01 -15 July in Black History
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01 July 1863 - 1997

1863 - The Dutch West Indies abolishes slavery.

1870 - James W. Smith is the first African American to enter the U.S. Military Academy (West Point).

1873 - Henry O. Flipper of Georgia is the second African American to enter West Point .

1889 - Frederick Douglass is named minister to Haiti.

1898 - The African American 10th Calvary charges Spanish Forces at El Caney, Cuba, and relieves Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders."

1899 - Rev. Thomas Andrew Dorsey, "Father of Gospel Music" is born in Villa Rica, Georgia.  Although he will begin touring with Ma Rainey, he will leave the blues in 1932 to work as a choir director for Pilgrim Baptist Church.  A gospel legend, among his most popular songs will be "A Little Talk with Jesus."

1915 - Willie Dixon, bassist ("Walkin' the Blues") is born in Vickburg, Mississippi.

1917 - A three day race riot starts in East St. Louis, Illinois. Estimates of the number killed ranges from forty to two hundred.  There had been an earlier race riot that occurred on May 27, 1917.  Martial law is declared.  A congressional investigating committee will say, "It is not possible to give accurately the number of dead.  At least thirty-nine Negroes and eight white people were killed outright, and hundreds of Negroes were wounded and maimed.  'The bodies of the dead Negroes,' testified an eye witness, 'were thrown into a morgue like so many dead hogs.'  There were three hundred and twelve buildings and forty-four railroad freight cars and their contents destroyed by fire."

1942 - Andrae Crouch, African American sacred music artist, is born. His most enduring gospel songs will be 'Soon and Very Soon,' 'My Tribute', 'The Blood' and 'Through It All.'

1960 - Ghana becomes a republic.  Italian Somalia gains independence, and unites with the Somali Republic.

1960 - Evelyn "Champagne" King, singer ('Shame,' 'I'm In Love') , is born in the Bronx, New York City, New York.

1961 - Carl Lewis, track & field athlete who will win eight Olympic gold medals and eight world championships, is born.

1962 - Burundi & Rwanda gain independence from Belgium (National Days).

1976 - Newark mayor Kenneth Gibson is elected as the first African American president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

1991 - Former chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Clarence Thomas is nominated by President George Bush as associate justice of the Supreme Court to replace retiring justice Thurgood Marshall.  Thomas' Senate confirmation hearings will be the most controversial in history and will include charges of sexual harassment by a former employee, Professor Anita Hill.

1997 - Audrey F. Manley begins her appointment as president of Spelman College.  She is the first alumna of Spelman to be named president in the college's 116-year history.   Formerly acting surgeon general of the United States, Manley has served in key leadership positions in the U.S. Public Health Service for the last 20 years.

02 July 1770 - 1990

1777 - Vermont, not one of the original 13 states, becomes the first U.S. territory to abolish slavery.

1822 - Denmark Vesey, slave insurrectionist leader, and 5 aides are hanged in Blake's Landing, Charleston, South Carolina.

1908 - Thurgood Marshall is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He will have the most distinguished legal career of any African American as the NAACP's national counsel, director-counsel of the organization's Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and leader of some of the most important legal challenges for African Americans' constitutional rights, including "Brown v. Board of Education" in 1954.  In addition to sitting as a circuit judge for the Second Circuit, Marshall will be named U.S. Solicitor General in 1965 and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967, where he will serve for 24 years.

1925 - Patrice Lumumba, revolutionary and first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo, is born in Stanleyville, Belgian Congo.

1927 - Brock Peters, actor/singer (Carmen Jones, To Kill a Mockingbird), is born.

1930 - Fritz "Ahmad Jamal" Jones, jazz pianist, is born.

1932 - Sammy Turner, vocalist (Lavender Blue) is born in Paterson, New Jersey.

1943 - Lt.  Charles Hall, of Brazil, Indiana, becomes the first African American pilot in World War II to shoot down a Nazi plane.

1946 - Anthony Overton, publisher, cosmetics manufacturer and banker, joins the ancestors in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 81.

1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Bill, which includes public accommodation and fair employment sections.  The Civil Rights Act prohibits segregation in employment, education, and public accommodation on the basis of race, sex, age, national origin or religion.

1986 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action in two rulings.

1990 - "Devil in a Blue Dress", a mystery novel by Walter Moseley set in South-Central Los Angeles, is published.  Its realism and strong African American characters will earn its author enthusiastic praise and a nomination for best novel by the Mystery Writers of America.

03 July 1848 - 1966

1848 - Slaves are freed in the Danish West Indies (now the U.S. Virgin Islands).

1871 - Joseph H. Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass, is born in Washington, DC.   A student of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Douglass will become a noted violinist.

1915 - U.S. military forces occupy Haiti, and remain until 1934.

1917 - Three days of racial riots end in East St. Louis, Illinois. At least 40 and as many as 200 African Americans are killed and hundreds more are wounded.

1928 - Charles Waddell Chestnutt, author of "The Conjure Woman" and other works, is awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal for his "work as a  literary artist depicting the life and struggle of Americans of Negro descent."

1940 - Fontella Bass, vocalist ("Rescue Me"), is born in St. Louis, Missouri.

1947 - The Cleveland Indians purchase the contract of Larry Doby, the first African American to play in the American League.

