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1763
William Richmond is born free on Staten Island, New York. One of the first African Americans to attempt winning a title in any sport, Richmond will travel to England to fight, among others, boxing champion Tom Cribb in a losing effort.


1830
James Augustine Healy, first Black bishop in America, was born.


1864
John Lawson and William Brown both won Congressional Medals of Honor for marked courage in the Battle of Mobile Bay, serving on the flagship USS Hartford under Admiral David Farragut. Lawson was a gunner and Brown was a landsman.


1865
President Andrew Johnson moves to reverse the policy of distributing abandoned land to freedmen.


1892
Harriet Tubman receives a pension from Congress for her work as a nurse, spy, and scout during the Civil War. She, along with Sojourner Truth, Susie King and almost 200 other African American women, served as nurses during the war at 11 hospitals in three states.


1895
Theodore “Tiger” Flowers was born on this date. He was an African-American boxer.

Nicknamed The Georgia Deacon, he was from Camille, GA. The muscular Flowers was a deserving champion in an era of great middleweights. He fought 36 times alone in 1924 and 31 times the following year, losing only four. Flowers took the middleweight crown from Hall of Famer Harry Greb, lost it to Mickey Ealker. It has been said of him that Flowers “fought ‘em all,” including Sam Langford, Jamaica Kid, Fireman Jim Flynn, Jack Delaney, Jock Malone, Mike McTigue, and Maxie Rosenbloom.

Managed by Walk Miller, Flowers compiled a lifetime Ring record: 115-14-6, 53 KOS. Tiger Flowers died tragically, at age 32, on November 16, 1927 while undergoing “routine” eye surgery.



1900
James Augustine Healy, the first African American Roman Catholic bishop, joins the ancestors in Portland, Maine. He is the brother of Patrick Francis Healy, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. and first African American president of a predominantly white university (Georgetown University).


1907
Ernestine “Tiny” Davis was born this date. She was an African-American jazz trumpeter and vocalist.

Little is known of Davis’ early life and thus her career (so far) is where most get acquainted with her. In 1937, the Piney Woods Country Life School of Mississippi founded the 16-piece band known as The International Sweethearts of Rhythm. The purpose of the band was to financially support the school, which educated the poor and orphaned black children in that state. But in 1941, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm severed their ties with the Piney Woods Country Life School, moved to Virginia and recruited seasoned professionals to join their band.

Included in this group of professional musicians was Anna Mae Winburn, who previously had been singing with and directing an all-male orchestra, singer/trumpeter Ernestine “Tiny” Davis, and alto saxophonist Roz Cron. They toured the United States extensively, with the high points of their tour being the Apollo Theater in New York, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C., where their debut set a box office record of 35,000 patrons in one week. One such engagement was at The Apollo where the audience was on their feet, dancing to the unique rhythms those all-male, white big bands would later hire black arrangers to copy. The energy pulses and throbs as they swung through the moves the new dance form demanded; vibrated the building in Harlem that night.

Louis Armstrong and Eddie Durham stood in the wings, smiling broadly as Ernestine “Tiny” Davis took off in a riveting solo. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm pushed the fevered audience to new levels as Edna Williams, Willie Mae Wong, and Ruby Lucas upped the ante on the song “Swing Shift.” The Sweethearts were unique in that it was both all females as well as a racially integrated group. Latina, Asian, Caucasian, Black, Indian and Puerto Rican women came together and created music that more than held its own in the Swing Era: the musicians and the music they played was admired by their peers, including the likes of Count Basie and Louis Armstrong. Eventually, Armstrong tried (unsuccessfully) to lure Davis away from the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by offering her ten times her salary. They gained their highest notoriety during the war years and toured heavily until 1945, when the American male workforce returned and opportunities for women were again curtailed.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm played big band jazz that cooks. “The Jubilee Sessions,” originally recorded for radio broadcasts aimed toward America’s black soldiers serving during 1943 to 1946, provide a rare opportunity to hear these women play. The Sweethearts did not get as much exposure to mainstream audiences in the South as the all-white, male big bands of their day because of their racial make-up and the atmosphere of violent racism in that region. When they did tour the Deep South, the three or four white women in the group would paint their faces dark so the police would not remove them from the bandstand and arrest them.

