16 -30 June in Black History
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- 1822 - Denmark Vesey's slave
rebellion in South Carolina is aborted when his plans are revealed to authorities by slave
George Wilson. After 10 of the conspirators are arrested, one of them, Monday Gell,
informs on the others. Although an estimated 9,000 are involved, only 67 are
convicted of any offense. Denmark and over 30 others will be hanged.
1858 - In a speech in Springfield, Illinois, Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln says the
slavery issue has to be resolved, declaring, "A house divided against itself cannot
1939 - Chick Webb, famous jazz drummer and band leader joins the ancestors. Webb
discovered singer Ella Fitzgerald after she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater.
She performed with his band until his death. After his death, Ella will take
over the band until she starts her solo career in 1942.
1941 - Lamont Dozier is born. He will become part of the legendary songwriting team
of Holland, Dozier & Holland. Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland
will write and produce many of the songs that are most closely identified with Motown.
These include "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "You Can't Hurry Love"
(the Supremes), "Heat Wave" and "Jimmy Mack" (Martha and the
Vandellas), "Reach Out I'll Be There" and "Baby I Need Your Loving"
(the Four Tops), and "Can I Get a Witness" and "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved
by You" (Marvin Gaye). These classics are only the tip of the iceberg, insofar as
Holland-Dozier-Holland's ten-year output at Motown is concerned. In their
behind-the-scenes roles as staff producers and songwriters, Holland-Dozier-Holland were as
responsible as any of the performers for Motown's spectacular success. Dozier and
his team will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.
1942 - Eddie Levert is born in Canton. Ohio. He will become a singer and will form
the group, The O'Jays with William Powell, Walter Williams, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles.
The group had more than one name until they were named by Cleveland disc jockey Eddie
O'Jay. They will become a trio in 1971 without Bill Isles and Bobby Massey.
They will record many hit songs including "Back Stabbers," "Love
Train," "Put Your Hands Together," "Time To Get Down," "For
The Love Of Money," "Give The People What They Want," "I Love
Music," "Livin For The Weekend," "Message In Our Music,"
and "Use Ta Be My Girl." Eddie will remain with the group for over forty years.
1943 - A race riot occurs in Beaumont, Texas, resulting in two deaths.
1969 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the suspension of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. from
the House of Representatives is unconstitutional.
1970 - Kenneth A. Gibson is elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He is the first
African American to serve in the position and the first of a major northeastern city.
In 1976 he will be elected the first African American president of the U.S.
Conference of Mayors.
1970 - A racially motivated civil disturbance occurs in Miami, Florida.
1971 - Tupac Shakur is born in Brooklyn, New York. He will move to Baltimore,
Maryland to attend the High School for Performing Arts, where he will begin writing rap
music. He will move to Marin City, California, located near San Francisco,
continuing to write and record rap. He will release many albums, with the album
"All Eyez on Me" selling over 5 million copies. Tupac will join the
ancestors on Friday, September 13, 1996 after succumbing from wounds he will receive as a
result of a drive-by shooting.
1971 - A major racial disturbance occurs in Jacksonville, Florida and will last through
1975 - Adam Wade hosts the nationally televised game show 'Musical Chairs'. He is
the first African American game show host.
1976 - Hector Petersen, a 13-year-old Soweto schoolboy, is the first to die in what will
become known as the 'Children's Crusade,' the first nationwide black South African
uprising in the 1970's. The violence will last 16 months and result in 570 deaths,
3,900 injuries, and 5,900 detentions.
1984 - Edwin Moses wins his 100th consecutive 400-meter hurdles race.
1985 - Willie Banks sets the triple jump record at 58 feet 11 inches in Indianapolis,
Indiana at the USA championships. Banks breaks the record that had been set by
Brazil's Joao Oliveria in 1975.
1987 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar signs a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for
$5,000,000. The 18-year veteran of the NBA becomes the highest paid player in any sport.
1990 - African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, welcomed by a crowd in the
Netherlands, thanks them for staunch Dutch support of the anti-apartheid movement.
1991 - Natalie Cole's album 'Unforgettable' is released. The album consists of her
rendition of 24 songs by her father, Nat King Cole, and includes the title track,
specially remixed to include both father and daughter's voices. It will be her most
successful album, selling over 4,000,000 copies, and will sweep the Grammy Awards
ceremonies in 1992.
1999 - Thabo Mbeki takes the oath as president of South Africa, succeeding Nelson Mandela.
- 1775 - Former slave Peter Salem
shoots and kills British Commander Major John Pitcairn, becoming the hero of the Battle of
Bunker Hill. Salem, along with Seasor, Pharoah, Salem Poor, Barzaillai Lew,
and Cuff Whittmore, fights in the battles of Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill. Pitcairn
was the major who ordered British soldiers to fire on the Minutemen at Lexington.
1822 - In New York City, the first elders of the newly founded African Methodist Episcopal
(AME) Zion Church are ordained.
1871 - James Weldon Johnson is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He will become a
writer ("Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man"), poet, first African American
admitted to the Florida bar, diplomat, executive secretary of the NAACP, and professor.
He also will write the words and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson will write the
music to "Lift Every Voice And Sing", referred to as the "Negro National
1897 - William Frank Powell, a New Jersey educator, is named minister to Haiti.
1957 - A major boycott begins in Tuskegee, Alabama. African Americans boycott city
stores in protest against an act of the state legislature which deprives them of municipal
votes by placing their homes outside city limits.