1962 - Jackie Robinson, who broke the color line in professional baseball, is the first African American inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, New York.

1966 - NAACP officially disassociates itself from the "Black Power" doctrine.

04 July 1776 - 1994

1776 - The Declaration of Independence is adopted.  A section written by Thomas Jefferson denouncing slavery is deleted.

1779 - Colonel Arent Schuyler De Puyster notes the presence of "Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a handsome Negro, well-educated and settled at Eschikagou."  It is the first recorded mention of "DuSable, who settled the area that will become known as Chicago.

1827 - New York State abolishes slavery.

1845 - Wildfire Lewis is born in Greenwich, New York.  After living with Chippewa relatives, she will enroll in Oberlin College's preparatory and college program.   Changing her name to Mary Edmonia Lewis, she will travel to Boston and abroad where she will become one of the most outstanding sculptors of her day.  Among her most famous works will be "Forever Free," "Hagar in Her Despair in the Wilderness" and "Death of Cleopatra."

1875 - White Democrats kill several African Americans in terrorist attacks in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1881 - Tuskegee Institute opens in Tuskegee, Alabama, with Booker T. Washington as its first president.

1892 - Arthur George Gaston is born in a log cabin, built by his grandparents, former slaves, in Marengo County, Alabama, near Demopolis.  He will drop out of school after the tenth grade and will become one of the most successful proponents of Booker T. Washington's brand of capitalism.  A Washington disciple as a child, Gaston became a self-made millionaire and one of the richest African American men in America in the 1950s.   His many businesses thrived on the social separateness legislated by the Jim Crow laws in segregated Alabama. Gaston will make it his personal mission to urge African Americans to seek "green power," a term he remembered Washington using.   His quiet role in the civil right movement was also noted, saying once that African Americans needed a Martin Luther King, Jr. of economics to fire them up the way King had about integration.  Gaston made the following statement that summed up his position on economic empowerment for people of color -- "It doesn't do any good to arrive at first-class citizenship, if you arrive broke."  He will live to the age of 103.

1910 - Jack Johnson KOs James Jeffries in 15 rounds, ending Jeffries' come-back try.

1938 - Bill Withers, rhythm & blues singer ("Lean on Me"), is born in West Virginia.

1959 - The Cayman Islands, separated from Jamaica, are made a British Crown Colony.

1963 - Marian Anderson and Ralph Bunche receive the first Medals of Freedom from President John F. Kennedy, the creator of the award.

1970 - 100 persons are injured in racially motivated disturbances in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

1990 - "2 Live Crew" release "Banned in the USA"; the lyrics quote "The Star Spangled Banner" & "The Gettysburg Address."

1991 - The National Civil Rights Museum officially opens at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, the site of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

1994 -  Rwandan Tutsi rebels seize control of most of their country's capital, Kigali, and continue advancing on areas held by the Hutu-led government.

2003 - Barry White, Rhythm & Blues balladeer, joins the ancestors at the age of 58   after succumbing to Kidney failure and a mild stroke.  His hits included "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" and "I've Got So Much to Give."

05 July 1852 - 1994

1852 - At a meeting sponsored by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, in Rochester Hall, Rochester, New York, Frederick Douglass illustrates the full shame of slavery, delivering a speech that takes aim at the pieties of the nation -- the cherished memories of its revolution, its principles of liberty, and its moral and religious foundation.  The Fourth of July, a day celebrating freedom, is used by Douglass to remind his audience of liberty's unfinished business.  "What to the American Slave is Your Fourth of July?": "To him your celebration is a sham...to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.  There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour." The text of this speech can be seen on the Information Man's web site:   http://members.aol.com/goreader/douglass.htm .

1892 - Andrew Beard is issued patent number 478,271 for his rotary engine.

1899 - Anna Arnold (later Hedgeman) is born in Marshalltown, Iowa. Hedgeman  will be the first African American woman to serve in the cabinet of a New York City mayor (1954), a special projects coordinator for the Commission on Religion and Race of the National Council of Churches, and recruiter of 40,000 Protestant churchmen to participate in the 1963 March on Washington.

1913 - Smiley Lewis is born in Dequincy, Louisiana.  He will become a rhythm and blues vocalist and best known for his song, "I Hear You Knockin'."

1947 - The first African American baseball player in the American League joins the lineup of the Cleveland Indians.  Larry Doby plays his first game  against the Chicago White Sox.   He will play for both the Indians and the White Sox during his 13-year, major-league career.

1949 - The New York Giants purchase the contracts of Monty Irvin & Henry Thompson, their first African American players.

1966 - Three nights of race rioting in Omaha, Nebraska, result in the calling out of the National Guard.

1969 - Tom Mboya, Economics Minister, joins the ancestors after being assassinated in Narobi, Kenya.

1975 - Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to win the Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship when he defeats Jimmy Conners.

1975 - The Cape Verde Islands gain independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule.

1975 - Forty persons are injured in racial disturbances in Miami, Florida.

1989 - Barry Bond's home run sets father-son (Bobby) HR record at 408.

1990 - Zina Garrison upsets Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

1994 - In an attempt to halt a surge of Haitian refugees, the Clinton administration announces it is refusing entry to new Haitian boat people.

06 July 1853 - 1990

1853 - A National Black convention meets in Rochester, New York, with 140 delegates from nine states.  James W.C. Pennington of New York is elected president of this meeting, generally considered the largest and most representative of the early African American conventions.