While their exposure to white audiences was somewhat limited, they were extremely popular with black audiences. The All-girl band singer Tiny Davis and her partner Ruby Lucas owned Tiny and Ruby’s Gay Spot in Chicago during the 1950s. In 1988, a short film entitled Tiny & Ruby: Hell Divin’ Women was made as a tribute to Davis, and her lesbian partner of 40 years, drummer Ruby Lucas. Ernestine “Tiny” Davis died in 1994.



1920
John F. Ramos, Jr. was on this date. He was an African-American Physician and School Board Member.

John Francis Ramos, Jr. was from Boston, MA. He received a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall College in Newark, New Jersey and attended Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. His internship and residency in radiology occurred at the old General Hospital No. 2, Kansas City’s hospital for Black Americans. He was the first resident to complete his training at the hospital and was certified by the American Board of Radiology in 1950.

In 1964 Dr. Ramos was nominated by the Democratic county committee to serve as a member of the Kansas City School Board. Under the system of the time, Democratic and Republican parties nominated an equal number of candidates, and they were cross-endorsed by the opposing party. Black citizens had tried constantly to have an African American named to the Board. Ramos served the school board with a calm dignity until he was struck by poor health. Ramos was also very interested in the Kansas City library and in the development of a collection, which contains books, microfilm, records and films. He died on December 28, 1970.

After his death, the Kansas City Times eulogized, “He was never an orator, but his remarks could be sharp and to the point. He was very conscious of the need for schools to improve their product and to give special aid to the youngsters whose backgrounds were of little help in the classroom.” In January 1971 the Negro History collection of the Kansas City Public Library was officially named the John F. Ramos, Jr. Collection by the Board of Education.



1928
This date marks the founding of the Atlanta Daily World. William Alexander Scott II, age 26, founded the company, the first successful African-American daily newspaper in the United States.

When The Daily World was founded there was only one other Black paper in the Atlanta area, The Atlanta Independent, which shut down in 1933. Scott hired agents to solicit subscriptions door-to door and used newsboys, and by 1930, the Atlanta Daily World was one of the most widely circulated black newspapers in the Deep South. The Atlanta Daily World became a daily newspaper in 1932. On February 4, 1934, William Alexander Scott was shot and killed while walking from his garage. No one was ever convicted of his murder.

His brother, Cornelius Adolphus Scott, subsequently became the head of The Daily World. Under his leadership, the newspaper adopted a more conservative, Republican position, reflecting C. A. Scott’s political views. The Atlanta Daily World was one of the first newspapers to report on “Black on Black” crimes. It also encouraged African- Americans to patronize Black owned businesses and, in the 1940s, sponsored voter registration efforts. During the Civil Rights era, The Daily World was criticized for not supporting sit-ins staged at several white-owned restaurants in downtown Atlanta.

Scott reasoned that African Americans would more effectively improve their situation by working towards ending segregation in education, obtaining political and voting influence, and improving their economic situations rather than engaging in this form of protest. Scott retired from The Atlanta Daily World in 1997, at the age of 89. He had been the editor, publisher, and general manager for 63 years. On August 14, 1997, his great niece, Alexis Scott Reeves, was named publisher.



1936
Jesse Owens wins his third gold medal by running a 200-meter race in 20.7 seconds at the Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany.


1938
James Cone, who will become an articulate scholar and author on black theology, is born in Fordyce, Arkansas.


1938
Ja’net DuBois, actress on “Good Times’” Willona Woods, and “Beverly Hills 90210’s” Arlene, is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


1946
Shirley Ann Jackson was born on this date in 1946. She is an African-American physicist specializing in Theory.

Dr. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. where she learned many of her father’s principles for life success. At the age of 8, Jackson developed a passion for science, knowledge, and accomplishment. She graduated as valedictorian from a segregated Roosevelt High School and then joined the first African-American students to be accepted at MIT. She received her B. S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968 and her Ph.D. (Physics) in 1973. During that time (1964-68), Jackson became a scholar at Martin Marietta Aircraft Corporation.

