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1624
Available records on this date suggest that the first African-American birth was recorded. William Tucker, the first black child born (recorded) in the American colonies, was baptized in Jamestown, Virginia.

Two of the first Africans to be brought to North America in 1619 were simply called Anthony (Antonio) and Isabella they were married and, in 1624, gave birth to the first black child born in English America naming him William Tucker in honor of a Virginia Planter. After 1619, all Africans brought into the colonies were sold as slaves. Today, the black population is over 35-million, or nearly 13-percent of the U.S. total.

The largest numbers of African Americans live in New York State (more than 3-million). Other states with African American populations of more than 2-million include California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.



1697
On this date we celebrate the birth of Abram Hannibal. He was an African slave who became a major general and military engineer in Russia.

Hannibal was born in Lagano, Ethiopia, the son of the reigning prince. At the age of eight he was captured and taken to Turkey, where he was once again kidnapped and taken to Moscow. He was given to the Czar, Peter the Great who grew fond of him because of his intelligence. For ten years Hannibal went everywhere with Peter. Hannibal completed his early schooling in 1716.

He had a natural gift for mathematics and engineering. With his skill he helped to assemble the naval port and fortress town of Kronstadt, which played an important role in the history of Russia. The Czar sent Abram to Paris to study engineering. He stayed in France for six years. During that time he joined the French Army as a “commander,” taking part in the Spanish war of the Czar’s Guard as an Engineer Lieutenant. Peter died in 1725 and immediately Hannibal was banished to Siberia. There he built the fortress of Selenchinsk, escaping only to be recaptured and returned to exile.

In 1741 a new ruler came to power and Hannibal was restored to honor in the army, quickly rising to the rank of General. Hannibal’s skill and intelligence added many contributions to Russia, one was commission to secure the boundary line between Russia and Sweden, and another was an appointment with a staff to inspect the forts of Russia. But his greatest achievement was his selection as Commandant of the city of Reval, and as a Major in the Tomesk stronghold. After retiring from service in 1733, with the accession of Peter the Great’s daughter Empress Elizabeth, he returned to the Court in 1741. She awarded him military promotions, engineering projects and an estate near St. Petersburg where he retired in 1762.

Hannibal illegally married Christina Regina Von Shoberg, the daughter of a German officer. The couple had 11 children and in 1799 their granddaughter Nadezhda gave girth to Alexander Puskin, the father of modern Russian literature and that countries greatest poet. Hannibal who died in 1762 and though he never knew his grandfather, Puskin was Enamored with his African heritage. Puskin wrote a fictionalized biography of Hannibal The Negro of Peter the Great, 1837.



1793
Lucretia Coffin Mott was born on this date. She was an American abolitionist and educator.

Born in the seaport town of Nantucket, Massachusetts, when she was 13 she was sent to a co-educational Quaker school, Nine Partners, in Dutchess County, New York. It was here that Lucretia met James Mott. From 1808-10 she served as an assistant teacher at Nine Partners, and during that time the Coffin family moved from Boston to Philadelphia.


In 1811 James Mott and Lucretia Coffin married, and he engaged in cotton and wool trade (he later focused only on wool trading as a protest against the slavery-dependent cotton industry in the South). Between 1812 and 1828 Mott had six children, of whom five lived to adulthood. She began to speak at Quaker meetings in 1818, and in 1821 she was recognized as a minister in the Society of Friends in Philadelphia. Throughout their long marriage James Mott encouraged his wife in her many activities outside the home.

The Quaker tradition enabled women to take public positions on a variety of social problems and in the 1830s Mott was elected as a clerk of the Philadelphia Women’s Yearly Meeting. During the 1820s a rift formed between the stricter, more conservative Quakers and the tolerant, less orthodox followers of Elias Hicks (known as the Hicksites). In 1827 first James and then Lucretia followed the Hicksite branch that adopted free interpretation of the Bible and reliance on inward, as opposed to historic Christian, guidance.

Later in her life, she often spoke in Unitarian churches; her sermons show her full engagement in the liberal religious discussions of the day. Mott’s letters reflect her regular travels in the mid-nineteenth century throughout the East and Midwest as she addressed the Non-Resistance Society, the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women as well as the quarterly and yearly Quaker meetings.

Throughout the 1850s, Mott continued her speaking and engaged in further antislavery and non-resistant activities. She worked with other antislavery leaders such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Lucy Stone. As a Quaker preaching non-violence, Mott denounced the Civil War but not without some conflict, for, like other antislavery activists, she hoped the war would end slavery. She died in 1880.



1834
On this date, Alonzo Jacob Ransier was born. He was an African-American politician known for his honesty.

Born free in Charleston, South Carolina, he received limited education becoming a shipping clerk at the age of sixteen. After the Civil War he was appointed as that state’s registrar of elections. Ransier’s activity in gaining equality for Blacks was based not on politics. He traveled to Washington with a petition from a Charleston meeting of the Friends of Equal Rights, pushing for more consideration for the rights of blacks.

