365 Days of history

January 1, 1804 The former colony of Saint Domingue declared its independence and renamed itself Haiti, making it the first independent nation in Latin America and the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world. This was the result of a revolution against colonization and slavery that began on August 22, 1791. One of the most successful leaders of the revolution was Toussaint L’Ouverture. The leader at the time of independence was Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

1 (Imani; Faith) 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation

2. The Liberator, Abolitionist Newspaper, 1st edition, 1831

3. 1624, William Tucker, the first recorded African American born in the American colonies, Jamestown, Virginia. His Africans parents were slaves and he was later sold to an English sea captain named William Tucker.

4. Dr. George Washington Carver, Scientist, remembered, 1920

5. 1931, Alvin Ailey, Jr., choreographer and activist, was born in Rogers, Texas.

6. 1882, Thomas Boyne was awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration. Boyne was cited for “bravery in action” at the Mimbres Mountains on May 29, 1879 and at the Cuchillo Negro River on September 27, 1879.

7. 1891, Zora Neale Hurston, author and playwright, was born in Notasulga, Alabama, she was raised in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black town to be incorporated in the United States

8. Blacks gain Voting Rights in D.C., 1867

9. 1866, Fisk University opened, Nashville, Tennessee

10. 2005, James Forman, civil rights leader, remembered. In 1969, his “Black Manifesto” was adopted at the Black Economic Development Conference held in Detroit, Michigan.
11. 1948, Madeline Manning, hall of fame track and field athlete, author, and speaker, was born in Cleveland, Ohio

12. 1890, Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, educator and the first black president of Howard University, was born in Paris, Tennessee.

13. 1953, Don Barksdale became the first black to play in an NBA All-Star Game

14. “Sanford and Son” premiered on NBC, 1972

15. Martin Luther King, Jr, b. 1929

16. Aaliyah Haughton, rhythm-and-blues singer, actress, b.1979.

17. Paul Cuffe, born in colonial Massachusetts as a free black, 1759, ship captain, and abolitionist

18. “The Jefferson’s” premiered on TV, 1975

19. 1918, John Harold Johnson, publisher and businessman, was born in Arkansas City, Arkansas

20. 2009, President Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, and the first African-American President of the United States

21. 1951, Eric Himpton Holder, Jr., the first African American Attorney General of the United States, was born in the Bronx, New York.
22. b. 1931, Sam Cooke

23. 1941, Richard Wright wins the Spingarn Medal for “Native Son.”

24. 1962, Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

25. 1980 – BET – Black Entertainment Television {BET} – first black owned company to be listed on the NYSE, begins broadcasting from Washington, DC.

26. First Black American woman aviator, Bessie Coleman, b., 1893

27. Will Marion Cook, noted composer and conductor, b. 1869

28. 1963, Harvey Gantt entered Clemson College in South Carolina, the last state to hold out against integration.

29. Oprah Winfrey, b. 1954

30. 1965, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, named all-time outstanding player by National Baseball Congress.

31. Ernie Banks, b. 1931, Baseball SS-1B


1. 1865, John S. Rock becomes first black lawyer to argue case before U.S. Supreme Court.

2. 1897, Alfred L. Cralle, received patent # 576,395 for a lever operated ice cream scoop, a design still widely used today.

3. 1910, Robert Earl Jones, stage and film actor and father of James Earl Jones, was born in Senatobia, Mississippi.

4. Rosa Parks, b. 1913, recognized as “The Mother of Civil Rights” unknowingly jump-starts the historical bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama

5. 1884, Willis Johnson patented a device made up of a handle attached to a series of spring-like whisk wires used to help mix ingredients: eggbeater

6. Bob Marley, b. 1945, internationally famed Reggae Artist

7. James Hubert Blake, b. 1887, an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans.

8. 1924, Joseph Black, the first black pitcher to win a World Series game, was born in Plainfield, New Jersey.

9. 1991, James Cleveland, gospel singer, arranger and composer, remembered.

10. 1927, Mary Violet Leontyne Price, operatic soprano, was born in Laurel, Mississippi.

11. Daniel “Chappie” James, b. 1920, U.S. 4-Star General

12. 1934, William Felton “Bill” Russell, hall of fame basketball player and author, was born West Monroe, Louisiana, and raised in Oakland, California.

13. Joseph L. Searles becomes 1st Black member of The New York Stock Exchange, 1970

14. Richard Allen, b. 1760, minister, educator and writer, and the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal

15. Ernest E. Just, recipient of 1st NAACP’s Spingard Medal, 1915

16. 1904, James Baskett, actor and the first male performer of African descent to receive an Oscar, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.

17. Mary Frances Berry, b. 1938, Internationally recognized Historian/Educator

18. Paul Revere Williams, b. 1894, 1st Black awarded by American Institute of Architects

19. 1940, William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr., singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born in Detroit, Michigan.

20. Nancy Wilson, b. 1937, renowned recording songsters

21. 1864, St. Francis Xavier Church in East Baltimore, Maryland, the first Catholic church in the United States officially established for Negroes, was dedicated.