1966 - Stokely Carmichael calls for the Black Power Movement at a Greenwood, Mississippi
1967 - Six days of racially motivated disturbances end in Newark, New Jersey, in the worst
urban violence since the Watts riots of 1965.
1969 - Jazz musician, Charles Mingus, comes out of a two-year, self-imposed retirement to
make a concert appearance at the Village Vanguard in New York City.
1972 - Frank Wills, a Washington, DC security guard, foils break-in at offices of the
Democratic National Committee. The offices at the Watergate complex, is targeted for the
placement of surveillance equipment. This will be the first event of the Watergate
conspiracy. Mr. Wills will be rewarded for his actions by losing his job and
becoming unable to get another security job in the Washington area.
1990 - South African Black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrive in
Ottawa, Canada, en route to an 11-day tour of the United States.
- 1889 - William H. Richardson
receives a patent for a baby carriage whose body can be raised from its frame.
1939 - Louis Clark "Lou" Brock is born in El Dorado, Arkansas. He will
become a professional baseball player with the Chicago Cubs in 1961. Three years
later, in 1964, he will be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock will have an
immediate impact with the Cardinals entering the starting lineup. He will record 12
homeruns, 44 RBI, an amazing .348 batting average, and blister the baselines stealing 44
bases in his first season with St. Louis. During his 19-year career, the outfielder
will steal an unprecedented 938 bases and break several World Series records, including
hitting .391 in over 20 World Series games. Exemplifying the spirit of baseball on and off
the field, Brock will earn the Roberto Clemente and the Jackie Robinson Awards, among many
others. A Cardinal for the remainder of his career, Lou Brock will enter the
Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1985.
1941 - President Roosevelt confers with A. Philip Randolph and other leaders of a
"March on Washington" movement and urges them to call off a scheduled
demonstration. Randolph refuses.
1942 - Bernard W. Robinson, of Harvard Medical School, becomes a Naval Reserve ensign.
He is the first African American to earn a U.S. Navy commission.
1953 - Egypt becomes a republic after the forced abdication of King Farouk I.
General Neguib becomes president.
1963 - Bruce Smith is born. He will become a defensive end for the NFL Buffalo
1963 - 3,000 African Americans boycott Boston public schools as a protest against defacto
1968 - The U.S. Supreme Court bans racial discrimination in the sale and rental of
1966 - Samuel Nabrit becomes the first African American scientist to serve on the Atomic
1982 - The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is extended for an additional twenty-five years by
Senate vote of 85-8. The Voting Rights Act protects citizens' ability to vote, not
the right to vote. All U.S. citizens have the right to vote, but state and local
jurisdictions are prevented from interfering with the voters' ability to vote. It
outlaws such practices as poll taxes, reciting the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, etc.
as a condition to vote.
1985 - Patrick Ewing becomes one of 11 basketball centers to be chosen in the first round
of the National Basketball Association draft of college players. Ewing is picked by
-- and will become a major star for -- the New York Knicks.
1991 - City Auditor, Wellington Webb is elected mayor of Denver, Colorado. He
becomes the first African American to hold the post.
- 1809 - The first African
Baptist Church in the U.S. became an organized body in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1862 - Slavery is abolished in U.S. territories by Congress.
1864 - In a famous duel between the USS Kearsage and the CSS Alabama off Cherbourg,
France, a brave African American sailor, Joachim Pease, displays "marked
coolness" and will win a Congressional Medal of Honor. The CSS Alabama will be
1865 - Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, slavery will continue in
Texas, until General Gordon Granger arrives in Galveston with Union forces, announcing
that all slaves in Texas are free. One third of the people in Texas are slaves.
Juneteenth will be celebrated annually with picnics and barbecues at public
emancipation grounds, some of which will be used past year 2000. Juneteenth will
become a legal Texas state holiday in 1980. "JUNETEENTH" celebrations will
come to commemorate the emancipation of African Americans everywhere.
1867 - P.B.S. Pinchback urges African Americans to use their franchise privileges.
"The Congress of the United States has conferred upon our People the Elective
Franchise and it is our important duty to see that we use it well...."
1868 - Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby removes the mayor and aldermen of Columbia, S.C., and makes
new appointments, including three African Americans: C.M. Wilder, Joseph Taylor and
1914 - Ernest Crichlow is born in Brooklyn, New York. Studying at the Art Students
League, Crichlow will be associated with the Harlem Art Center during the 1930's as a
noted painter and illustrator whose objectives will be to advocate social commentary and
communication through art.
1918 - John H. Johnson is born in Arkansas City, Arkansas. He will become the editor
and publisher of "Ebony" and "Jet" magazines and will be the founder
of Johnson Publishing Company, the most successful African American publishing company in
the U.S. He will also own two radio stations (including the first African
American owned radio station in Chicago) and Fashion Fair Cosmetics.
1926 - DeFord Bailey becomes the first African American musician to perform on Nashville's
Grand Ole Opry show.
1936 - Joe Louis is knocked out by Max Schmeling in the 12th round of their heavyweight
boxing match. The German boxer earns his victory at Yankee Stadium in New York.
1946 - Joe Louis fights Billy Conn, in New York City, in the first championship prize
fight to be televised.
1948 - Phylicia Ayers Allen-Rashad, actress (best known for playing the part of Clair
opposite Bill Cosby on the long-running "Cosby Show") is born in Houston, Texas.
1953 - Albert W. Dent, president of Dillard University, is elected president of the
National Health Council.