In 1868 he was a presidential elector for Ulysses S. Grant and two years later he was nominated for lieutenant governor. Here Ransier urged blacks to not support Horace Greeley for president though he was widely admired. In 1872 he ran for and won the second districts Republican Congressional seat. Responding to attacks from Democrats, Ransier defended the record of Black soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War, recalling their support for President Grant in his 1872 reelection bid.

Soon after leaving congress, his wife Louisa died. He stayed employed as an internal revenue collector but later fell into poverty. Alonzo Ransier died on August 17th 1882.



1871
Mary Magdalena L. Tate was born on this date. She was an African-American minister and administrator.

From Dickson, Tennessee her character and demeanor brought on the nickname “Miss Do Right” during her youth. Tate’s followers were also known as “The Do Rights” and later she became known as Mother Tate. In 1903 she along with her two sons, Walter Curtis Lewis and Feliz Early Lewis established “The Church of the Living God, the Pillar and the Ground of the Truth without Controversy” (House of God).

After she was ordained as a minister, Tate began advocating the cleanliness of the word of God. In 1907, she preached her first sermon in Brooklyn, Illinois. In Alabama, over 900 persons were converted through her preaching. Tate herself was baptized in 1908 and accepted as Chief Apostle Elder, president, and first chief overseer of the formally organized church in Greenville, Alabama. Additionally, she was ordained as a Bishopric and presided over the First General Assembly of the Church of God from June 25 to July 5, 1908.

In 1914, Mother Tate organized the first Church of God in Florida in Ocala. By 1916, under her leadership, charters were issued to Church of God members in more than twenty states and the District of Columbia. Between 1930 and 1962, fourteen state charters were granted to establish the Church of God. Four more states were added to the Church of God roster by 1981. By 1992, some forty-three states and Jamaica were chartered by the Church of God.

The Church of God has experienced the greatest growth in membership of any Christian organization in the United States of America. Magdalena climaxed her career as a world evangelist of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mother Mary Magdalena L. Tate died on December 28, 1930, and was buried in the family plot in her hometown.



1945
The Albany Institute of History and Art in New York State opens its exhibit “The Negro Artist Comes of Age: A National Survey of Contemporary American Artists.” The show includes works by Aaron Douglas, William H. Johnson, Palmer Hayden, Eldzier Cortor, Lois M. Jones, and others and will run for five weeks.


1947
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s annual report called 1946 “one of the grimmest years in the history of the NAACP.” The report detailed horrendous violence, atrocities, and crimes heaped on “Negro veterans freshly returned from a war to end torture and racial extermination,” most especially in the South. There were reports of veterans murdered with blowtorches, having their eyes gouged out, and castrations. In a bid to put the proud Black soldiers “back in their place,” the report further stated that scores of “Negroes in America have been disillusioned over the wave of lynchings, brutality and official recession from all of the flamboyant promises of post war democracy and decency.” The NAACP said in its report that America’s talk of democracy and decency during World War II had been nothing but “flamboyant promises.”


1956
The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, established in 1870, officially changes its name to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The denomination is headquartered today in Memphis, Tennessee, and comprises a membership of nearly 500,000.


1961
Adam Clayton Powell became chairman of the Education and Labor Committee of the House of Representatives.


1966
Floyd B. McKissick, a North Carolina attorney, is named national director of The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).


1966
The City Commission of Springfield, OH unanimously elected Robert C. Henry, 44, as mayor. Henry, the first Black man to become mayor of an integrated Ohio city, had been elected to his second term as a city commissioner in November, 1965. Henry pointed out that his duties as mayor (at $2,500 annually) would be largely ceremonial with the city manager handling most of the executive mayors.


1966
It was on this day that the first Black college student was killed as a result of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. The hero was Tuskegee Institute (now university) student Sammy Younge Jr. The 21-year-old was gunned down by a 67 year old white service station attendant because he had used the service station’s “whites only” restroom.


1969
Louis Stokes is sworn in as the first African American congressman from the state of Ohio. He will serve more that ten terms in Congress and be distinguished by his leadership of the 1977 Select Committee on Assassinations and chairmanship of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics Committee).


1969
Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is seated by Congress after being expelled by Congress in 1967, and re-elected by the voters in his Harlem district.


1983
Tony Dorsett sets an NFL record with a 99-yd rush, in a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings.


1984
Syria frees captured Black U.S. Navy pilot, Lieutenant Robert Goodman, shot down over Damascus a month earlier, after a personal appeal from Rev. Jesse Jackson.


1985
Soprano, Leontyne Price bids adieu to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She sings the title role of “Aida”. Price had been part of the Metropolitan Opera since 1961.


1985
The Israeli government confirms the resettlement of 10,000 Ethiopian Jews.


1987
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first female artist - “Lady Soul,” Aretha Franklin.


1989
“The Arsenio Hall Show” premiered. It was the first regularly scheduled nightly talk show to star an African American. The Emmy-award winning show ran from 1989 to 1994.


1997
Bryant Gumbel co-hosts his final “Today” show on NBC.


2008
On this date, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama became the first African American to win a US presidential primary or caucus when, among other Democratic candidates, he defeated front runners John Edwards and Hillary Rodham Clinton. On November 4th, 2008, Obama would go on to become the first Afrcan American and non-White to win election for President of the United States.


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