OurKujitahidi Archive --
1st 1810 - Abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond is born free
in Salem, Mass.
1837 - Francis Cardozo, minister and educator, is born free
in Charleston, S.C.
1865 - John Rock is the first black attorney to practice
before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1865 - Congress adopts the 13th Amendment to the
U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery.
1870 - Jonathan Jasper Wright is elected to the South Carolina
Supreme Court, the first African American to
hold a major judicial post.
1871 - Jefferson F. Long of Georgia is the first black
Congressman to speak on the floor of the
House of Representatives. Opposing leniency for
1894 - James P. Johnson is born in New Brunswick, N.J.
He will become known as the father
of "Harlem Stride" piano.
1902 - Langston Hughes, poet, author, historian and activist,
is born in Joplin, Missouri (d.5-22-67).
1926 - Carter G. Woodson establishes Negro History Week.
In 1976, it will be expanded to a month.
1959 - Rick James, "The King of Punk Funk," is born
James Johnson in Buffalo, N.Y.
1960 - The 1st organized sit-in by African-Americans, Franklin
McCaion, Ezell Blair,Jr., David Richmond and Joseph
McNeil. The four from North Carolina A and T College
sat down at the lunch counter at the Greensboro, N.C.
Woolworth Dept Store.
1965 - Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested
by Selma, Ala., segregationist sheriff Jim Clark.
1978 - Abolitionist Harriet Tubman is honored on a
U.S. stamp, the first in the post office's
Black Heritage USA series.
1990 - The North Carolina A&T students who staged
a sit-in in 1960 meet to commemorate their action.
1990 - Black militant Ida B. Wells is commemorated on
a U.S. postage stamp.
2nd 1778 - Rhode Island passes the nation's first
slave military enlistment act, resulting in the
First Rhode Island Regiment.
1808 - Congress bans the foreign slave trade.
1904 - William "Pa" Rainey is born. He will become the husband
of classic blues singer Gertrude "Ma" Rainey.
1912 - Herbert Mills, a member of the Mills Brothers
quartet, is born in Piqua, OH.
1914 - Sculptor William Ellsworth Artis is born in Washington, DC.
1915 - Biologist Ernest E. Just receives the Spingarn Medal
for his pioneering research on fertilization and cell
1938 - Baritone Simon Estes is born in Centerville, IA.
He will sing at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
1948 - President Harry S. Truman proposes to Congress
civil rights legislation outlawing lynching, eliminating
the poll tax, and supporting fair employment.
Alienating the white South and impressing
African Americans, Truman sets the stage for
his unexpected reelection later in the year.
1970 - Maya Angelou publishes the first volume of her
autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
1988 - James Weldon Johnson is honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
1807 - U.S. Congress bans foreign slave trade.
1956 - Autherine J. Lucy becomes the 1st African-American
student to normally attend the University of Alabama.
3rd 1810 - Antoio Ruiz, "El Negro Falucho", national hero of
Buenos Aires, Argentina, dies.
1870 - The 15th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified,
giving African-American men the right to vote.
1874 - Blanche K. Bruce is elected to the U.S. Senate from
Mississippi, the first African American senator
to serve a full term.
1898 - Lil Hardin Armstrong is born in Memphis, TN.
She becomes a classically trained musician and
plays piano with the hottest jazz bands of the 1920s.
She marries trumpeter Louis Armstrong, recognizes
his genius, and helps promote him to national prominence.
1939 - The Baltimore Museum of Art exhibits
"Contemporary Negro Art."
1948 - Portrait painter and illustrator Laura Wheeling Waring dies.
1956 - Over violent opposition, Autherine Lucy
is the first African American admitted
to the University of Alabama.
1956 - James Brown records "Please, Please, Please"
which peaks at No. 5 on the R&B chart and
stays on the charts for 19 weeks.
1964 - A half million New York City students stay home
to protest de facto segregation.
1981 - The U.S. Air Force Academy eliminates its ban
on applicants with the sickle cell trait,
a genetic characteristic of some African Americans.
1988 - Thomas Reed, president of the Alabama NAACP,
is arrested trying to remove the Confederate flag
from the state capitol building in Montgomery.
1989 - Baseball's Bill White, six-time All Star first baseman,
is named president of the National League.
1997 - Jazz drummer Tony Williams dies in Daly City, CA.
4th 1794 - Richard Allen organizes Bethel African Methodist
Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.
1794 - France abolishes slavery, but it is revived
under Napoleon in 1802.