22. Dr, Ralph J. Bunche, becomes 1st Black awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Interactions with the United Nations, 1950

23. 1915, Robert Smalls, businessman and politician, remembered

24. 1975, Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, remembered

25. 1853, 1st YMCA (for Blacks) opens, Washington, D.C.

26. Fats Domino, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll musician, b.1928

27. Debi Thomas, becomes 1st Black Figure Skater Olympic Bronze Champion, 1988

28. 1708, A Slave Revolt occurred in Newton, Long Island, New York: Seven Whites killed, two Black male slaves and an Indian slave were hanged, and a Black woman was burned alive.

29. 1948, Willi Donnell Smith, one of the most successful young fashion designers in fashion history, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


1. Homer Plessy, Activist, b. 1863, New Orleans, Louisiana

2. Born in Jefferson City, Tennessee on March 2, 1957, Mark Dean, as the chief engineer for the team that developed the IBM PC/AT; the original home/office computer.

3. Aretha Franklin, b. 1942, soul singer, the “Queen of Soul,” and a grand diva of pop music

4. 1877, Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr., inventor and entrepreneur, was born in Paris, Kentucky.

5. Charles Fuller, playwright, b. 1939

6. Ella Phillips Stewart, b. 1893, Pharmacist

7. Charley Pride, b. 1939, most recognized Country Recording Artist

8. 1867, The Reconstruction Act passed which required southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment–which granted “equal protection” of the Constitution to former slaves–and enact universal male suffrage before they could rejoin the Union.

9. Phyllis M. Daley, 1st Black Navy Corp Nurse Graduate, 1945

10. 1997, (Delores) LaVern Baker, rhythm and blues singer, remembered.

11. 1968, Civil Rights Bill passed Senate

12. Andrew J. Young, b. 1932, former U.N. Ambassador & Mayor of Atlanta, GA

13. 2011, The Cow town/Work to Ride polo team out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania became the first all-black team to win the National Interscholastic Championship with a 24 – 17 victory over the Baltimore Polo Club.

14. Quincy D. Jones, Jr., b. 1933, Producer, Film and Recording Musical Composer

15. 1912, Sam John “Lightnin” Hopkins, country blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, was born in Centreville, Texas.

16. 1827, Freedom’s Journal, the first African American-owned and operated newspaper in the United States, was published with the front page declaration that “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.” The paper was published by Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm until 1829.

17. Charles Brooks designed the street sweeper and patented it on March 17, 1896.

18. Fred Shuttlesworth, b. 1922, civil rights activist, minister, remembered: 10/5/2011

19. Robert Keith McFerrin Sr. (March 19, 1921 – November 24, 2006) was an operatic baritone and the first African-American man to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

20. 1883, Jan Earnst Matzeliger of Lynn, Massachusetts received patent number 274,207 for his Automatic Method for Lasting Shoes. His machine could produce shoes ten times faster than working by hand and resulted in a more than 50% reduction in the cost of shoes.

21. 1865, Anthony Overton, the first African American to lead a major business conglomerate, was born enslaved in Monroe, Louisiana. In 1898, he founded the Overton Hygienic Manufacturing Company to create cosmetics specifically for the complexions of black women. He patented his cosmetics and a line of perfume under the name High Brown. By the time he moved his company to Chicago, Illinois in 1911, he employed a salaried sales force as well as 400 door to door sales people. By 1915, he was manufacturing 62 products and in 1927 the company was valued at more than $1 million.

22. Born March 22, 1940 in Indianapolis, Indiana, George Edward Alcorn, Jr. is a noted pioneer in the field of semiconductor devices and one of the top inventors in the field of aerospace.

23. 1974, James “Jimmy” Winkfield, jockey, horse trainer and an African American who rode a winner in the Kentucky Derby, remembered

24. 1912, Dorothy Irene Height, educator and social activist, was born in Richmond, Virginia.

25. Aretha L. Franklin, soul singer, b. 1942, Memphis, Tennessee, the “Queen of Soul

26. 1944, Diana Ross, singer and actress, and signed with Motown in 1961, she was a vocalist for a female group; The Primettes. The groups’hit singles, and became the most successful vocal group of the Sixties. Diane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 as a member of The Supremes.

27. 1917, Rufus Thomas, Jr., R&B, funk, and soul singer, was born in Cayce, Mississippi; he grew up in Memphis, Tennessee.

28. 1946, Cumberland Willis “Cum” Posey, hall of fame Negro League player, a manager and team owner: remembered Thrifty-six years before his death, he organized a group of steelworkers and named the team, The Homestead Grays’ after his home town, Homestead, Pennsylvania, for the most part this franchise dominated the Negro League’s history.

29. 1925, Emlen Lewis Tunnell, the first African American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He played college football for the University of Iowa where he became a key player as a quarterback, halfback, on defense and led the team in passing in the 1946 season and receiving in the 1947 season. A year later, he became the first African American to play for the New York Giants, and continued to play in the National Football League for 14 seasons and earned nine-time Pro Bowl selections.