1853 - William Wells Brown publishes "Clotel," the first novel by an African American.

1854 - The Republican Party is organized to oppose the extension of slavery.

1864 - John Wesley Gilbert, archeologist, is born in Hepzibah, Georgia.

1868 - Eighty-five African Americans and 70 white representatives meet in Columbia, South Carolina, at the opening of the state's General Assembly.  It is the first and last U.S. legislature with an African American majority.

1869 - African American candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, Dr. J.H. Harris, is defeated by a vote of 120,068 to 99,600.

1931 - Della Reese (Deloreese Patricia Early) is born in Detroit, Michigan.  As a teen-ager, she will tour with gospel great Mahalia Jackson and, at the age of 18, forms the Meditation Singers and will become the first performer to take gospel music to the casinos of Las Vegas.  She will become the first African American female to host a daytime television talk show (1969-70) and will appear in numerous television series, including "Sanford and Son," "The A-Team" and, on the CBS Television Network, "Crazy Like a Fox" and "Picket Fences." She will also star as a series regular in "Charlie & Company" and "The Royal Family", both on the CBS Network.  In September, 1994, she became a regular on the award winning show, "Touched By An Angel."

1957 - Althea Gibson becomes the first African American tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title, defeating fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2.  She will also team up with Darlene Hard to win the doubles championship.

1964 - Malawi (then Nyasaland) gains independence from Great Britain.

1966 - Malawi becomes a republic.

1967 - The Biafran War erupts as Nigerian troops invade. The war will last more than two years, claiming some 600,000 lives.

1971 - Louis Armstrong joins the ancestors in Corona, Queens, in New York City.   Armstrong had been one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians since his 1929 hit "Ain't Misbehavin" and had enjoyed an immensely successful performing and recording career.

1975 - The Comoros Islands declare independence from France. The deputies of Mayotte refuse, and thus that island nation remains under French control.  The official languages in Comoros are Arabic and French, but the vernacular is a Comorian variant of Swahili. It is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar approximately 250 miles off the coast of Africa.

1984 - Michael Jackson and his brothers start their "Victory Tour" in Kansas City, Missouri's Arrowhead Stadium.  The tour turns out to be a victory for the Jacksons when the nationwide concert tour concludes months later.

1990 - Jesse Owens is honored on a stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.  Owens was a four-time Olympic gold medal winner in the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin.

07 July 1781 - 1998

1781 - James Armistead, an American slave, infiltrates the headquarters of General Cornwallis and becomes a servant hired to spy on the Americans.  In reality, Armistead is a cunning double agent working for the French ally General Lafayette and reports on the movements and troop strength of the British.  His reports are critical to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

1791 - The nondenominational African Church is founded by Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and Benjamin Rush.

1851 -  Charles A. Tindley, African American Methodist preacher and songwriter is born.  His most enduring gospel hymns include 'Stand By Me,' 'Nothing Between,' 'Leave It There'and 'By and By.'

1883 - Walter White, NAACP leader, is born.  He will be the Executive Director of the NAACP from 1931 until he joins the ancestors in 1955.

1906 - Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige, baseball pitcher, (Negro League and American League) is born in Mobile, Alabama. (His birth year is an estimate).  In 1965, 59 years after Paige's supposed birthday, he took the mound for the last time, throwing three shut-out innings for the Kansas City Athletics.  He will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1971.

1915 - Margaret Walker is born in Birmingham, Alabama.  Encouraged by Langston Hughes and others, Walker will become a writer best known for her volume of poetry 'For My People,' her novel 'Jubilee,' and a biography of novelist Richard Wright.

1921 - Ezzard Charles is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will become a boxer and will be undefeated as an amateur, winning the 1939 AAU National middleweight title before turning professional in 1940.  After military service during World War II, he will defeat Hall-of-Famer Archie Moore and avenge losses to Lloyd Marshall and Jimmy Bivins to earn a No. 2 ranking at light heavyweight in 1946. He will fight five light heavyweight champions, beating four of them, but will never challenge for the light heavyweight crown.   He will finally win the vacant NBA heavyweight title by defeating Jersey Joe Walcott in 1949. He will earn worldwide recognition as heavyweight king the next year by decisioning an aged Joe Louis.  After three successful defenses of the undisputed crown, he will lose the title in a third battle with Walcott. Charles will announce his retirement from the ring on December 1, 1956. He will join the ancestors in 1975 and will be enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

1945 - Fern Logan is born in Jamaica (Queens), New York.  A graduate of Pratt Institute, she will study photography in the mid 1970's with master photographer Paul Caponigro.  Among her best-known works will be the renowned "Artists Portrait Series" of African American artists such as Romare Bearden, Roy deCarava, and Jacob Lawrence as well as commanding landscapes and scenes of nature.

1948 - The Cleveland Indians sign Leroy "Satchel" Paige at the age of 42.   He will be the American League 'Rookie of the Year'.

1948 - Edna Griffin, her infant daughter Phyllis, John Bibbs and Leonard Hudson, entered the Katz Drug Store in downtown Des Moines, Iowa sat at the lunch counter and ordered ice cream.  They were refused service and Griffin soon organized a protest against the drugstore's policy of refusing service to blacks.  Criminal charges were filed against Katz for violating Iowa's 1884 Civil Rights Act.  The law prohibited discrimination in public accommodation.  Katz will be found guilty and will appeal the verdict to the Iowa Supreme Court, which affirmed the decision a year later. The case will be settled, Griffin got a $1 settlement and the drugstore was forced to change its ways.

