone. His first engagements on this instrument were with Art Bronson, in Phoenix, Arizona. He stayed with Bronson until 1930, with a brief side trip to play again with the family, then worked in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota, with various bands. In the spring of 1932 he joined the Original Blue Devils, under the leadership of Walter Page, and was one of several members of the band who joined Bennie Moten in Kansas City towards the end of 1933. During the next few years Young played in the bands of Moten, George E. Lee, King Oliver, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Andy Kirk and others.
1918 - Dr. Joseph L. Johnson is named minister to Liberia.
1949 - Paul Robeson's scheduled singing appearance at the Lakeland picnic grounds in Westchester County, New York, is disrupted by a riot instigated and provoked by whites angry at Robeson's political stands.
1963 - W.E.B. DuBois joins the ancestors at age 95 in Accra, Ghana. He was one of America's foremost scholars, a militant civil rights activist, founding father of the NAACP, and leading proponent of Pan-Africanism.
1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his " I Have A Dream " speech in Washington, DC during the 1963 March on Washington.
1966 - A racially motivated civil disobedience riot occurs in Waukegan, Illinois.
1975 - Haile Selassie, "Lion of Judah" and deposed Ethiopian emperor, joins the ancestors at age 83 in Addis Ababa.
1982 - Rickey Henderson steals 119th base of season breaking Lou Brock's mark.
1983 - The second "March on Washington for Jobs, Peace, and Freedom" is held.
1989 - 'Johnny B Goode' is performed by Chuck Berry for NASA engineers and scientists in celebration of Voyager II's encounter with the planet Neptune.
1991 - Central Life Insurance Company, the last surviving African American owned insurance company in the state of Florida, is ordered liquidated by a Florida circuit court judge.
1818 - Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable,
trader and founder of Chicago, joins the ancestors.
1921 - Second Pan-African Congress meets in London, Brussels and Paris, from August 28 to September 6. Of the 113 delegates, 39 are from Africa and 36 were from the United States.
1945 - Baseball commissioner Branch Rickey and future baseball great Jackie Robinson meet. They will discuss the difficulties Robinson, an African American athlete, would face in major-league baseball. Robinson will receive $600 a month and a $3,500 signing bonus to play for Montreal of the International League. He would quickly move up and enjoy a brilliant career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1955 - Fourteen-year-old Chicago youngster Emmett Till is kidnapped in Money, Mississippi. Four days later he is found brutally mutilated and murdered, allegedly for whistling at a white woman. Two whites will be acquitted of the crime by an all-white jury. The incident will receive national publicity and highlight racism and brutality toward African Americans. This incident is chronicled on tape # 1 in the "Eyes on the Prize" series.
1962 - Seventy-five ministers and laymen--African American and whites--primarily from the North, are arrested after prayer demonstration in downtown Albany, Georgia.
1963 - Over 250,000 African-Americans and whites converge on the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, the largest single protest demonstration in United States history. The march, organized to support sweeping civil rights measures, will also be the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most famous speech, "I have a Dream."
1964 - A racially motivated civil disobedience riot occurs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1966 - The National Guard is mobilized to protect Milwaukee, Wisconsin marchers protesting a judge's membership in lily-white club.
1968 - Rev. Channing E. Philips of Washington, DC, becomes the first African American to have his/her name placed in nomination for president by a major national party. Philips' name is placed in nomination as the favorite son candidate by the District of Columbia delegation at the Democratic convention in Chicago and will receive 67 1/2 votes.
1984 - The Jacksons' Victory Tour broke the record for concert ticket sales. The group surpasses the 1.1 million mark in only two months.
1988 - Beah Richards wins an Emmy for outstanding guest performance in the comedy series "Frank's Place." It is one of the many acting distinctions for the Vicksburg, Mississippi native, including her Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."
1920 - Charlie
"Bird" (Charles Christopher) Parker is born in Kansas City, Kansas. The
jazz saxophonist will become one of the leaders of the bebop movement and be noted for his
works "Ko Ko" and "In the Still of the Night," among others. He will
receive numerous awards from Downbeat magazine and have the famous jazz club, Birdland, in
New York City named in his honor.
1924 - Ruth Jones is born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She will be better known as "Dinah Washington." She will perform with Lionel Hampton from 1943 to 1946 and become one of the most popular R & B singers of the 1950's and early 1960's.
1933 - Isabel Sanford is born in New York City. She will become an actress and will star as Louise on the long-running sitcom "The Jeffersons", "All in the Family", and will star in many movies including "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", "Original Gangstas", "South Beach", "Love at First Bite", "The Photographer", "The New Centurions", "Pendulum", and "Buffalo Soldiers".
1945 - Wyomia Tyus, Olympic runner, who will become the first woman sprinter to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100 meters (three total), is born in rural Georgia. She will also become a 10-time AAU National Champion and an All-American Athlete in both the indoor and outdoor competition. Tyus will compete in amateur and professional track and field meets from 1960 - 1975. In addition to her athletic achievements, Tyus will hold a special place in Olympic history. At the XXIIIrd Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Tyus will become the first woman ever, in the history of the Olympic Games, to bear the Olympic Flag.
1946 - Bob Beamon is born in Jamaica, New York. He will become a star in track and field, He will specialize in the long jump and will win the 1968 Olympic gold medal in the long jump and set the world record of 29 feet, 2 1/2 inches. His record will stand for twenty three years until it is broken by Mike Powell at the World Championships in Tokyo in 1991.