30. 1886, Robert F. Flemings, Jr. of Melrose, Massachusetts received patent number 338,727 for improvements in the guitar today. His version maintained all of the good qualities of the guitar of the times it produced superior volume and tone and was more responsive to the stroke.

31. 1870, Thomas Mundy Peterson became the 1st African American to vote.


1. 1880, Southern University and A&M College was chartered by the Louisiana General Assembly “for the education of persons of color.” Southern opened its doors in 1881 in New Orleans with 12 students, at this time Louisiana State University Law School would not admit African Americans, Southern University Law Center was established in 1947.

2. Marvin Gaye, singer, songwriter, b. 1939

3. 1961, Edward Regan Murphy, comedian, singer, actor, and film director, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

4. b. 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel

5. Booker T. Washington, b. 1856, educator

6. New York Slave Revolt of 1712, an uprising in New York City of 23 enslaved Africans who killed nine whites and injured another six. More than three times that number of blacks, 70, were arrested and jailed. Of these, 27 were put on trial, and 21 convicted and executed.

7. Billie Holiday, b. 1915, Blues Songstress

8. 1974, Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron hit his 715th career home run, breaking one of the most sacred records in baseball which had stood for 39 years.

9. Paul Robertson, b. 1898, activist, scholar, actor, opera singer

10. James Edward Maceo West, b. 1931 in Prince Edward County, Virginia, becomes an American inventor and acoustician. West teamed with Gerhard Sessler, and developed the foil electrets microphone in 1962. Today nearly 90 percent of the more than two billion microphones produced annually are based on the principles of the foil-electrets and are used in everyday items such as telephones, camcorders, and audio recording devices among others.

11. Percy Julian, b. 1899 in Birmingham, Alabama, one of six children. Two sons went on to become physicians and three daughters would receive Masters Degrees yet it was son Percy who would become the most successful of the children.

12. Herbie Hancock, b. 1940, jazz musician, b. 1940, Chicago, an Academy and Grammy Award-winning composer and musician known for his improvisational instrumentals.

13. 1964, awarded Best Actor of the Year; Sidney Poitier, 1st Black male to receive honor

14. Motown Records was formed by Berry Gordy, Jr in 1959.

15. Bessie Smith, b. 1894, an American blues singer.

16. 1947, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, hall of fame basketball player, and author, was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor in New York City.

17. 1983, Alice Walker, awarded Pulitzer Prize for fiction novel; “The Color Purple”

18. 1922, John Arthur “Jack” Johnson, the first black World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, received patent number 1,413,121 for an improved wrench for tightening loosened fastening devices.

19. 1975, Percy Lavon Julian, research chemist and pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants, remembered

20. b, 1951, Luther Ronzoni Vandross was born in New York City. Vandross began playing the piano at the age three, performed in high school went on to become a renown R&B singer, a songwriter, and producer, he song back up vocals and sang commercial jingles.

21. b, 1932, Locksley Wellington “Slide” Hampton, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, was born in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.

22. b, 1947, Cathy Hughes, business executive and radio and television personality, born Catherine Elizabeth Woods in Omaha, Nebraska.

23. 1856, Granville T. Woods, inventor often called the “Black Edison,” was born in Columbus, Ohio.

24. 1919, David Harold Blackwell, the first African American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, was born in Centralia, Illinois.

25. 1944, The United Negro College Fund was incorporated by Frederick D. Patterson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and others.

26. Sarah Boone received a patent, April 26, 1892 for a device later named “iron board.”

27. 1882, Jessie Redmon Fauset, editor, author, and educator, was born in Fredericksville, New Jersey.

28. 1891, George Toliver of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received patent number 451,086 for his invention of a new propeller for vessels.

29. b, 1899, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, pianist, composer, and big band leader, Washington, D.C.

30. 1926, Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman, civil aviator, died when her airplane crashed.


1. Howard University founded under an Act of Congress Charter in Washington, D.C., 1867

2. 1920, 1st Negro National Baseball Game played, Indianapolis ABC’s defeated Chicago Giants

3. James Brown, soul singer, b. 1933

4. 1942, Nickolas Ashford, songwriter and recording artist, was born in Fairfield, South Carolina.

5. Robert Johnson, blues singer, guitarist, b. 1911

6. 1787, 1st Charter Negro Mason meeting, presided by Prince Hall

7. 1946, Thelma Jackson Houston, singer, actress, and songwriter, was born in Leland, Mississippi.

8. 1932, Charles L. “Sonny” Liston, hall of fame boxer, was born in Johnson Township, Arkansas.

9. 1899, Lawn Mower invented, J.A. Burr

10. 1911, Lewis Winter, businessman, remembered, he was born in 1839 in Lebanon, Tennessee.

11. William Grant Still, b. 1895, composer who wrote more than 150 compositions

12. 1951, Oscar Stanton De Priest, the first African American elected to Congress in the 20th century, remembered.