1822 - Freed Slaves settle in what is now known as Liberia.
1913 - Rosa Parks, "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,"
is born in Tuskegee, AL.
1964 - Austin T. Walden becomes the first black judge in
Georgia since Reconstruction.
1965 - Malcolm X makes his first speech in favor of
civil rights in Selma, AL.
1986 - The Post Office issues a stamp honoring Sojourner Truth.
5th 1924 - Jazz Trumpeteer Great Louis Armstrong,
marries pianist Lil Hardin.
1956 - L. R. Lautier becomes the 1st African-American
member of the National Press Corps.
1934 - Henry "Hank" Aaron is born in Mobile, AL.
1958 - Clifton Wharton becomes the first African America
head of a U.S. embassy in Europe when he is confirmed
as ambassador to Romania.
1968 - Three black students are murdered in Orangeburg, SC
for trying to integrate a bowling alley.
1972 - Robert Lewis Douglas, founder of the Negro League
New York Rens, is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
1969 - Black artists Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, and \
Norman Lewis open the Cinque Gallery in the
Soho area of New York to encourage
African American painters.
1990 - Barack Obama becomes the first black president
of the "Harvard Law Review."
1994 - Byron de la Beckwith is found guilty of the 1963 murder of
civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
6th 1754 - Benjamin Banneker invents 1st clock with movable
1820 - The "Mayflower of Liberia" transports 86 free blacks to
Sierra Leone, the first large resettlement of
African Americans to Africa.
1883 - Harlem Renaissance Poet Anne Spencer is born in Virginia.
1898 - Poet Laureate of Liberia Melvin B. Tolson
is born in Moberly, MO.
1931 - The Harlem Experimental Theater Group performs
its first play in the parish house of St. Philip's Church.
1933 - Walter F. Fauntroy, 1st U.S. Congressman for the District
of Columbia, civil rights leader, and minister, is born in
1945 - Reggae singer Bob Marley is born in Rhoden Hall, Jamaica.
1950 - Singer Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat "King" Cole,
is born in Los Angeles.
1961 - Civil rights activists in Rock Hill, SC begin a
"jail - no bail" movement,
refusing to pay fines when they are arrested.
The strategy spreads throughout the South, and prisons
are soon crowded with Freedom Movement protesters.
1988 - Rap group Public Enemy makes its chart debut
with "Bring the Noise."
1993 - Arthur Ashe, tennis player, activist and humanitarian,
7th 1834 - Patrick Healy is born in rural Georgia, the
son of a white planter
and one of his slaves. Healy will be the
first African American
to receive a Ph.D., and become, as president
of Georgetown University,
the first black college president.
1842 - James Monroe Trotter is born a slave in Grand Gulf, MS.
He will become editor of the militant "Boston Guardian."
1866 - Black civil rights leader Frederick Douglass meets
with President Andrew Johnson urging him not to
enfranchise former Confederates. Johnson refuses.
1883 - 1883 - Eubie Blake, musician and innovative composer who is
credited with creating "ragtime music" is born(d.1983
1926 - Negro History Week is originated by Carter G.
1968 - Martin Luther King, Jr. announces the
Poor People's Campaign, a sequel to the Civil Rights
Movement focusing on economic inequality.
1989 - The American Council on Education reports a decrease
in the number of black men attending college.
1993 - Tennis star Arthur Ashe dies of complications
from AIDS in New York.
8th 1820 - Harriet Tubman, founder and leader of the
underground railroad, is born.
1865 - Martin R. Delany is commissioned a Major,
becoming the highest-ranking African American
in the U. S. Army.
1882 - Joseph C. Price founds Livingstone College in North Carolina.
1894 - Congress repeals the Enforcement Act,
making it easier for the South to disfranchise freed people.
1925 - Black nationalist Marcus Garvey is sent to federal prison
in Atlanta, convicted of mail fraud, but convinced,
probably correctly, that he had been framed by
integrationist African Americans in collusion
with the U.S. government.
1944 - Henry S. McAlpin of the "Atlanta Daily World"
is the first black reporter admitted to a
White House press conference.
1964 - The 1st Medgar Evers murder trial is declared a
1968 - Gary Coleman is born in Zion, OH. He will become
famous for his role in the "Diff'rent Strokes"
TV series which ran from 1978-1986.
1968 - 3 protesting students are shot and killed at Jackson
State College, Orangeburg, South Carolina.
The dead are Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton,
and Henry Ezekiel Smith.
1986 - Debi Thomas is the first African American to win the
women's singles U.S. National Figure Skating championship.