1960 - Ralph Sampson, NBA center (Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets) is born.

1975 - "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Not Enuf," a play by 26-year-old Ntozake Shange, premieres in New York City.

1994 - Panama withdraws its offer to the United States to accept thousands of Haitian refugees.

1997 - Harvey Johnson is sworn in as the first African American mayor in Jackson, Mississippi.

1998 - Imprisoned Nigerian opposition leader Moshood Abiola joins the ancestors before he can be released from his political imprisonment.  The government indicates that he succumbed from an apparent heart attack.

08 July 1876 - 1966

1876 - White terrorists attack African American Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina, killing five.

1914 - William Clarence ("Billy") Eckstine is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Getting his musical start as a singer with Earl "Fatha" Hines and with his own bop big band that will include Art Blakey, Gene Ammons, and others, Eckstine will settle on a career as a solo singer, where he will achieve widespread admiration.

1943 - Alice Faye Wattleton is born in St. Louis, Missouri.  She will become the president of Planned Parent Federation of America in 1978 and be known for almost 14 years as an outspoken champion of women's reproductive rights.  She will leave Planned Parenthood in 1992 to develop her own talk show devoted to discussions of women's issues.

1943 - Nebraska's first African American newspaper, "The Omaha Star", was founded by Mildred Brown.

1966 - John H. Johnson wins the Spingarn Medal for his "contributions to the enhancement of the Negro's self-image" through his publications including "Negro Digest", "Ebony", and "Jet" magazines, and books such as "Before the Mayflower", written by historian Lerone Bennett, Jr.


09 July 1863 - 1987

1863 - Union troops enter Port Hudson.  With the fall of Vicksburg (on July 4) and Port Hudson,  Union troops control the Mississippi River and The Confederacy is cut into two sections.  Eight African American regiments play important roles in the siege of Port Hudson.

1868 - Francis L. Cardozo is installed as secretary of the state of South Carolina and becomes the first African American cabinet officer on the state level.

1893 - Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs the world's first open-heart surgery at Chicago's Provident Hospital (which he funded in 1891) on James Cornish, who had been stabbed in the chest and was dying from blood accumulation around the heart.  Dr. Williams brought Mr. Cornish to surgery, where he proceeded to open his chest, drain the blood and successfully tured the pericardium.

1893 - Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs the world's first open-heart surgery at Chicago's Provident Hospital (which he funded in 1891) on James Cornish, who had been stabbed in the chest and was dying from blood accumulation around the heart.  Dr. Williams brought Mr. Cornish to surgery, where he proceeded to open his chest, drain the blood and successfully tured the pericardium.

1901 - Jester Hairston is born in Belew's Creek, North Carolina, and will move at a very early age to the Homestead section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he will grow up.   He will attend the Massachusetts Agriculture College (now University of Massachusetts), dropping out in the 1920s due to lack of money.  After impressing a benefactor with his singing, he will be sponsored at Tufts University, graduating in 1929.   He will move to New York and will meet Hall Johnson, who will teach him to respect Negro spirituals. He will begin his Hollywood career in 1935 when Warner Brothers purchases the show, "Green Pastures." His early acting roles, will include long-running parts on the radio and television versions of "Amos 'n' Andy" as well as bit parts in Tarzan films.  Although many of his early acting jobs will portray less than flattering images of Blacks, he will never apologize for playing racial stereotypes.  "We had a hard time then fighting for dignity," he will say years later.  "We had no power. We had to take it, and because we took it the young people today have opportunities." In addition to his roles in television's "Amos 'n' Andy" and "Amen," Hairston will excel as a musician, first with the Eva Jessye Choir and later as assistant conductor of the Hall Johnson Choir.   He will also arrange choral music for more than 40 film soundtracks.  He will also become the first African American to direct The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His films credits will include "The Alamo," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "In the Heat of the Night," "Lady Sings the Blues," "The Last Tycoon" and "Lilies of the Valley," for which he will compose the song "Amen." That song, which he dubbed for Sidney Poitier in the movie, will reflect Hairston's lifelong dedication to preserving old Negro spirituals. He will be a sought-after choral director who will organize Hollywood's first integrated choir and compose more than 300 spirituals. In his later years, when working with students at college workshops, Hairston will tell them, "You can't sing legato when the master's beatin' you across your back."  He will join the ancestors in Los Angeles, California on January 18, 2000.

1927 - Attorney William T. Francis is named minister to Liberia.

1936 - June Jordan is born in the Harlem, New York City.  She will become a poet and author of books for children and young adults and will be nominated for the National Book Award in 1972 for "His Own Where."

1947 - O.J. (Orenthal James) Simpson is born in San Francisco, California. He will become a professional football player after winning the Heisman Trophy - USC - in 1968.  He will be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame after playing for the Buffalo Bills and SanFrancisco 49ers.  He will then become an actor and be known for his roles in the Naked Gun series, The Towering Inferno, Roots, and Capricorn One.  He will be charged with, and acquitted of the murder of ex-wife, Nicole and Ron Goldman in 1995.

