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.
Augustine Healy, first Black bishop in America, was born.
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.
Andrew Johnson moves to reverse the policy of distributing abandoned land to freedmen.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
marks the founding of the Atlanta Daily
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.
Owens wins his third gold medal by running a 200-meter race in 20.7 seconds at the Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany.
Cone, who will become an articulate scholar and author on black theology, is
born in Fordyce, Arkansas.
DuBois, actress on “Good Times’” Willona Woods, and “Beverly Hills 90210’s” Arlene,
is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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
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.
The African nation of Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) gained
independence on this date.
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.
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.
Luther King, Jr. is stoned by hecklers during a Chicago, Illinois civil rights march against
Edward Brooke is named the temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention
in Miami, Florida.
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
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.
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.
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.