1953 - A bus boycott begins in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
1959 - Mark DeBarge, recording artist (of the group DeBarge) is born.
1962 - Paula Julie Abdul, singer/choreographer, is born in Van Nuys, California.
1964 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved after surviving an 83-day Senate
1965 - "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops tops the pop and Rhythm &
Blues charts. The Motown group will get their second and only other number one hit with
"Reach Out I'll Be There" in 1966. Their other hits include: "It's
the Same Old Song", "Standing in the Shadows of Love",
"Bernadette" and "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)" (their only
million seller). The group calls Motown, Detroit, Michigan home and got their start
in 1953 as the Four Aims. Levi Stubbs, Renaldo 'Obie' Benson, Lawrence Payton and
Abdul 'Duke' Fakir will place 24 hits on the charts from 1964 to 1988. They first recorded
as The Four Tops for Leonard Chess and Chess Records in 1956; then went to Red Top and
Columbia before signing with Berry Gordy's Motown label in 1963. The Tops, who will have
no personnel changes in their more than 35 years together will be inducted into the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
1968 - Fifty thousand demonstrators participate in Solidarity Day March of the Poor
People's Campaign. Marchers walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln
Monument, where they are addressed by Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, presidential
candidate Eugene McCarthy, Coretta Scott King and Ralph Abernathy.
1969 - Illinois State troopers are ordered to Cairo, by the governor, to quell racially
1971 - The mayor of Columbus, Georgia declares a state of emergency due to racial
1986 - Len Bias, a senior at the University of Maryland and the 1st-round pick of the
Boston Celtics, joins the ancestors after suffering a fatal cocaine-induced seizure.
1990 - Opening statements are presented in the drug and perjury trial of Washington D.C.,
Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. Barry is later convicted of a single count of misdemeanor
drug possession, and sentenced to six months in prison. He will resume a career in
politics after prison, when he is elected to the DC City Council representing Ward 8.
- 1858 - Charles W. Chestnutt is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He will at one
time maintain four careers simultaneously - stenographer, lawyer, author, and
lecturer. His most famous literary works will be a biography of Frederick
Douglass and the short story collection "The Conjure Woman". In 1928, he will
receive the NAACP's Spingarn Medal for his literacy accomplishments.
1871 - Ku Klux Klan trials begin in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi.
Many whites, including doctors, lawyers, ministers and college professors, are
arrested and jailed in the anti-Klan campaign. Of the 930 indicted in
Mississippi, 243 will be tried and found guilty. Some 1180 are indicted in
South Carolina and 1849 are indicted in North Carolina.
1911 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is
incorporated in New York City. It had been founded on February 12, 1909.
1926 - Mordecai W. Johnson becomes the first African American president of
1929 - "Hot Chocolates" premieres at the Hudson Theatre in New York City.
With music by Fats Waller and lyrics by Andy Razaf, the musical will introduce
the songs "Ain't Misbehaving" and "Black and Blue".
1936 - Jesse Owens of the U.S. sets the 100 meter record at 10.2 seconds.
1943 - Thirty-four persons are killed in race riots in Detroit, Michigan.
Federal troops are called in to control the violence, which stems from African
Americans' frustration over exclusion from civilian defense jobs.
1946 - Andre' Watts is born in Nuremburg, Germany. He will make his debut as
a concert pianist at age nine, have his New York Philharmonic debut in 1963,
and become a world-famous classical pianist.
1949 - Lionel Ritchie is born in Tuskegee, Alabama. He will be one of the
most successful singers/songwriters in contemporary popular music, known
for his efforts in pop, Rhythm & Blues, and country music.Once a member of the
Commodores, Ritchie will establish a solo career, win Grammys in 1982 and
1984, and be a featured performer at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer
Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
1950 - Willie Mays graduates from high school and immediately signs with the
New York Giants for a $6,000 bonus. 'The Say Hey Kid' would play most of his
career for the Giants -- in both New York and San Francisco -- becoming a
baseball legend. As his career comes to a close, Mays will be traded to the
New York Mets. Mays, an all-star center fielder will be enshrined in the
Baseball Hall of Fame.
1960 - Harry Belafonte wins an Emmy for his variety special "Tonight with
Harry Belafonte". It is the first Emmy awarded to an African American.
1960 - Floyd Patterson wins back the world heavyweight title by knocking out
Ingemar Johanson of Sweden in round five of a title bout at the Polo Grounds
in New York City.
1963 - White and Black physicians protest hospital discrimination (1963)
1967 - Muhammad Ali is convicted in Houston, Texas, in federal court for
violating the Selective Service Act by refusing induction into the armed
services. He is fined $10,000 and sentenced to five years in prison. Ali, an
opponent of the Vietnam War, had refused to report for service on grounds that
he was a Muslim minister. The U.S. Supreme Court will later overturn his
1969 - 150,000 people attend the Newport Jazz Festival. Jimi Hendrix
gets $125,000 to appear on the program. This is the largest paycheck for a
single concert appearance at the time.
1988 - The Supreme Court upholds a law that made it illegal for private
clubs to discriminate against women and minorities.
1987 - Whitney Houston's album, "Whitney", debuts on "Billboard" magazine's
album charts at number one. Houston becomes the first female to have a LP
debut at the top.
1990 - South African Black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie,
arrive in New York City for a ticker-tape parade in their honor as they begin
an eight-city United States tour.