She also became the first African American female to receive a doctorate in Theoretical Solid State physics from MIT. Dr. Jackson became a Research Associate in Theoretical Physics at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory from 1973-1974 and served as a Visiting Science Associate at the European Organization for Nuclear Research from 1974 to 1975. Dr. Jackson then returned to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as a Research Associate in Theoretical Physics. She spent 1976-77 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and Aspen Center for Physics. Dr. Jackson also served on the Technical Staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories in theoretical physics from 1976 until 1978. In 1978 Shirley Jackson began working with the Technical Staff of the Scattering and Low Energy Physics Research Laboratory of Bell Telephone Laboratories.

From 1976 to 1991 Dr. Jackson was appointed as Professor of Physics at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J. From 1991 to 1995, she served concurrently as a consultant in semiconductor theory to AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. Dr. Jackson was appointed as Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as Chair in 1995. Her many awards include: Memberships Candace Award, National Coalition of 100 Black Women MIT Educational Council, 1976 to present. The Board of Trustees for Lincoln University, 1980 to present. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Academy of Sciences from 1977-1980. Sigma Xi; Delta Sigma Theta, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Jackson is married to Dr. Morris A. Washington, also a physicist. The family has one son, Alan, a graduate of Dartmouth College.



1960
The African nation of Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) gained independence on this date.


1962
Nelson Mandela was arrested near Howick, South Africa and charged with incitement and illegally leaving South Africa. He received a five-year sentence later in the year.


1962
Patrick Aloysius Ewing is born in Kingston, Jamaica. He will star in cricket and soccer. He will be 13 years old when he arrives in the United States with his family, settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he will learn to play basketball at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, a public high school. He will attend Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In the 1984 season, he and Georgetown will win the NCAA title with an 84-75 win over the University of Houston.  He will be one of the best college basketball players of his era, as Georgetown will reach the championship game of the NCAA tournament three out of four years. He will be a first team All-American in 1983, 1984, and 1985. Although injuries will mar his first year in the NBA, he will be named NBA Rookie of the Year, averaging 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Soon after, he will be considered one of the premier centers in the league. He will enjoy a successful career, eleven times named a NBA All-Star, an All-NBA First Team selection once, a member of the All-NBA Second Team six times and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times. He will be a member of the original Dream Team at the 1992 Olympic Games, winning a second gold medal. In 1996, he will also be given the honor of being named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. While he will enjoy a stellar career in the NBA, he will never win a title as a professional.


1966
Martin Luther King, Jr. is stoned by hecklers during a Chicago, Illinois civil rights march against discrimination.


1968
Senator Edward Brooke is named the temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention in Miami, Florida.


1973
On this date, we celebrate Sweet Honey In The Rock. Founded by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, they are a Grammy Award-winning African American female a cappella ensemble.

Sweet Honey In The Rock has deep musical roots in the sacred music of the black church - spirituals, hymns, gospel - as well as jazz and blues. The Sweet Honey experience is unique. Six African American women join their powerful voices, along with hand percussion instruments, to create a blend of lyrics, movement and narrative that variously relate history, point the finger at injustice, encourage activism, and sing the praises of love. The music speaks out against oppression and exploitation of every kind.

The septet, whose words are simultaneously interpreted in uniquely expressive American Sign Language, demands a just and humane world for all. After 30 years of leading and singing with the ensemble, Dr. Reagon retired from Sweet Honey in 2004. In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock has worked in song to communities across the U.S., and around the world raising hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance.

Sweet Honey invites her audiences to open their minds and hearts and think about who we are and what we do to one another and to our fellow creatures on this planet.



1984
Evelyn Ashford wins a gold medal in the 100-meter race and Edwin Moses wins a gold medal in the 400 meter hurdles in the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


1989
Art Shell, who played offensive tackle for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1968 to 1982 was inducted to the National Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. In the Raiders Super Bowl XI victory over Minnesota, Art Shell limited the Vikings highly regarded defensive end Jim Marshall to no tackles, sacks or assists during the 32-14 win.


1992
Federal civil rights charges are filed against four Los Angeles police officers acquitted of state charges in the video taped beating of Rodney King. Two of the officers will be convicted later of federal charges of violating King’s civil rights.


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