13. Steve Wonder, b. 1950, singer, songwriter, performer

14. 1890, Rosa Jinsey Young, “the mother of Black Lutheranism in Alabama,” was born in Rosebud, Alabama.

15. 1904, Sigma Pi Phi, the first African American Greek lettered organization was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

16. Betty Carter, b. 1929, Grammy-winning jazz singer who was labeled “the godmother of jazz.”

17. James (Cool Papa) Bell, b. 1903, Baseball

18. 1946, Reginald Martinez “Reggie” Jackson, hall of fame baseball player known as “Mr. October,” was born in Wyncote, Pennsylvania.

19. 1930, Lorraine Hansberry, playwright, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

20. 1743, Francois-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture, Haitian patriot and revolutionary leader, was born enslaved in Saint-Domingue, Hispaniola (now Haiti).

21. 2006, Katherine Mary Dunham, dancer, choreographer, author, educator, activist, and “Matriarch and Queen Mother of Black Dance,” remembered.

22. 1939, Paul Edward Winfield, television, film, and stage actor, was born in Los Angeles, California.

23. 1975, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, stand-up comedienne, remembered.

24. Lincoln University chartered, 1855, as 1st united States Black College, Oxford, Pennsylvania

25. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson; Vaudeville dancer, b. 1878

26. 1907, Elizabeth Keckley, personal dressmaker and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, remembered.

27. 1936, Louis Cameron Gossett, Jr., stage, film, and television actor, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

28. T.J. Marshall, inventor of Fire Extinguish, 1872

29. F.M. Jones; invented 2-cycle Bus engine, 1945

30. 1902, Stepin Fetchit, comedian and film actor, was born Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry in Key West, Florida

31. 1924, Patricia Roberts Harris, the first African American woman to serve as a United States Ambassador, was born in Mattoon, Illinois.


1. 1966, The White House Conference on Civil Rights, titled “To Fulfill These Rights,” was convened.

2. Dorothy West, b. 1907, a novelist and short story writer who was part of the Harlem Renaissance.

3. Charles Drew was born on June 3, 1904 in Washington, D.C., his early interests were in education, above all, medicine, he was an outstanding athlete, winning the James E. Walker Memorial medal, given to the best school’s all around athlete

4. Cowboy Bill Pickett; titled the “Inventor of Bull Dogging,” 1893

5. 1950, The United States Supreme Court in the case of Henderson v. United States abolished segregation in railroad dining cars and in the case of McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents ruled that a public institution of higher learning could not provide different treatment to a student solely because of his/her race.

6. Lena Horne, jazz and pop singer, dancer, and actress, b. 1917

7. Yolande Cornelia “Nikki” Giovanni, b. 1943 poet

8. 1943, William D. “Willie” Davenport, hall of fame track and field athlete, was born in Troy, Alabama

9. Jackie Wilson, “Mr. Excitement,” b. 1932, R & B rock performer

10. James Augustine Healy, becomes 1st Black American Roman Catholic, ordained, 1854

11. 1967, marriages between Blacks and Whites ruled legal by Supreme Court in Virginia case

12. 1930, Barbara Clementine Harris, the world’s first female Anglican bishop, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

13. Dr. James Cameron instrumental in getting Congress and the U.S. Senate to finally apologize for the over 4,734 recorded and countless non recorded lynching’s in America, on June 13th 2005 after 211 previous anti-lynching bills were filibustered.

14. Chris Dickerson becomes 1st Black Body builder: “Mr. America,” 1970

15. Josiah Henson b. 1789, an author, abolitionist, and minister was born into slavery in Charles County, Maryland, he escaped to Ontario, Canada in 1830, and founded a settlement and laborer’s school for other fugitive slaves at Dawn, near Dresden in Kent County.

16. 1996, Ella Jane Fitzgerald, jazz and pop vocalist also known as the “First Lady of Song,” remembered.

17. 1972, Black security guard Frank Willis discover the Watergate Hotel break-in

18. Lou Brock, b, 1939, Baseball OF

19. 1912, Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial Normal School for Negroes in Nashville, Tennessee began operations with 247 students. In the early 1970s, the school became Tennessee State University.

20. 1894, Lloyd Augustus Hall, chemist and inventor, was born in Elgin, Illinois, and raised in Aurora, Illinois.

21. 1832, Joseph Hayne Rainey, the first African American to be directly elected to Congress, was born enslaved in Georgetown, South Carolina.

22. Octavia Butler, b 1947, writer

23. Wilma Rudolph, Olympic Gold Medalist (Track), b. 1940

24. 2008, Ira Tucker, Sr., lead singer for the Dixie Hummingbirds, remembered. Tucker was born May 17, 1925 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

25. 1876, Isaiah Dorman, a formerly enslaved interpreter, was killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

26. 1956, Bernard Anthony Harris, Jr., the first African American to walk in space, was born in Temple, Texas.

27. 1991, 1st Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall retires

28. 1915, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, blues guitarist and singer, was born in Shaw, Mississippi.