1997 - Lawrence Payton, occasional songwriter and member of the "Four Tops,"
joins the ancestors after succumbing to liver cancer at his Southfield,
Michigan home at the age of 59. In 1953, he joined the Four Aims, which
consisted of him, Levi Stubbs, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Abdul "Duke" Fakir.
They changed their name to the Four Tops in order to avoid confusion with the
Ames Brothers. In 1956, they signed to Chess Records and subsequently moved on
to the Red Top, Riverside and Columbia labels. They were part of Billy
Eckstine's Las Vegas Revue in 1960 and in 1963 were signed to Motown Records
where they were teamed with the production team of Holland, Dozier & Holland.
Their last label signing was to Arista in 1988. In 1990, they were inducted
into the Rock 'n" Roll of Fame.
- 1821 - The African Methodist
Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church is formally constituted in New York City at its first annual
conference. Nineteen clergymen were present, representing six African American
churches from New York City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Haven, Connecticut and
Newark, New Jersey. They voted to separate from the white-controlled Methodist
Episcopal Church, which had insisted on ultimate control of the church's leadership and
property. To distinguish between the two African Methodist Episcopal
organizations, as well as to honor their original congregation, in 1848 they will vote to
add Zion to their name.
1832 - Joseph Haynes Rainey is born in Georgetown, South Carolina. He will become
the first African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he will
serve five terms.
1859 - Henry Ossawa Tanner is born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Son of AME bishop
Benjamin Tanner, young Tanner will forgo the ministry to take up painting.
Constantly facing the tension between racial stereotypes and and his art, Tanner will
eventually emigrate to France to pursue his art, considered by many the finest produced by
an African American. He will be known for his commanding use of light and color in
his seascapes, scenes of everyday life, and religious paintings.
1868 - John Hope is born in Augusta, Georgia. He will become the first African
American president of Atlanta Baptist (later Morehouse) College. president in 1906. A
pioneer in the field of education, he was the College's first African-American president.
Hope, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, encourages an intellectual climate
comparable to what he had known at his alma mater and openly challenges Booker T.
Washington's view that education for African Americans should emphasize vocational and
agricultural skills. He will join the ancestors in 1936.
1923 - Marcus Garvey is sentenced by the U.S. government to 5 years in prison for using
the U.S. mail to defraud. He is railroaded by a government that is terrified by the
control that one magnificent orator had over African Americans. They did not want
their major source of cheap labor in America to leave for Africa.
1927 - Carl B. Stokes, the first African American elected mayor of a major American city
is born. Stokes will be elected to two terms as mayor of Cleveland, Ohio at a
time of urban riots and racial unrest in many major U.S. cities. Civil rights
leaders said his election was an advance, both symbolic and genuine, for the cause of
black political empowerment. He is instrumental in getting through a law requiring
city contractors to have minority employment programs. President Clinton will
appoint him, in 1994, as ambassador to the Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian
Ocean. He will join the ancestors in 1996.
1945 - Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African American to command a U.S.
Army Air Force base when he takes command of the 477th Composite Group of Godman Field in
1951 - PFC William H. Thompson is posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
He is the first African American recipient since the Spanish-American War.
1964 - One African American and two white civil rights workers - James E. Chaney, Michael
H. Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman - disappear after release from a jail near
Philadelphia, Mississippi. They are later found murdered.
1965 - Arthur Ashe leads UCLA to the NCAA tennis championship.
1990 - Little Richard gets a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
1997 - Patrice Rushen receives an NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions
in the field of music.
- 1772 - Slavery is outlawed in
1868 - Congress readmits the state of Arkansas on the condition that it would never change
its constitution to disenfranchise African Americans.
1909 - Katherine Dunham is born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Dupage County). She will
become one of the revolutionary forces in modern dance through her introduction and use of
African and Caribbean styles. Successful on the stage and in movies, including
"Stormy Weather", in the late 1960's, she will form the Katherine Dunham Center
for the Performing Arts and in 1983 will be awarded Kennedy Center honors. "She will
spend her later years residing in East St. Louis, Illinois.
1937 - Joe Louis knocks out James Braddock to become the heavyweight boxing champion of
the world. The fight is won in eight rounds before 45,000 fans, the largest
audience, to date, to witness a fight.
1938 - Joe Louis defeats German boxer Max Schmeling in a rematch of their 1936 fight and
retains his world heavyweight crown. Because of the Nazi persecution of Jews in
Europe and Hitler's disdain for people of African descent, the fight will take on mythic
proportion, with Louis seen by many as fighting to uphold democracy and the race. He
succeeds convincingly, ending the fight in 2:04 of the first round at Yankee Stadium.
1941 - Ed Bradley is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A CBS correspondent
covering the Vietnam conflict, Bradley will become co-anchor of CBS' "60
Minutes" and win six Emmy awards.
1947 - Octavia Butler is born in Pasadena, California. She will become a science
writer and winner of the Hugo Award for excellence in science fiction writing in 1984.
1949 - Ezzard Charles defeats Jersey Joe Walcott to win the heavyweight championship of
1962 - Clyde 'The Glide' Drexler is born in Houston, Texas. He will become a
basketball star at the University of Houston and will lead Houston's "Phi Slamma
Jamma" team to the NCAA Final Four two years in a row, capturing the NCAA title in
1983. He will be drafted by the NBA Portland Trailblazers, where he will play twelve
seasons, and will lead them to the NBA FInals twice. After being traded to the
Houston Rockets, he will join his teammate from the University of Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon
and help the Rockets win the NBA championship in 1995. After retiring from the NBA, he
will become the head coach at his alma mater, the University of Houston.