1951 - Dave Parker is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He will become a professional baseball player and will replace Roberto Clemente as the right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, after Clemente's death. In 1978, he will become the first Pirate to become Most Valuable Player since Clemente.  He will win three Gold Glove awards.  His career will diminish after he suffers from weight and knee problems, eventually leading to drug problems.  He will be traded to Cincinnati and then to the Athletics, where he will contribute to their 1988 and 1989 pennants as a Designated Hitter and team leader.

1955 - E. Frederick Morrow is appointed an administrative aide to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  He is the first African American to hold an executive position on a White House staff.

1971 - Clergyman and activist Leon H. Sullivan is awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal for his achievements in transmitting "the social gospel into economic progress for his people."

1978 - Larry Holmes wins a decision over Ken Norton for the WBC crown.

1979 - Dr. Walter Massey is named director of the Argonne National Laboratory.

1987 - Percy E. Sutton, former New York State legislator, president of the Borough of Manhattan, founder of Inner City Broadcasting and owner of the Apollo Theatre, receives the NAACP's Spingarn Medal.

10 July 1775 - 1993

1775 - General Horatio Gates, George Washington's adjutant general issues an order excluding African Americans from serving in the Continental Army.

1875 - Mary McLeod Bethune is born in Mayesville, South Carolina. She will become a noted educator and founder of Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1904 (now Bethune-Cookman College).  In 1935, she will also found the National Council of Negro Women.

1927 - David Norman Dinkins is born in Trenton, New Jersey. He will move as a child to Harlem. He will serve as a marine during World War II and will attend and graduate from Howard University after the war. He will receive his law degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1956. He was in private practice until 1975, even though he was active in politics and held some office. He began full time elective office in New York City that year and held the offices of City Clerk and Manhattan Borough President. In 1989 he will be elected as the first African American mayor of the city of New York, defeating three-time mayor Ed Koch. He will serve one term, being defeated in 1993 by Rudolph Giuliani.

1936 - Billie Holiday records "Billie's Blues" for Okeh Records in New York.   Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw and Cozy Cole supported Holiday, instrumentally, on the track.

1941 - Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton joins the ancestors in Los Angeles, California at age 56.  The innovative piano soloist, composer, and arranger claims to have invented jazz and makes a series of recordings for the Library of Congress that immortalizes his style.  Fifty years after his death, playwright George C. Wolfe will present a well-regarded play on Morton's life, "Jelly's Last Jam."

1943 - Arthur Ashe is born in Richmond, Virginia. He will become a professional tennis player winning 33 career titles. In winning his titles, he will become the first African American male to win Wimbledon (1975) and the U.S. Open (1968) and will be the first African American enshrined in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  He will also be the author of "A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete," and "Days of Grace.

1945 - Ron Glass is born in Evansville, Indiana.  He will graduate from the University of Evansville with a major in Drama and Literature. His acting career will begin at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He will move to Hollywood after four years in Minneapolis.  He will be best known for his television role as Sgt. Harris on the long-running series, "Barney Miller." His other television credits will be roles in "The New Odd Couple," "Rhythm & Blues," "All in the Family," "Sanford & Sons," "Streets of San Francisco," "Family Matters," and "Murder, She Wrote." His feature film credits include "It's My Party" and "House Guest."

1949 - Frederick M. Jones patents a starter generator.

1951 - Sugar Ray Robinson is defeated for only the second time in 133 fights as Randy Turpin takes the middleweight crown.

1960 - Roger Craig is born. He will become a professional football player, being drafted in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft out of the University of Nebraska by the San Francisco 49ers. He will play for the 49ers eight years, claiming three Super Bowl titles and selected for the Pro Bowl four times. In 1985, he will become the first player to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. By the end of his career, he will become the 49ers' second leading rusher all-time with 7,064 yards.  He will also become co-Super Bowl record holder for Most Points Per Game (18 vs. Miami, 1985) and Most TDs Per Game (3).

1962 - Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested during a civil rights demonstration in Albany, Georgia.

1966 - Martin Luther King, Jr. begins a Chicago campaign for fair housing.  It is his first foray into a northern city for desegregation activities.

1972 - The Democratic convention opens in Miami Beach, Florida.  African Americans constitute 15 per cent of the delegates. Representative Shirley Chisholm receives 151.95 of 2,000-plus ballots on the first roll call.

1973 - The Bahamas attain full independence within the British Commonwealth having been a British colony almost uninterruptedly since 1718.

1984 - Dwight 'Doc' Gooden of the New York Mets becomes the youngest player to appear in an All-Star Game as a pitcher.  Gooden is 19 years, 7 months and 24 days old. He leads the National League to a 3-1 win at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.

1993 - Kenyan runner Yobes Ondieki becomes the first human to run 10 km (6.25 miles) in less than 27 minutes. Ondieki, known for his extremely arduous training sessions, will say after setting his world record, "My world-record race actually felt easier than my tough interval workouts."


11 July 1905 - 1992

1905 - Niagara Movement meetings begin in Buffalo, New York.  Started by 29 intellectuals including W.E.B. Du Bois, the Niagara Movement will renounce Booker T. Washington's accommodation policies  set forth in his famed "Atlanta Compromise" speech ten years earlier.  The Niagara Movement's manifesto is, in the words of Du Bois, "We want full manhood suffrage and we want it now....We are men!  We want to be treated as men. And we shall win."  The movement will be a forerunner of the NAACP.