29. James Van DerZee, b. 1886, recognized photographer

30. 1958, The Supreme Court of the United States in the case of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama ruled that Alabama’s demand for the membership list of the NAACP had violated the right of due process guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the constitution.


1. Andrew Dorsey Thomas, b.1899, known as “the father of black gospel music” and was at one time so closely associated with the field that songs written in the new style were sometimes known as “Dorsey’.” Earlier in his life he was a leading blues pianist known as Georgia Tom.

2. Denmark Vesey, executed (lynched), 2 July 1822 after being accused of planning a slave rebellion against slave owners and other whites in Charleston, South Carolina

3. 1902, Edward Lee Baker, Jr. was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration, for his actions during the Spanish-American War.

4. (Independent Day) 1938, William Harrison “Bill” Withers, Jr., singer, songwriter, and musician, was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia

5. 1887, Granville T. Woods of Cincinnati, Ohio received patent number 366,192 for his improvements in polarized relays. The Granville T. Woods Math and Science Community Academy in Chicago, Illinois is named in his honor.

6. 1971, Henry Thomas Sampson, Jr. from Jackson, Mississippi received patent number 3,591,860 for his invention of the gamma-electric cell for nuclear reactor use.

7. Margaret Abigail Walker, poet and writer, was born in Birmingham, Alabama.

8. 1777, The Commonwealth of Vermont abolished slavery in their constitution.

9. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performs 1st successful open heart surgery, 1893

10. 1891, “Monk” Overton, horse jockey: wins 6th straight races at Chicago’s Washington Park

11. 1868, The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted.

12. 1967, Race riots in Newark, N.J., kill 26, injure 1,500, with over 1,000 arrested.

13. 1863, The New York Draft Riots started. Initially intended to express anger at the draft for the Civil War, the
protests turned ugly and degraded into “a virtual racial pogrom, with uncounted numbers of Blacks murdered in the streets.”

14. 1934, Robert Lee Elder, the first African American to play in the Masters Golf Tournament, was born in Dallas,

15. 1864, Maggie Lena Walker, educator, businesswoman, and the first female bank president, was born in Richmond, Virginia.

16. 1862, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, journalist and activist for civil and women’s rights, was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

17. 1888, Miriam E. Benjamin, a Washington, D.C. school teacher, became the second black woman to receive a patent for her Gong and Signal Chair for hotels. Benjamin received patent number 386,289 for the chair which allowed hotel guests to summon a waiter from their chair.

18. 1863, The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, composed of free blacks from the North, launched an assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina.

19. 1923, Dale Raymond Wright, award-winning and barrier-breaking journalist, was born in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

20. 1967, The first National Conference on Black Power convened in Newark, New Jersey with Nathan Wright, Jr. as the chairman.

21. 1858, Alonzo Franklin Herndon, founder of the Atlantic Life Insurance Company, was born enslaved in Georgia.

22. George Clinton, musician, b. 1940

23. 1915, Hallie Almena Lomax, a journalist and civil rights activist, was born in Galveston, Texas, and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

24. 1934, Willie D. Davis, hall of fame football player, was born in Lisbon, Louisiana.

25. 1938, Darlene Love, hall of fame singer and actress, was born in Hawthorne, California, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

26. July 26, 1948 President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 which partly stated “It is hereby to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

27. 1897, James Raleigh “Biz” Mackey, hall of fame Negro League baseball player and manager, was born in Eagle Pass, Texas.

28. Anti-Lynching Bill, 1922, was introduced by Missouri Congressman Leonidas Dyer advocating lynching be a federal felony in the United States punishable by a maximum of 5 years in person, a fine of $5,000 or both.

29. Alexandre Dumas, b. 1824, author of “The Three Musketeers”

30. 1945, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Congressman elected from Harlem

31. 1936 Marva Collins, educator and author, was born in Monroeville, Alabama.


1. 1894, Benjamin Elijah Mays, minister, educator, scholar, and social activist, was born in Ninety Six, South Carolina.

2. 2012, Gabriele Douglas becomes the first African American to win all around Gold in gymnastics

3. 1964 Joan Elizabeth Higginbotham, the third African American woman to go into space, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

4. Richard Wright, b. 1908, author “Native Son”

5. 1946, Shirley Ann Jackson, b, is an American physicist, and the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

6. 1861, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the First Confiscation Act of 1861 which authorized the
confiscation of any Confederate property by Union forces, including enslaved people.

7. 1904, Ralph Johnson Bunche, political scientist and diplomat, was born in Detroit, Michigan.

8. 1975, Julian Edwin “Cannonball” Adderley, hall of fame jazz alto saxophonist and band leader, remembered.

9. 1936, Jesse Owens, “4X’s” Gold Olympic Medal winner

10. 1989, General Colin Powell nominated Chairman – Joint Chiefs of Staff

11. Alex Haley, Author, b.1921

12. 1891, Lillian Evanti, one of the first African American women to become an internationally prominent opera performer, was born Lillian Evans in Washington, D.C.