1963 - "Fingertips - Part 2" by Little Stevie Wonder is released. It becomes
Wonder's first number one single on August 10th. Stevie Wonder will have 46 hits on the
pop and Rhythm & Blues music charts between 1963 and 1987. Eight of those hits
will make it to number one.
1989 - The government of Angola and the anti-Communist rebels of the UNITA movement agree
to a formal truce in their 14-year-old civil war.
1990 - African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, speaking before the United
Nations, states that a democratic, nonracial South Africa is "within our grasp."
1991 - "Kaleidoscope", an exhibit of the work of over 30 African American
photographers, opens at the Anacostia Museum in Washington, DC. Among those
exhibited are masters Addison Scurlock and Robert Scurlock as well as contemporary
photographers Matthew Lewis, Sam Yette, Sharon Farmer, and Brian Jones.
- 1888 - Abolitionist Frederick
Douglass receives one vote from the Kentucky delegation at the Republican convention in
Chicago, effectively making him the first African American candidate nominated for U.S.
1893 - Willie Sims, the wealthiest jockey of his time, rides winning horses in five of six
races at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, New York. Sims will repeat the feat two years
later in addition to winning two Kentucky Derbys and two Belmont Stakes.
1904 - Willie Mae Ford (later Smith) is born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. She
will become a leading gospel singer and will be known as "the mother of gospel
music." She will join the ancestors in 1994.
1919 - The Black Star Line of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA) is incorporated.
1926 - Langston Hughes' articles "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain"
appears in "Nation "magazine. In it, Hughes expresses African
Americans' bold new confidence to create a new art during the Harlem Renaissance.
"We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark
skinned selves without fear or shame."
1940 - Wilma Rudolph is born in Clarksville, Tennessee. A polio victim, she
will win three gold medals at the Summer Games in Rome (1960), the first American woman to
achieve this feat in a single Olympiad. She will be inducted into the Olympic Hall
of Fame. She will join the ancestors in November, 1994.
1944 - Rosetta Hightower is born. She will become a singer with the group, The
Orlons. Some of their hits will be "The Wah Watusi," "Don't Hang
Up," and "South Street."
1948 - Clarence Thomas is born in the Pinpoint community, near Savannah, Georgia. He
will become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 1991, replacing Thurgood Marshall as the only
African American among the nine jurists. He is appointed by the conservative
republican administration to satisfy the need to have an African American on the court,
while at the same time have a justice that is very conservative. This will serve to
increase the court's decisions that negatively affect African Americans and other
minorities and weaken affirmative action.
1958 - A federal judge ruled racial segregation in Little Rock, Arkansas, must end in 30
1969 - Joe Frazier defeats Jerry Quarry for the heavyweight boxing title.
1970 - Charles Rangel defeats Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in the New York Democratic
primary in Harlem. This will end the political career of one of the major
political symbols of the post-World War II period.
1982 - The House of Representatives approves the extension of the Voting Rights Act of
1965, despite North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms' attempt to block the House vote.
The Senate had approved the extension of the bill five days before the historic House
1990 - TV Guide selects Arsenio Hall as Television Personality of the Year.
1994 - After decades as an international outcast, South Africa reclaims its seat in the
1994 - French marines and Foreign Legionnaires head into Rwanda to try to stem the
country's ethnic slaughter.
1997 - Dr. Betty Shabazz, widow of Malcolm X, joins the ancestors in New York City at the
age of 61, 3 weeks after receiving burns over 80% of her body. Her burns were the
result of a fire set by her grandson, Malcolm.
2003 - Maynard Jackson Jr., who was elected the first African American mayor
of Atlanta in 1973 and transformed urban politics in America by forcing the
city's white business elite to open doors to minorities, joins the ancestors
at the age of 65. Thirty years ago, Jackson survived a racially charged
primary to become the first African American mayor of a major Southern city.
The victory, the same year that African American mayors were elected in
Detroit and Los Angeles, helped solidify the political power of urban African
2003 - Max Manning, star pitcher in the Negro Leagues, joins the ancestors at
the age of 84 after a long illness. His 1937 tryout offer from the Detroit
Tigers was rescinded when they learned that he was African American.
- 1844 - Boston African Americans
hold the first of a series of meetings protesting Jim Crow schools.
1884 - John Lynch is the first African American to preside over a major political party
convention when he is elected temporary Chairman of the Republican National Convention.
1885 - Samuel David Ferguson is consecrated bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church and
named bishop of Liberia. He is the first African American with full membership in
the House of Bishops.
1896 - Booker T. Washington is the first African American to receive an honorary Master of
Arts degree from Harvard University.
1898 - United States troops, including the African American Tenth Cavalry, drive Spanish
forces from their entrenched positions at La Guasimas, Cuba.
1933 - Dramatic soprano Matilda Sissieretta Jones joins the ancestors after succumbing to
cancer in Providence, Rhode Island. Called the "the first Negro prima
donna," Jones toured with the Tennessee Jubilee Singers and performed at Carnegie
Hall, Madison Square Garden and at the White House in 1892. She will be dubbed
"Black Patti," a name she reportedly disliked for its allusion to white
contemporary, Adelina Patti.
1933 - Sam Jones is born. He will become a professional basketball player with the Boston
Celtics after graduating from North Carolina Central College. He will be a five time NBA
All Star, and will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of fame in 1983.