1915 - Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, a multitalented lawyer, politician, and entrepreneur, joins the ancestors in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Active in the Underground Railroad, he worked with Frederick Douglass and after success as a clothing retailer, became the publisher and editor of "Mirror of the Times," the first African American newspaper in California.  The first African American elected a municipal judge, Gibbs was also active in Republican politics, serving as a delegate to national conventions and as U.S. consul to Madagascar.

1925 - Mattiwilda Dobbs is born in Atlanta, Georgia.  She will become a coloratura (a soprano specializing in florid ornamental trills & runs) in the 1950's, making her operatic debut at La Scala in Milan in 1953 and her U.S. debut with the San Francisco Opera in 1955. She will become the first African American to sing at La Scala and the second African American woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

1931 - Thurston Theodore Harris is born in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He will become a rhythm and blues vocalist.  He will be best known for his recordings of "Little Bitty Pretty One," and "Over and Over." He will join the ancestors in Pomona, California after succumbing to a heart attack on April 14, 1990.

1948 - Ernie Holmes is born.  He will become a professional football player and will be a defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was part of the "Steel Curtain" front four and helped Pittsburgh in winning Super Bowls IX and X.

1951 - Bonnie Pointer is born in Oakland, California.  She will become a singer and member of the vocal group, The Pointer Sisters.  The four sisters will begin their career singing gospel music and will eventually debut in 1973 as a secular group recording for ABC/Blue Thumb Records. In 1974, the Pointer Sisters will perform at the Grand Ole Opry, becoming the first African American female group to do so. They also will become the first African American female group to be number one on Billboard's country and western chart. They will change to a trio in 1977 when sister Bonnie signs as a solo act with Motown Records. The group will be best known for their hits "Slow Hand" (1981), "What a Surprise" (1981), "Excited" (1982), "I Need You" (1983), and the Grammy Award-winning "Jump" (1983) and "Automatic" (1984).

1953 - Leon Spinks is born in St. Louis, Missouri.  He will win the Olympic Light Heavyweight Gold Medal in 1976 and go on to become a professional boxer. He will win his first nine professional bouts, becoming the World Heavyweight Champion, defeating Muhammad Ali.  After losing to Ali in rematch, his career will decline and he will not be able to duplicate his earlier successes.

1954 - The first White Citizens Council organizes in Indianola, Mississippi.   Reminiscent of the end of Reconstruction, the Klan, the White Citizens' Council, and other White supremacist groups will try to prevent any further progress in the civil rights movement.

1958 - Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine, African-American youths who desegregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, receive the Spingarn Medal for their "heroism and pioneering roles in upholding the basic ideals of American democracy in the face of continuing harassment and constant threats of bodily injury."

1960 - Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Upper Volta & Niger declare independence from their European colonial rulers.

1977 - The Medal of Freedom is awarded posthumously to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a White House ceremony.

1987 - Bo Jackson signs a $7.4 million contract to play football for the Los Angeles Raiders for five years.  Jackson becomes a two-sport player as he continues to play baseball with the Kansas City Royals.

1992 - Undeclared presidential hopeful Ross Perot, addressing the NAACP convention in Nashville, Tennessee, startled and offended his listeners by referring to the predominantly African American audience as "you people."

12 July 1864 - 1992

1864 - George Washington Carver, African American botanist, who invented peanut butter, is born in Diamond Grove, Missouri.  He will receive a B.S. from the Iowa Agricultural College in 1894 and a M.S. in 1896.  He will become a member of the faculty of Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanics in charge of the school's bacterial laboratory work in the Systematic Botany department.  His work with agricultural products develops industrial applications from farm products, called chemurgy in technical literature in the early 1900s.  His research will develop 325 products from peanuts, 108 applications for sweet potatoes, and 75 products derived from pecans.  He will move to Tuskegee, Alabama in 1896 to accept a position as an instructor at the Tuskegee Institute of Technology and remain on the faculty until his death in 1943.  His work in developing industrial applications from agricultural products will derive 118 products, including a rubber substitute and over 500 dyes and pigments from 28 different plants.  He will receive the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in 1923.  He will be responsible for the invention in 1927 of a process for producing paints and stains from soybeans, for which three separate patents were issued.  George Washington Carver will be bestowed with an honorary doctorate from Simpson College in 1928. He will be made a member of the Royal Society of Arts in London, England.  Dr. Carver will be honored by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on July 14, 1943 when $30,000 is committed for a national monument to be dedicated to his accomplishments. The area of Carver's childhood near Diamond Grove, Missouri will be preserved as a park, with a bust of the agricultural researcher, instructor, and chemical investigator.  This park will be the first national monument dedicated to an African American in the United States.

1887 - Mound Bayou, an all African American town in Mississippi, is founded by Isaiah Montgomery.

1936 - Actress Rose McClendon joins the ancestors after succumbing to pneumonia in New York City.  A student at the American Academy of Dramatic Art in Carnegie Hall, McClendon won fame for her roles in the plays "Deep River", "In Abraham's Bosom", and "Porgy."  She also founded, with Dick Campbell, the Negro People's Theater and with Campbell and Muriel Rahn, the Rose McClendon Players.

1936 - Cornelius Johnson sets the world record in the high jump.