13 2012, Tia Norfleet, the first African American female licensed by NASCAR, made her debut at the Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Virginia, August 4, 2012.

14. Ernest Just, biologist, b.1883 in Charleston, South Carolina.

15. 1818, Bridget “Biddy” Mason, nurse, real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist, was born enslaved in Hancock County, Georgia.

16. 1922, Louis E. Lomax, author and the first African American television journalist, was born in Valdosta, Georgia.

17. Marcus Mosaic Garvey, b. 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica

18. 1963, James H. Meredith became the first African American to graduate from the University of Mississippi. Meredith was born June 25, 1933 in Kosciusko, Mississippi.

19. 1791, Benjamin Banneker, a free African American astronomer, surveyor, and almanac author, wrote a letter to United States Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson pointing out the hypocrisy of slavery.

20. 1964 – President Johnson signed Economic Opportunity Act

21. William “Count” Basie, b. 1904 an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years.

22. 1867, Fisk University was incorporated under Tennessee law with “a dream of an educational institution that would be open to all, regardless of race, and that would measure itself by the highest standards, not of Negro education, but of American education at its best.” The school was named after General Clinton B. Fisk of the Tennessee Freedmen’s Bureau.

23. 1900, The National Negro Business League was founded in Boston, Massachusetts with Booker T. Washington as its first president.

24. 1854, John V. DeGrasse became the first black doctor admitted to the Massachusetts Medical Society.

25. Athea Gibson, 1st Black to play tennis at Wimbledon and won the Singles Crown in 1957

26. 1843, Norbert Rillieux of New Orleans, Louisiana was granted patent number 3237 for the multiple-effect evaporation system for refining sugar.

27. 1884, Rose Virginia Scott McClendon, a leading Broadway actress of the 1920s, was born in Greenville, South Carolina.

28. 1963, Martin Luther King Jr gives his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

29. Otis F. Boykin, born, 1920, in Dallas, Texas, among many other patents and inventions his most recognized is the Pacemaker.

30. Roy Wilkins, b. 1901, St. Louis, Mo.

31. b. 1935, Frank Robinson, first black manager MLB, Beaumont, Texas.


1. On this date in 1948 William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr. became the first African American to serve as a United States Supreme Court Clerk.

2. 1766, James Forten, abolitionist and businessman, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

3. 1843, Andrew Jackson Smith, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was born enslaved in Kentucky.

4. Lewis H. Latimer, b. 1848, engineer/inventor

5. 1846, John Wesley Cromwell, historian, educator, and lawyer, was born enslaved in Portsmouth, Virginia.

6. Foxy Brown, Rapper, b. 1979, known as: Sassy rapper of Ill Na Na, 1969, Macy Gray, b 1969.

7. Jacob A. Lawrence, b. 1917, famed painter

8. 1954, Ruby Nell Bridges Hall, the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the
South, was born in Tylertown, Mississippi but raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is commemorated in the Norman Rockwell painting “The Problem We All Live With.”

9. 1817, Paul Cuffee, businessman and abolitionist, remembered. Cuffee was born January 17, 1759 on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts.

10. Buck Buchanan, b. 1940, football

11. 1922, b. James Charles Evers, the older brother of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers is a leading civil rights spokesman within the Republican Party in his native Mississippi.

12. 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes 1st Black Major League Baseball Rookie of the year

13. 1881, Lewis H. Latimer of New York City shared patent number 247,097 for improvements in incandescent electrical lamps.

14. 1921, Constance Baker Motley, hall of fame civil rights activist, lawyer, and judge, was born in New Haven, Connecticut.

15. Remembrance: 1963, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carol Robertson, Cynthia Wesley; 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, AL

16. 1925, Riley “B.B.” King, hall of fame blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi.

17. 1983, Vanessa Williams selected Miss America

18. 1970, James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix, hall of fame guitarist, singer and songwriter, remembered.

19. 1889, Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delany, educator, author, and civil rights pioneer, born in Lynch Station, Virginia.

20. 1664, Maryland enacted the first Anti-Amalgamation Law to specifically outlaw marriage between black men and white women. Soon after, similar laws were passed in a number of other colonies.

21. 1815, Black Troops are honored for “Courage” by General Andrew Jackson, Battle of New Orleans

22. Shari Belafonte Harper, b. 1954, New York City, actress, model

23. Ray Charles, b. 1933, composer, R&B singer

24. 1931, Cardiss H. Collins, the first African American woman to represent the Midwest in Congress, born in St. Louis, Missouri.

25. 1965, at the age of 59, “Satchel Page” pitches 3 innings for the Kansas City A’s

26. Bell Hooks, Writer / Activist, b. 1952, Writer / Activist, known as: Black feminist critic of “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy,” name at birth: Gloria Jean Watkins

27. Hiram Revels, b. 1827, Senator from Mississippi; first African American senator

28. 1928, Cora Walton (Koko Taylor), blues singer popularly known as the “Queen of the Blues,” was born in Shelby County, Tennessee.