1936 - Mary McLeod Bethune, founder-president of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona,
Beach, Florida, is named director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration.
She is the first African American woman to receive a major appointment from the
federal government. The educator will hold the post until January 1, 1944.
1943 - Georg Stanford Brown is born in Havana Cuba. He will become an actor and
director. He will star in the TV series, "The Rookies," and the
mini-series "Roots." He will direct "The Jesse Owens Story,"
"In Defense of Kids," "Ava's Magical Adventure" and many others.
1949 - "Billboard Magazine" replaces the term 'Race Record' on its record charts
with 'Rhythm & Blues'.
1968 - Joe Frazier TKOs Manda Ramos for the world heavyweight boxing title.
1968 - Resurrection City is Washington, DC is closed. More than one hundred
residents are arrested when they refuse to leave the site. Other residents,
including Ralph Abernathy, were arrested during demonstration at the U.S. Capitol.
National Guard troops were mobilized later in the day to stop the disturbances.
1972 - The rules committee of the Democratic National Convention approves the nomination
of Yvonne Brathwaite Burke as co-chairperson of the convention. She becomes the
first African American woman to serve in that position in any major political party in the
1974 - Boston's National Center for Afro-American Artists becomes the first African
American cultural center to be awarded a Ford Foundation grant.
- 1876 - The most famous Native
American uprising, at Little Big Horn, begins in the Dakota territories. General
George Armstrong Custer leads three U.S. Army battalions to their deaths, including Isaiah
Dorman, an African American cavalryman, scout, and intermediary between the Sioux and the
United States government, who had warned Custer of the hostile Native American presence.
1933 - James Howard Meredith, the first African American student at the University of
Mississippi, is born.
1935 - Eddie Floyd, rhythm and blues recording artist ("California Girl,"
"Knock on Wood") is born.
1935 - Joe Louis defeats Primo Carnera at Yankee Stadium.
1941 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802 forbidding racial
discrimination in war industries and government service and creating the Federal
Employment Practices Committee.
1942 - Willis Reed, basketball hall-of-famer center with the New York Knicks, is born.
1948 - Joe Louis KOs Jersey Joe Walcott in 11 rounds to retain the heavyweight
championship of the world.
1950 - Jimmie Walker, comedian ("JJ" on "Good Times," "At
Ease") is born in the Bronx, New York City.
1950 - Charles H. Houston is posthumously awarded the NAACP's Spingarn Medal for his legal
work with the association Legal Committee. He is cited as a "stalwart defender
of democracy, inspired teacher of youth, and leader in the legal profession"
1964 - Racially motivated disturbances erupt in Saint Augustine, Florida, when a mob of
800 whites attacks part of a parade of several hundred African Americans participating in
an integration parade.
1968 - Lincoln Alexander of Hamilton West in Ontario, Canada, is the first Canadian of
African descent to become a member of the Canadian Parliament.
1968 - Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his first major league game playing for the San
1975 - Mozambique gains its independence from Portugal. Samora M. Machel, leader of
the Mozambique Liberation Front, becomes the republic's first president.
- 1893 - William Lee Conley "Big Bill" Broonzy, blues
singer, is born in Scott, Mississippi.
1894 - The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, calls a general strike
in sympathy with Pullman workers.
1934 - W.E.B. Du Bois resigns from the NAACP over the association's policies
and strategies. Du Bois had been editor of the association's "Crisis" magazine
and director of publicity and research. The resignation brings control of the
magazine under the leadership of chief executive Walter White and its new
editor and NAACP assistant secretary, Roy Wilkins.
1938 - James Weldon Johnson, joins the ancestors after succumbing to injuries
received in an automobile accident near his summer home in Wiscosset, Maine.
1940 - Billy Davis Jr., singer with the 5th Dimension, is born in St. Louis,
1950 - The American Medical Association seats the first African American
delegates at its convention.
1952 - The African National Congress begins its Defiance of Unjust Laws
campaign in South Africa.
1956 - Jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown joins the ancestors after being killed in
an auto accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Founder of the Brown-Roach
Quintet with Max Roach two years earlier, Brown had built a reputation as one
of the finest jazz trumpeters of his day as a major proponent of hard bop.
1959 - Prince Edward County, Virginia, abandons (closes) the public school
system in an attempt to prevent school desegregation.
1959 - Floyd Paterson loses the Heavyweight Boxing Championship to Ingemar
Johansson of Sweden.
1966 - The 220-mile voter registration march from Memphis, Tennessee to
Jackson, Mississippi ends with a rally of some thirty thousand at the
Mississippi state capitol.
1970 - Frank Robinson hits 2 grand slams as Baltimore Orioles beat the
Washington Senators 12-2.
1960 - Madagascar becomes independent from France.
1978 - "Girl," a single-sentence two page short story of a mother's preachy
advice to her daughter, appears in the "New Yorker" magazine. Written by
Jamaica Kincaid, the story will make her a literary celebrity and will be
followed by short story collections and the novels "Annie John" and "Lucy".
1979 - Muhammad Ali announces that he was retiring as world heavyweight boxing
champion. The 37-year-old fighter said, "Everything gets old, and you can't go
on like years ago." The "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" act was no
1990 - African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela addresses the U.S.
Congress, asking for "material resources" to hasten the end of white-led rule
in South Africa.
1995 - During a state visit to Ethiopia, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
escapes an attempt on his life.