1993 - The Associated Press reports that black farmers
receive an average of $21,000 less than white borrowers
from the Farmers' Home Administration loan program.
9th 1780 - Captain Paul Caffe and six other African-American
residents of Massachusetts petitioned the state
legislature for the right to vote.
1837 - Represented by John Quincy Adams, 22 District of
Columbia slaves petition Congress for freedom.
The petition is tabled and Adams reprimanded.
1906 - Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar dies in Dayton, OH.
1944 - Writer Alice Walker is born in Eatonton, GA.
1952 - Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man
wins the National Book Award.
1953 - Gary Franks is born in Waterbury, CT.
In 1990 he will be elected to Congress as the first
black Republican representative since
Oscar DePriest left the House in 1934.
1964 - Tennis star Arthur Ashe becomes the first
African American on the U.S. Davis Cup Team.
1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. meets President
Lyndon B. Johnson to discuss voting rights.
1971 - Leroy Satchel Paige of the Negro Leagues
is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1995 - Bernard Harris is the first black astronaut to walk in space.
10th 1780 - Massachusetts' Paul Cuffe files a petition protesting
his taxation because he is not allowed to vote.
1832 - Florida allows the selling into slavery of free
blacks convicted of misdemeanors.
1909 - Jazz drummer and bandleader William Henry "Chick"
Webb is born in Baltimore.
1927 - Opera singer Leontyne Price is born in Laurel, MS.
She will be the first African American awarded the
Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1939 - Popular singer Roberta Flack is born in Asheville, NC.
1951 - H. Lewis becomes the 1st African-American to
conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
1957 - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is
1988 - Louis Sullivan is named Secretary of Health and
Human Services, the only black in
President George W. Bush's cabinet.
1989 - Ronald H. Brown is elected chair of the
Democratic National Committee.
1992 - Alex Haley, author of two major books,
The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Roots,
dies in Seattle, WA.
1992 - Michael Jackson, in his first interview in 14 years,
announces that his new white skin is due to a disorder
11th 1908 - Folk singer Josh White is born in Greenville, SC.
1920 - Daniel "Chappie" James is born in Pensacola, FL.
He will become the military's first black 4-star general,
serving the US Air Force.
1961 - Robert Weaver is sworn in as administrator of the
Housing and Home Finance Administration,
the highest-ranking African American in the
federal government to date.
1977 - Clifford Alexander, Jr. is named the first black
Secretary of the Army.
1989 - Barbara Clementine Harris, an African American,
is consecrated the first female bishop in the Episcopal Church.
Harris is the first woman to be appointed to such a post
in one of the churches governed by bishops believed to
be successors to Jesus' apostles
(Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican).
1990 - South Africa's anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela
is released from prison after 27 years.
12th 1793 - Congress passes the first Fugitive Slave law,
making it illegal to protect an escaped slave.
1809 - Abraham Lincoln, President, emancipator, is born in
1865 - Henry Highland Garnett is the first
to preach in the rotunda of the U.S.
House of Representatives.
The occasion is President Abraham Lincoln's birthday.
1896 - Isaac Murphy, perhaps the greatest African
American jockey, dies.
1900 - James Weldon Johnson and his brother J.
Rosamond Johnson compose "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"
aka The Negro National Anthem.
1903 - William Duncan Allen, pianist, educator, is born.
1909 - The NAACP is chartered by nine members of the
1919 - Eddie Robinson, the holder of the record for the most
wins as a coach in college football history, is born.
1926 - Historian Carter G. Woodson establishes
Negro History Week,
which will become African American History Month.
1934 - William "Bill" Russell is born in Monroe, LA.
He will become player-coach of the Boston Celtics.
1957 - Talk show host Arsenio Hall is born in Cleveland, OH.
1968 - Eldridge Cleaver publishes Soul On Ice.
1983 - Pianist James Hubert "Eubie" Blake dies in New York
at the age of 100.
1993 - The Associated Press reports that the number
of interracial couples has doubled in the past 12 years.
13th 1635 - The Boston Latin School, the country's first high school,
is founded in Boston, a year before Harvard University.
African American students are excluded.
1818 - Absolom Jones, the 1st African-American Episcopal
priest to be ordained in the United States, dies(b1746).
1866 - President Andrew Johnson vetoes a bill providing for
an extension of the Freedman's Bureau,
but Congress overrides his veto.
1892 - The World's Fair Colored Opera Company performs
at Carnegie Hall.