29. 1975, WGPR-TV (Where God’s Presence Radiates) began broadcasting in Detroit, Michigan as the first wholly African American owned television station in the United States.

30. Johnny Mathis, b. 1935, renowned balladeer


1. George R. Carruthers, a pioneer in the use of ultraviolet spectroscopy to learn more about the earth and the universe, born, 1939

2. Nathaniel “Nat” Turner, b. 1800, an American slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia

3. 1949, WERD, the first radio stationed owned and operated by African Americans, began broadcasting from Atlanta, Georgia

4. 1864, The New Orleans Tribune, the first black daily newspaper in the United States, was founded by Dr. Louis C. Roudanez.

5. 1932, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, the first African American woman to represent the West Coast in Congress was born in Los Angeles, California

6. Fannie Mae Hamer, b. 1917, political activist

7. Logan Greenbury, enlisted in the Texas army, 1835

8. Toni Morrison received Nobel Prize for Literary works, 1993

9. 1806, Benjamin Banneker, astronomer, surveyor, and almanac author, remembered. Banneker was born November 9, 1731
in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland.

10. b. 1901, Frederick Douglass Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund, in Washington, D.C.

11. 1887, Alexander Miles received patent number 371,207 for his invention of the automatic elevator door mechanism.

12. R. C. “Dick” Gregory, b. 1932, human rights activist, stand-up comedic

13. 1875, Adam Paine, a Black Seminole Indian, received the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration, for his actions in the Indian Wars.

14. Henry Blair, a free man, his first invention, a seed planter, patented, 1834

15. 1890, The Alabama Penny Savings Bank was founded in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the first three African American owned and operated financial institutions in the United States.

16. George Washington Williams, b.1849, was an American Civil War veteran, minister, politician and a historian.

17. Jupiter Hammon b. 1711, a Black poet who became the first African-American published writer in America when a poem appeared in print in 1760.

18. Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry, b. 1926, an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music

19. Michael Stephen Steele, the first African American chairman of the Republican National Convention, was born at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Maryland and adopted as an infant. Steele earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from John Hopkins University in 1981

20. Snoop Dogg. b. 1971, Rapper / Music Producer, name at birth: Cordozar Broadus

21. b. 1950 Ronald Ervin McNair, physicist and NASA astronaut, in Lake City, South Carolina.

22. b. 1936, Robert George “Bobby” Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense and author, in Dallas, Texas

23. 1810, William Alexander Leidesdorff, one of the earliest black settlers in California and often called the first black millionaire, was born in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

24. 2005, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, the Mother of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement, remembered.

25. 2012, Wal-Mart donated $5 million Tuesday to help build the Smithsonian Institution’s planned National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall.

26. b. 1919, Edward William Brooke, III, the first African American to be elected to the United States Senate by popular vote, in Washington, D.C

27. b. 1924, Ruby Ann Wallace (Ruby Dee), actress, playwright, poet, and activist, in Cleveland, Ohio, grew up in Harlem, New York.

28. 1937, Leonard Randolph “Lenny” Wilkins, hall of fame basketball player and coach, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

29. 1969, The United States Supreme Court decided in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education that “The obligation of every school district is to terminate dual school systems at once and to operate now and hereafter only unitary schools.”

30. b. 1922, Marie Van Britton Brown, inventor, in Jamaica Queens, New York

31. 1899, William F. Burr of Agawam, Massachusetts received patent number 636,197 for inventing improvements in switching devices for railways.


1. 1890, The Mississippi Plan becomes law on this date. It uses literacy and “understanding” tests to disenfranchise minority voters. Other Southern states soon adopt similar practices (“Black Codes”) to prevent blacks from voting: violence, voter fraud, gerrymandering, poll taxes, literacy tests, white primaries, grandfather clauses, etc.

2. Martin Luther King Jr., birthday officially becomes a Federal Holiday, 1983, signed by President Ronald Reagan

3. b. 1949, Larry Holmes, hall of fame boxer and entrepreneur, in Cuthbert, Georgia

4. Patricia Era Bath, b. 1942, recognized as the first Black to complete a residency in ophthalmology

5. b. 1962, Benjamin Alvin Drew, NASA astronaut, in Washington, D. C.

6. James Weldon and Rasamond Johnson composed, the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing, 1900

7. 1775, Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, issued a proclamation promising freedom to all enslaved blacks who deserted and fought for the British.

8. Crystal Bird Faucet, 1st Black Female State Legislature, 1938, (Penn)

9. Benjamin Banneker, b. 1731, a free African American astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, almanac author and farmer.

10. 1891, Granville T. Woods was awarded patent number 463,020 for his invention of the Electric Railway System.

11. Jimmy Hendrix (James Marshall Hendrix), b. 1942, rock musician, guitarist,

12. Myrlie Evers-Williams, christens the U.S. Navy’s newest supply ship, the USNS Medgar Evers while her daughter Reena Denise Evers, and her son James Van Evers, look on, in San Diego

13. Caryn E. “Whoopi” Johnson, b. 1949, Comedian, Actress and talk show host.

14. 1856, John Edward Bush, co-founder of the Mosaic Templar’s of America (MTA), was born enslaved in Moscow, Tennessee.