- 1833 - The operator of an
academy for African American females in Canterbury, Connecticut, Prudence Crandall - a
white woman, is arrested for providing this service.
1872 - Paul Laurence Dunbar, short story writer, is born in Dayton, Ohio. He will be
so talented and versatile that he will succeed in two worlds. He will be so adept at
writing verse in Black English that he will become known as the "poet of his
people," while also cultivating a white audience that appreciated the brilliance and
value of his work. "Majors and Minors" (1895), Dunbar's second collection
of verse, will be a remarkable work containing some of his best poems in both Black and
standard English. When the country's reigning literary critic, William Dean Howells
reviews "Majors and Minors" favorably, Dunbar becomes famous. And Howells'
introduction in "Lyric of Lowly Life" (1896) will help make Dunbar the most
popular African American writer in America at the time. Dunbar will die of
tuberculosis in 1906. The U.S. Postal Service will issue a commemorative stamp in
his honor on May 1, 1975.
1890 - George Dixon, a Canadian, becomes the first person of African descent to win a
world boxing championship. He defeats Nunc Wallace to win the bantamweight title.
He will also become the first person of African descent to win an American title in
any sport, when he knocks out Cal McCarthy in 1891.
1914 - The United States signs a treaty of commerce with Ethiopia.
1919 - Archibald H. Grimke', noted lawyer and civil rights advocate who had served as U.S.
Consul in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and president of the American Negro Academy
among his accomplishments, receives the NAACP's Spingarn Medal. An original member
of the "Committee of Forty" that helped establish the NAACP, Grimke' is honored
for his "years of distinguished service to his race and country."
1941 - Richard Wright is awarded the Spingarn Medal. He is cited for the power of
his books "Uncle Tom's Children" and "Native Son" in depicting
"the effects of proscription, segregation and denial of opportunities on the American
1960 - British Somaliland becomes part of Somalia.
1967 - A racially motivated disturbance occurs in Buffalo, New York. 200 persons are
arrested. The disturbance will last four days.
1970 - The Jackson Five: Marlon, Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Michael, jump to number one on
the music charts with "The Love You Save". The song will stay at the top
of the charts for a two week run. It will be the third of four number-one hits in a row
for the group. The other three are: "I Want You Back", "ABC" and
"I'll Be There". In 15 years, from 1969 to 1984, The Jackson
Five/Jacksons will have 23 hits, score two platinum singles ("Enjoy Yourself"
and "Shake Your Body [Down To The Ground]") and one gold record ("State of
1972 - Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American U.S. Ambassador, is named
permanent chairman of the Democratic National Convention. The Mattoon, Illinois native
will later break new ground as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development.
1977 - Djibouti gains independence from France. Djibouti is located in East Africa,
bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Gulf of Aden.
1978 - Henry Rono of Kenya sets a world record for 3,000 meters, running in 7 minutes 32
and 1/10 seconds.
1979 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in Weber v. Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation,
that employers and unions can establish voluntary programs, including the use of quotas,
to aid minorities in employment.
1988 - Mike Tyson knocks out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds of the first round, in Atlantic
City, New Jersey.
1989 - The Baltimore Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 16-6. Each team is coached
by an African American, Frank Robinson of the Orioles and Cito Gaston of the Blue Jays.
Robinson, who will direct his team to an 87-75 season, will be named manager of the
year by both the Associated Press and the United Press International.
1991 - Justice Thurgood Marshall, 82, the first African American on the U.S. Supreme
Court, announces his retirement after 24 years service, citing "advancing age and
medical condition." As chief counsel for the NAACP, Marshall had played a major role
in the legal fight that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision, overturning legal
segregation. In his final dissent on the court on June 27, Marshall says that
the court's conservative majority was recklessly overturning decisions protecting the
right of African Americans and minorities.
1994 - U.S. Coast Guard cutters intercept 1,330 Haitian boat people on the high seas in
one of the busiest days since refugees began leaving Haiti following a 1991 military coup.
- 1770 - Anthony Benezet and
other Quakers open a non-segregated school for African American and white children in
1839 - Cinque, originally Sengbe, the son of a Mende king, along with several other
Africans, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in Cuba. Cinque and his companions will
later carry out the famous successful revolt upon the slave ship Amistad. The rebels
were captured off Long Island on August 26.
1874 - The Freedmen's Savings & Trust Company, because of mismanagement, closed its
doors causing over 60,000 African American depositors to lose their $ 3 million in
1927 - Anthony Overton, president of Victory Life Insurance Company, receives the NAACP's
Spingarn Medal for "his successful business career climaxed by admission of his
company as the first Negro organization permitted to do business under the rigid
requirements of the State of New York."
1935 - Mary McLeod Bethune, founder and president of Bethune-Cookman College, receives the
Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. Bethune is honored for speaking out against racism
and injustice "in the South as well as in the North, without compromise or
1936 - Major Owens, who will succeed Shirley Chisholm as Congressional representative from
New York, is born in Memphis, Tennessee.
1946 - Thurgood Marshall receives the Spingarn Medal for his "distinguished service
as a lawyer before the Supreme Court of the United States and inferior courts."
1951 - The Amos 'n' Andy Show premieres on television. It is the first show with an
all African American cast to be successful on the small screen.
1964 - Malcolm X founds the Organization for Afro-American Unity in New York.