1937 - William Henry "Bill" Cosby is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will become one of the most popular African American entertainers, first in comedy, where his albums will earn him five Grammy awards, then in Las Vegas and elsewhere.  He will later star in the television series "I Spy", which will be the first of several successful television series.  These series will include "The Bill Cosby Show," "The New Bill Cosby Show," and "The Cosby Show." "The Cosby Show" will hold the number one rating for three years. He will also author numerous books, including "Fatherhood," and "Love and Marriage." His successes will reward him with financial success and he will become a leading philanthropist.

1944 - Denise Nicholas is born.  She will become an actress starring in "Room 222" as Liz McIntyre, "In the Heat of the Night" as Harriet DeLong, "Baby, I'm Back", and "Ghost Dad."

1949 - Frederick M. Jones patents an air conditioning unit.

1951 - Governor Adlai Stevenson, calls out the Illinois National Guard to stop rioting in Cicero, Illinois.  A mob of 3,500 racists try to keep an African American family from moving into the all-white city.

1958 - "Yakety Yak", by The Coasters, becomes the number one song in the country, according to "Billboard" magazine.  It is the first stereo record to reach the top of the chart.

1959 - Rolonda Watts, talk show hostess, is born.

1960 - Congo, Chad & The Central African Republic declare their independence.

1963 - Maryland National Guard troops impose limited martial law in Cambridge, Maryland after open confrontations between civil rights demonstrators and white segregationists.

1966 - A racially motivated disturbance begins in the city of Chicago, prompting the governor to call in the Illinois National Guard.

1967 - Five days of racially motivated disturbances begin in Newark, New Jersey.   Over twenty three persons are killed.  The racial uprising involves ten of the city's twenty-three square miles.  More than 1,500 persons are injured and 1,300 are arrested.  Police report 300 fires.  The Newark rebellion, the worst outbreak of racial violence since the Watts riots (in Los Angeles), spread to other New Jersey communities, including New Brunswick, Englewood, Paterson, Elizabeth, Palmyra, Passaic, and Plainfield.  The New Jersey National Guard is mobilized.

1979 - Minnie Ripperton, a singer best known for her recording of "Lovin' You," joins the ancestors after succumbing to cancer at the age of 32.

1980 - John W. Davis, civil rights activist and former president of West Virginia State College, joins the ancestors in Englewood, New Jersey at the age of 92.

1991 - "Boyz in the Hood", a film written and directed by John Singleton, premieres.  A coming-of-age film set in gang-and-violence-ridden South Central Los Angeles, its positive message will earn Singleton critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations.

1992 - In an emotional farewell speech, Benjamin Hooks, outgoing executive director of the NAACP, urges the group's convention in Nashville, Tennessee, to show the world that it remains vital.

13 July 1787 - 1998

1787 - The Continental Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance, which, in addition to providing for a government and civil liberties for the new territory, excludes slavery northwest of the Ohio River except as punishment for a crime.

1863 - Over 1,200 people, mostly African Americans, are killed in anti-draft rioting in New York City.  Rioting begins, in part, when poor whites revolt against military service exemptions that allow for a payment of $ 300 in lieu of being drafted, a price that they cannot afford.  The "Draft Riots" also reflect a growing hostility toward African Americans, who are seen as the cause of the war.

1868 - Oscar J. Dunn, a former slave, is installed as Lt. Governor of Louisiana.

1919 - Race riots break out in Longview & Gregg counties in Texas.

1928 - Robert N.C. Nix, Jr. is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1971, he will be the first African American to serve on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and, in 1984, the first African American chief justice of a state supreme court.  Chief Justice Nix will be further honored when he is named president of the Conference of Chief Justices, a national organization of judges and justices in the U.S.

1948 - Daphne Maxwell Reid, actress (Frank's Place), is born.

1954 - David Thompson, ex-NBA guard (Phoenix Suns, Seattle Supersonics), is born.

1963 - Spud Webb, ex-NBA guard (Atlanta Hawks), is born.

1965 - Thurgood Marshall, an Appeals Court judge for three years, is appointed Solicitor General of the United States, the first African American to hold the office.

1985 - Arthur Ashe, the first African American male to win Wimbledon, is inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

1985 - The first "Live Aid", an international rock concert in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, takes place to raise money for Africa's starving people.   Over $70 million is collected for
African famine relief.

1998 - A jury in Poughkeepsie, New York, rules that the Rev. Al Sharpton and two others had defamed a former prosecutor by accusing him of raping Tawana Brawley.

14 July 1798 - 1994

1798 - The first direct federal tax on the states is enacted -- on dwellings, land & slaves.

1848 - Wiley Jones is born in Arkansas. He will operate the first streetcar system in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. An illiterate ex-slave, He will become one of Arkansas' richest African Americans.

1876 - Sarah A. Dicket opens a seminary for African American girls in Mississippi.

1888 - The "Indianapolis Freeman", the nation's first illustrated African American newspaper, is founded by Edward Cooper.

1891 - J. Standard is awarded a patent for the refrigerator.