1920 - Baseball's National Negro League is founded in Kansas City.
1923 - The first professional black basketball team,
The Renaissance (named for the Harlem Renaissance),
is organized. They will be popularly known as The Rens.
1947 - Atlanta hires its first African American police officers.
1957 - In New Orleans, Louisiana, The Southern Christian
Leadership Conference is organized with the Rev. Dr.
Martin Luther King at its head.
1970 - Joseph H. Searles III becomes the first black member
of the New York Stock Exchange.
1979 - The U.S. Civil Rights Commission reports that 46%
of minority students are still attending racially
This is 25 years after the Supreme Court's Brown v.
Board of Education decision mandating integration.
14th 1760 - Richard Allen, who will become the first bishop
of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,
is born a slave in Philadelphia.
1817 - Frederick Douglass chooses this day
and this year as his birthday.
Birth dates of slaves are not recorded,
but Douglass recalls his mother calling him "my valentine."
1880 - Aida Overton Walker is born in New York.
She will become the leading Cakewalk dancer
of the turn of the century, and the choreographer
of Williams and Walker's revolutionary series of
ragtime musicals on Broadway.
1893 - Songwriter Perry Bradford is born in Montgomery, AL.
1920 - Mamie Smith makes the first record by a black blues singer,
"Crazy Blues," on the Okeh label. It is an immediate hit with
sales of 1,000,000 records, mostly in black communities.
1943 - Pearl Primus choreographs "African Ceremonial"
at New York's 92nd Street Y.
1946 - Tap dancer Gregory Hines is born in New York.
1951 - "Sugar" Ray Robinson, the Fighter boxing aficianados
call, "pound for pound the best ever" won his 1st
middleweight title on this date by pounding "the
Raging Bull", Jake Lamotta for thirteen rounds
1967 - Frederick Douglass is honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
1974 - The first Double Dutch jump rope tournament is held
in New York.
1817 - Orator and Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, is born in
15th 1848 - Benjamin Roberts files a school integration
suit against the city of Boston on behalf of his daughter
Sarah. The case, which Roberts ultimately lost, yields
the phrase "separate but equal," quoted again in the
1897 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. State-sponsored school
discrimination is not judged illegal until
1954's Brown v. Board of Education ruling.
1897 - Alabama funds a Branch Agricultural Experiment Station
and Agricultural School for the Colored Race to be
established at Tuskegee Institute for
George Washington Carver.
1901 - Blues guitarist James "Kokomo" Arnold is born
in Lovejoy, GA.
1923 - Bessie Smith makes her first recording:
"Down Hearted Blues" and "Gulf Coast Blues"
for Columbia. The record sells 800,000
copies and establishes Smith as the leading
singer of urban blues.
1941 - Duke Ellington records his classic "Take the A Train."
1964 - Louis Armstrong's vocal "Hello Dolly" reaches Number 1
on Billboard's Top 40, pushing out the Beatles.
1965 - Singer Nat "King" Cole dies in Santa Monica, CA.
1965 - Malcolm X accuses the Nation of Islam of bombing his house.
1967 - Henry Lewis is named Director of the New Jersey Symphony,
the first African American to conduct a symphony orchestra.
1978 - Leon Spinks wins the world heavyweight boxing
championship from Muhammad Ali.
1991 - Paul Russell, ballet dancer with the Dance
Theater of Harlem, dies in San Francisco.
16th 1874 - Frederick Douglass is appointed the head of the
1923 - Bessie Smith makes her 1st recording(for Columbia
Records), 'Down Hearted Blues'.
1951 - The New York City Council prohibits racial
discrimination in city housing.
1957 - Actor Levar "Kunta Kinte" Burton is born in
1970 - Joe Frazier knocks out Jimmy Ellis and becomes the
world heavyweight boxing champion.
1971 - Wilt Chamberlain, center for the Los Angeles Lakers,
scores his 30,000th basketball point playing the
Phoenix Suns. He is the first National Basketball Association
player to attain that total score.
17th 1865 - The klu klux klan is organized in Pulaski, Tenn.
1902 - Internationally reknowned Contralto, Marion Anderson,
1919 - Soldiers of the all-black 369th Infantry in World War I
march in a victory parade up New York's Fifth Avenue.
They are led by James Reese Europe's "Hellfighters" band.
1936 - Jim Brown, Football Hall of Famer,
is born on St. Simon's Island, Georgia.
1937 - Mary Frances Berry is born in Nashville.
She will be a distinguished historian and civil rights activist.
1942 - Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party is
born in Monroe, LA.