1978 - The Supreme Court hands down its "Bakke" decision, ruling that the
University of California at Davis Medical College's special admissions program for
minority students is illegal. As a result, Allan P. Bakke, a white student, is
ordered admitted to the college to prevent what the Court considers reverse
1990 - Jurors in the drug and perjury trial of Washington, DC, Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr.
view a videotape showing Barry smoking crack cocaine during an FBI hotel-room sting
operation. Barry will be later convicted of a single count of misdemeanor drug possession.
1997 - Mike Tyson "sets a new standard for bizarre behavior" in the heavyweight
boxing championship bout with Evander Holyfield at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas,
Nevada, when he bites off a one-inch chunk of Holyfield's ear in the third round.
Tyson is disqualified, and Holyfield is spirited away to a local hospital, where the piece
of his ear is re-attached after being located on the canvas of the ring.
- 1868 - The Louisiana
legislature meets in New Orleans. The temporary chairman of the house is an African
American representative, R.H. Isabelle. Oscar J. Dunn presides over the senate.
Seven of the thirty-six senators are African American. Thirty-five of the 101
representatives are African American.
1886 - James Van DerZee is born in Lenox, Massachusetts. He will become one of
America's foremost photographers and a major chronicler of the visual history of the
Harlem Renaissance. His photographic subjects include Marcus Garvey, Madame C.J. Walker,
Daddy Grace and many others.
1922 - Lloyd Richards is born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He will be the first
person of African descent to direct a Broadway play in modern times ("A Raisin in the
Sun", 1959) and he will become the dean of the Yale School of Drama and artistic
director of the Yale Repertory Theatre.
1945 - Little Eva, rhythm and blues singer, ("Locomotion") is born.
1949 - South Africa begins its apartheid policy of racial segregation. This
includes a ban against racially-mixed marriages.
1950 - Mabel Keaton Staupers of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses
receives the Spingarn Medal in honor of her advocacy of integration of African American
graduate nurses into the American workplace.
1964 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed.
1968 - Marlin Briscoe becomes the first African American quarterback to play professional
football in the modern NFL.
1970 - NAACP chairman Stephen Gill Spottswood tells the NAACP annual convention that the
Nixon administration is "anti-Negro" and is pressing "a calculated
Policy" inimical to "the needs and aspirations of the large majority" of
1972 - U.S. Supreme Court rules, in a five to four decision, that the death penalty is
cruel and unusual punishment which violates the Eighth Amendment. African Americans
and members of other minority groups constitute 483 of the 600 persons awaiting execution.
1972 - The NAACP Annual Report states the unemployment of "urban Blacks in 1971 was
worse than at anytime since the great depression of the thirties." The report also
says that more school desegregation occurred in 1971 than in any other year since the 1954
1983 - The Apollo Theatre, in Harlem, New York, is declared a cultural landmark.
1988 - Motown Records is sold for $ 61 million to an investment group that includes a
venture-capital firm, record executive Jheryl Busby, and others. The company, which
was founded by Berry Gordy in 1959, produced some of the biggest rhythm and blues
performers of all time including the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops and Marvin
- 1881 - Henry Highland Garnet,
former abolitionist leader and Presbyterian minister, is named Minister to Liberia.
He will join the ancestors in Monrovia shortly after his arrival.
1906 - John Hope becomes the first African American president of Morehouse College.
1917 - Lena Horne is born in Brooklyn, New York. She will begin her career at 16 as
a chorus girl at the Cotton Club in Harlem, appear in the movies "Cabin in the
Sky" and "Stormy Weather" and have a successful Broadway career culminating
in her one-woman show. Horne will also be a strong civil rights advocate, refusing
to perform in clubs where African Americans are not admitted and marching during the civil
rights movement in the 1960s.
1921 - Charles S. Gilpin becomes the first actor to receive the NAACP's Spingarn Medal for
his portrayal of Emperor Jones in the Eugene O'Neill play of the same name.
1940 - John T. Scott is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will become a professor
of art and a sculptor whose works will be exhibited widely in the U.S. and at the exhibit
of "Art of Black America in Japan, Afro-American Modernism: 1937-1987."
1958 - Alabama courts fined the NAACP $ 100,000 for contempt, for refusing to divulge
membership. The U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the decision.
1960 - Zaire proclaims its independence from Belgium.
1966 - Mike Tyson, former heavyweight champion of the world and youngest (at age 19) to
win that title (WBC in 1986), is born.
1967 - Maj. Robert H. Lawrence Jr. becomes the first African American astronaut. He
will join the ancestors after being killed during a training flight accident on December
1969 - Jacob Lawrence receives the NAACP's Spingarn Medal " in testimony to his
eminence among American painters."
1974 - Alberta King, mother of the late Martin Luther King Jr., joins the ancestors
after being assassinated during a church service in Atlanta, Georgia. The assailant,
Marcus Chennault of Dayton, Ohio, is later convicted and sentenced to death.
1978 - Larry Doby becomes the manager of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. He
will have a win-loss record of 37-50 and will be fired at the end of the season (October
1980 - Coleman A. Young is awarded the Spingarn Medal for his "singular
accomplishment as Mayor of the City of Detroit," a position he had held since 1973.
2001 - Saxophonist Joe Henderson joins the ancestors in San Francisco.
His improvisational style and compositions have influenced jazz musicians
everywhere. He had been suffering from emphysema, and become ill at his home
in San Francisco, but did not go to the hospital until the following day,
where he died of heart failure.
Updated by K. Ferguson
Kelly: July 05, 2004