1893 - Spencer Williams is born in Vidalia, Louisiana. After Serving in the U.S. Army, he will become a writer for a series of African American films being produce by an affiliate of Paramount Pictures. This will lead to a career in Hollywood. He will appear in some of the early African American talking movies including "The Lady Fare," "Oft in the Silly Night," and Music Has Charms." "He will produce "Hot Biscuits," "Bronze Buckaroo," and "Harlem Rides the Range." He will write direct and star in "The Blood of Jesus" and "Juke Joint. He will star as Andy in the television production of "Amos 'n' Andy," a role for which he is best remembered. He will join the ancestors in 1969.

1895 - J.B. Allen receives a patent for a clothes line support.

1914 - Dr. Kenneth B. Clarke is born in the Canal Zone, Panama. He will become a noted psychologist who will establish the Northside Center for Child Development in New York City. His pioneering research on the psychological damage to African American children caused by segregation will be used as part of the basis for the "Brown vs. Board of Education" school desegregation decision of the Supreme Court.

1932 - Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier is born in Cuthbert, Georgia. He will become a professional football player and will play for the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. After retiring from football, he will become an movie actor. His film credits will include "Roots-The Next Generations," "Reggie's Prayers," "The Sophisticated Gents," "The Glove," "The Seekers," "The Timber Tramps," "The Treasure of Jamaica Reef," "The Thing with Two Heads," "The Desperate Mission," "Black Brigade," "The Big Push," and "A Second Chance."

1934 - Robert Lee Elder is born in Dallas, Texas. He will be introduced to the game of golf as a caddie when he was a teenager in southern California. After serving in the Army on a golf team, he will become an active player on the United Golf Association Tour. He will dominate the tour, capturing titles in 1963, 1964, 1966, and 1967. In 1967, he will become the second African American to qualify and play in the previously whites-only Professional Golfer's Association (PGA). His achievements will include being the first African American  to be invited and play in the South African Open (1971), the first African American to qualify for the Ryder Cup Team (1979) and the first African American to play in the Masters Tournament (1975).  Among his victories will be The Monsanto Open (1974) and The Houston Open (1976). He will join the Senior PGA Tour in 1984.

1943 - Julius Bledsoe joins the ancestors in Hollywood, California. He was an important stage and film actor whose roles in "Deep River", "In  Abraham's Bosom", and the stage and film versions of "Showboat" won him wide acclaim.

1951 - The George W. Carver National Monument is dedicated in Joplin, Missouri. This is the first national monument to honor an African American.

1968 - Hank Aaron hit his 500th career home run in Atlanta, Georgia leading the Braves to a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. (In April of 1974, Hammerin' Hank will eclipse the old home run mark of 714 held by Babe Ruth.)

1972 - Former New York State Senator Basil A. Paterson is elected vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the first African American to hold a leadership position in a national political party.

1990 - Ernie Singleton is named president of MCA Records' Black Music Division. As president, Singleton oversees the day-to-day activities of the division and the company's artist roster that includes Bobby Brown, Heavy D. & the Boyz, Gladys Knight, and Patti LaBelle. He, along with Jheryl Busby, president of Motown Records Company, Sylvia Rhone, president of Atco EastWest Records, and Ed Eckstine, president of Mercury Records, are the highest ranking African Americans in the mainstream record business.

1994 - A tidal wave of Hutu refugees from Rwanda's civil war floods across the border into Zaire, swamping relief organizations.

15 July 1822 - 1980

1822 - The city of Philadelphia opens its public schools for African Americans.

1864 - General A. J. Smith, with fourteen thousand men, including a brigade of African American troops, defeats Nathan B. Forrest at Harrisburg, near Tupelo, Mississippi.

1869 - A.J. Hayne, an African-American captain of the Arkansas militia, is assassinated.

1929 - Francis Bebey is born in Cameroon.  He will become a self-taught master guitarist, composer, and sanza player.

1945 - Gene Upshaw, ex-NFL offensive tackle (Oakland Raiders), and president of the NFL Players Association, is born.

1951 - Mary White Ovington, one of the founders of the NAACP and author of "The Walls Come Tumbling Down," a history of the NAACP, joins the ancestors.

1961 - Forest Whitaker, actor and director, ("The Crying Game," "Bloodsport," "Platoon," "Phenomenon," "Waiting to Exhale" (Dir.)), is born.

1968 - Ellen Holly integrates daytime television when she appears on ABC's "One Life To Live" as Carla, an African American "passing" for white.  The role is a marked departure for the New York City-born African American, whose first professional role was with Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival as the white Desdemona to William Marshall's Othello in 1958.  Holly had been a featured player in Papp's company and had played several Shakespearean roles, including Lady Macbeth opposite James Earl Jones in "Macbeth" and Princess Katherine opposite Robert Hooks in Henry V, before being signed to the soap opera.

1969 - Rod Carew ties the major league record with his 7th steal of home in a season.

1970 - James McGhee is sworn in as the first African American mayor of Dayton, Ohio.

1973 - Willie McCovey becomes 15th major league player to hit 400 Home Runs.

1980 - Benjamin Hooks addresses the GOP convention after a lobbying effort and threatened walkout by 121 African American delegates. Hooks speaks before the convention despite leading candidate Ronald Reagan's  refusal to appear at the NAACP convention earlier in the month.

1980 - New violence erupts in the riot-torn Liberty City section of Miami, Florida.  Two months after riots that killed 18 and resulted in $100 million in property damage, the violence will leave 40 injured and result in 40 arrests.

     Updated by K. Ferguson Kelly:  July 16, 2004