1957 - The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is passed by Congress. It is the first civil rights legislation since 1875. The bill establishes a civil rights commission and a civil rights division in the Justice Department. It also gave the Justice Department authority to seek injunctions against voting rights infractions.
1958 - Michael Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. First with the family group the Jackson Five and later as a solo artist, Jackson will be one of pop and Rhythm & Blues' foremost stars. His solo album "Off the Wall" (1979) will sell 7 million copies worldwide, surpassed only by "Thriller", his largest-selling album (also the biggest selling album of all time).
1962 - Mal Goode becomes the first African American television news commentator when he begins broadcasting on ABC.
1962 - Carl Banks is born. He will become a star NFL linebacker with the New York Giants.
1970 - Black Panthers confront the police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One policeman is killed and six are wounded in a racial confrontation.
1971 - Hank Aaron becomes the first baseball player in the National League to drive in 100 or more runs in each of 11 seasons.
1977 - St. Louis Cardinal Lou Brock eclipses Ty Cobb's 49-year-old career stolen base record at 893.
1979 - The first completely Black-owned radio network in the world, "Mutual Black Network" is purchased by the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation.
1984 - Edwin Moses wins the 400-meter hurdles in track competition in Europe. It is the track star's 108th consecutive victory.
1856 - Wilberforce University is
established in Xenia, Ohio under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1863, the university was transferred to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME)
1861 - General John C. Fremont issues an order confiscating the property of Confederates and emancipating their slaves. The order causes wide-spread protest and is revoked by President Lincoln.
1892 - S. R. Scottron patents a curtain rod.
1901 - Roy Wilkins is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will become a civil rights leader, assistant executive secretary of the NAACP under Walter White and editor of the Crisis Magazine for 15 years. He will become Executive Secretary of the NAACP in 1955, a post he will hold for 22 years. During his tenure, he will be a champion of civil rights committed to using constitutional arguments to help obtain full citizenship rights for all African Americans.
1931 - Carrie Saxon Perry is born in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1987, she will be elected mayor of Hartford, becoming the first African American mayor of a major eastern United States city.
1953 - Robert Parish is born. He will become a professional basketball player and will star as a center for the Boston Celtics.
1956 - A white mob prevents the enrollment of blacks at Mansfield High School in Texas.
1961 - James Benton Parsons is confirmed as the first African American judge of a United States District Court in the continental United States (Northern Illinois). He had been appointed by President John F. Kennedy on April 18, 1961.
1967 - Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been appointed by President Lyndon Johnson on June 13, 1967.
1969 - Racially motivated civil disturbances occur in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
1983 - Lt. Colonel Guion S. Bluford is the first African American in space when he serves as a mission specialist on the Challenger space shuttle.
1987 - Ben Johnson of Canada runs 100 meters in world record time of 9.83 seconds.
1990 - Ken Griffey & Ken Griffey, Jr. become the first father & son to play on the same professional sports team (Seattle Mariners). Both single in the first inning.
1935 - Eldridge Cleaver is
born in Wabaseka, Arkansas. He will join the Black Panther Party in 1967, becoming its
Minister of Information and putting together The Black Panther newspaper. He will be
the 1968 Presidential candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party. He and another Panther
member, will be assaulted by police in 1968 (Cleaver is arrested). He and Kathleen
Cleaver, his wife and a Panther leader in her own right, flee the country, eventually
founding the Panther's international branch in Algeria before moving to France. Cleaver
split from the Party in 1971, forming his own version of the organization with several
Party chapters switching from Bobby Seale to him. Cleaver will return to the United
States in the late 1970's as a born-again Christian and a republican. He will spend his
later years as a conservative idealist concerned with the environment, and will join the
ancestors on May 1, 1998 at the age of 62.
1935 - Frank Robinson is born in Beaufort, Texas. He will become a professional baseball player and will become Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1961 and Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1966. Later, he will become the first African American manager in major league baseball.
1936 - Marva Collins is born in Monroeville, Alabama. She will become an innovative educator who uses her pension funds to open Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, dedicating to reverse the educational decline in the city's African American neighborhoods. Collins' motto for the school is "entrance to learn, exit to serve."
1943 - The USS Harmon, a destroyer escort, is launched. It is named after Mess Attendant 1st Class Leonard H. Harmon, a 1942 Navy Cross recipient. It is the first United States warship named for an African American.
1958 - Edwin Corley Moses, track star (hurdler, Olympic-gold-1984), is born in Dayton, Ohio. He will be referred to as "the greatest hurdler in the history of track and field" for his 122 consecutive wins in the 400 meter hurdles (spanned eleven years and 22 countries).
1962 - Joint independence is granted to Trinidad and Tobago by Great Britain.
1983 - Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson retires from the Army Nurse Corps. She is the first African American woman to achieve the rank of Brigadier General and the first African American to be chief of the Army Nurse Corps.
1983 - Edwin Moses of the United States sets the 400 meter hurdle record (47.02) in Koblenz, Germany.
1984 - Pinklin Thomas defeats Tim Witherspoon for the WBC heavyweight boxing title.
1990 - Nat (Sweetwater) Clifton, former New York Knickerbocker star, joins the ancestors after succumbing to a heart attack at the age of 65.
1991 - KQEC-TV of San Francisco begins broadcasting under new owners, the Minority Television Project. It is the second minority-owned public television station.
Updated by K. Ferguson Kelly: March 16, 2002