1943 - Bibliographer and rare book dealer
William P. French is born in Great Barrington, MA.
1963 - Michael Jordan, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1973 - The U.S. Navy frigate "Jesse L. Brown" is commissioned.
It is named for the first naval aviator killed in the Korean War,
an African American. But the ship is sold to another country,
and Brown's heroism unacknowledged.
1980 - The U.S. Justice Department charges J. Edgar Hoover,
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
with blocking prosecution of four Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
members identified as responsible for the 1963 bombing
of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL.
Four young black girls were killed.
1981 - Jazz pianist Thelonius Monk dies in Weehawken, NJ.
18th 1688 - The 1st formal protest against slavery in the Western
world was signed by four Mennonite/Quaker men in
1767 - The Mason-Dixon Line is named for two English
surveyors, Charles Mason and Geremiah Dixon.
1867 - Augusta Institute is founded in Augusta, GA.
In 1913 it will move to Atlanta and become Morehouse College.
1894 - Architect Paul Revere Williams is born in Los Angeles.
1913 - Delta Sigma Theta sorority is founded at Howard University.
1931 - 1st African-American Nobel Prize in Literature recipient for
Now I know why the Caged Bird Sings
Toni Morrison is born in Loraine, OH.
1949 - William L. Dawson, a Congressperson from Chicago,
is the first black to head a Congressional standing committee,
the House Expenditures Committee.
1965 -The African country of Gambia gains its
1973 - Harlem Renaissance artist Palmer Hayden dies in New York.
1995 - Myrlie Evers-Williams is elected chair of the NAACP.
19th 1790 - George Bridgewater, 1st African-American Concert
Violinist, debuts in London, England.
1919 - The first Pan-African Congress opens in Paris under
the leadership of African American public intellectual
W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois links the freedom of African
Americans at home with opposition to colonialism in Africa.
1940 - William "Smokey" Robinson is born in Detroit.
1982 - Clarence Thomas is nominated by President Ronald Reagan
to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
the purpose of which they both oppose.
1992 - John Singleton is the first African American nominated
for an Academy Award as best director for his
film Boyz N the Hood.
1996 - Concert singer Dorothy Maynor dies in New York.
1853 - The 1st African-American YMCA was started in
20th 1865 - Journalist,abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, dies at the
age of 78, in Washington, D.C.
1900 - J.F. Pickering is granted a patent for an airship.
1906 - African-American Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, is
established at Cornell University.
1911 - Writer Francis Ellen Watkins Harper dies in Philadelphia.
1924 - Academy Award winning actor(
Lillies of the Field
Sidney Poitier, is born in Miami, FL.
1936 - John Hope dies in Atlanta. He was the first black
president of Morehouse College, and the
first president of Atlanta University.
1937 - Jazz and pop star Nancy Wilson is born in Ohio.
1951 - Pianist and composer(
The Life and Times of Malcolm X
Anthony Davis is born in Paterson, NJ.
1982 - Two hundred African American special
agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency win
$2,000,000 in a racial discrimination suit.
1987 - Jean Baptiste du Sable, the black founder of Chicago,
is honored on a U.S. postage stamp.
21st 1965 - El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) is assassinated
while giving a speech on the Organization of African
Unity at the Audibon Ballroom in Harlem, New York.
1911- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 'The Bronze Muse',
who wrote more than a dozen books of prose and
poetry and was considered the most famous African-
American poet of the 19th Century, dies.
1868 - Academician, African-American Rights activist,
author and historian, W.E.B. Dubois is born in Great Barrington,
Massachusetts(d.1963 in Ghana, Africa).
1811 - Daniel A. Payne, clergyman, historian, and the 1st
African-American college president, is born.
1966 - Military leaders oust Kwame Nkrumah, president of
Ghana, while he is in Peking on a peace mission to
stop the Vietnam War.
1870 - Hiram Revels becomes the 1st African-American
elected to the United States Senate.
1978 - Daniel "Chappie" James, the 1st African-American
four star General, dies in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1869 - The 15th amendment is proposed in Congress, giving
former slaves the right to vote.
1833 - Maria W. Stewart delivered one of four speeches
which confirmed her place in history as the first
American-born woman to give public lectures.
1900 - Teacher and Poet, Angelina Weld Grimke, is born in
1902 - World-renowned opera singer and civil rights
advocate, Marian Anderson, is born in Philadelphia,
1748 - Poet laureate, Phillis Wheatley, dies in poverty in
"Please, Please, Please"