15. 1908, Ebenezer D. Bassett, educator, abolitionist, civil rights activist, and the United States’ first African American diplomat, remembered.

16. William Christopher Handy, b. 1873, a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the “Father of the Blues”.

17. 1911, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity was founded on the campus of Howard University by students Edgar A. Love, Oscar J. Cooper, Frank Coleman, and Professor Ernest E. Just.

18. Sojourner Truth, b. 1787, Abolitionist and Women’s Rights Advocate

19. Roy Campanella, b. 1921, Baseball Catcher, National League’s MPV: 1951, 1953, & 1955

20. 1923, Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. received patent number 1,475,024 for his version of the traffic signal.

21. Marshall Taylor, b. 1878, 1st Black World Bicycle Champion

22. National Islam Instituted by Elijah Muhammad, 1930

23. 1949, Thomas Joyner, nationally syndicated host of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” was born in Tuskegee, Alabama.

24. In Remembrance, 1987, Harold Washington, 1st Black Mayor, Chicago, Il.

25. 1949, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, tap dancer and stage and film actor, remembered.

26. 1939, Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner), singer and actress, was born in Nutbush, Tennessee.

27. 1897, Andrew Beard patented a device which revolutionized the rail road industry: Jenny Coupler

28. 1907, Charles Henry Alston was an African-American painter, sculptor, illustrator, muralist and teacher who lived and worked in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem.

29. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., b. 1908, an American politician and pastor who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives (1945–71).

30. 1912, Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks, photographer, musician, poet, film director, and activist, was born in Fort Scott, Kansas. Parks bought his first camera at the age of 25 and began to work as a freelance portrait and fashion photographer


1. 1940, Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor, III, comedian, writer, and actor, was born in Peoria, Illinois.

2. Granville T. Wood, b. 1889, inventor of Telephone transmitter

3. 1964, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, Germany

4. 1955, Cassandra Wilson, b. singer, with such albums as Songbook (1985), Blue Skies (1988), and Blue Light Til Dawn
(1933), many critics call her the finest jazz vocalist of her generation.

5. In Remembrance, Alexander Dumas, 1870, author: The Three Musketeers

6. 1865, The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted.

7. 1931, Comer Cottrell, businessman, was born in Mobile, Alabama. Cottrell graduated from the University of Detroit in 1952 and worked as a sales manager at Sears Roebuck from 1964 to 1969.

8. Sammy Davis, Jr., singer, actor, b.1925

9. 1922, John Elroy Sanford (Redd Foxx), comedian and actor, was born in St. Louis, Missouri.

10. James Armistead Lafayette, b. 1760, the first African American double spy

11. 1928, Lewis Howard Latimer, inventor and draftsman, remembered

12. 1899, George Grant patented a golf tee which lifted the golf ball slightly off the ground, offering the golfer greater control with his swing.

13. Caesar A. W. Clark, b. 1914, renowned clergymen

14. 1829, John Mercer Langston, attorney, abolitionist, and educator, was born in Louisa County, Virginia.

15. 1934, Maggie Lena Walker, teacher, businesswoman and the first African American bank president, remembered.

16. Andrew Young, 1976, appointed Ambassador of United Nations

17. Vernon Baker, b. 1919, U.S. Army Solider

18. 1852, George Henry White, the last African American Congressman of the Reconstruction era, was born in Rosindale, North Carolina.

19. Carter G. Woodson, b. 1875, Historian.

20. 1942, Robert Lee “Bullet Bob” Hayes, Olympic Gold medal sprinter and hall of fame football player, was born in Jacksonville, Florida.

21. W. H. Sammon, b. 1920, inventor of Hair Straightening comb

22. 1941, Atlanta Urban League won legal battle for Black women to be publicly recognized as “Mrs.”

23. Henry Highland Garnet, b. 1815, an African American abolitionist and orator

24. 1881, The Order of True Reformers was founded by William Washington Browne in Richmond, Virginia.

25. 1760, “An Evening Thought: Salvation by Christ, with Penitential Cries” by Jupiter Hammon was published.

26. Kwanzaa celebration began, 1966, Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration honoring universal African heritage and culture, was first practiced in the United States. Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga and is observed annually from December 26 to January 1.

27. 1941, Nolan Richardson, hall of fame college basketball coach, was born in El Paso, Texas.

28. 1829, Bill Richmond, hall of fame boxer, remembered.

29. Denzel Washington, b. 1954, Vernon, NY

30. Bo Diddley, Ellas Otha Bates, b.1928, known by his stage name Bo Diddley, was an American rhythm and blues vocalist, guitarist, songwriter (usually as Ellas McDaniel), and inventor.

31. 1948, LaDonna Adrian Gaines (Donna Summer), the Queen of Disco, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.