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1874
White Democrats seized the statehouse in Louisiana coup d’etat. This White resistance and occupation has been called the Battle of Liberty Place.

Taking place in New Orleans, 3500 confederacy members took over the city hall, statehouse, and an arsenal.
President Grant ordered the insurgents to disperse and sent in federal troops. Twenty-seven persons (sixteen whites and eleven Blacks) were killed in battles between the Democrats and Republicans. A great deal damage was done and the Whites were defeated. The uprising was so severe that the federal army remained in Louisiana for a number of years.



1879
Frederick Madison Roberts was born on this date. He was an African-American mortician, news editor, school principal and politician.

He was born in Chillicothe, Ohio the son of Andrew Jackson Roberts and Ellen Wayles Hemings, the granddaughter of Sally Hemings. At the age of six years, Roberts moved with his family to Los Angeles, where his father established the first black-owned mortuary in the area. He attended Los Angeles High School, becoming their first African American graduate. His education continued at USC where he majored in pre-law, but he graduated from Colorado College.

He also attended the Barnes-Worsham School of Embalming and Mortuary Science, eventually taking over his father’s mortuary business, now called A.J. Roberts & Son. During his early career he edited the Colorado Springs Light in 1908 and returned to Los Angeles four years later to take over the New Age newspaper, which he edited until 1948. He also was a principal of Mound Bayou Normal and Industrial Institute in Mississippi and served as deputy assessor for El Paso County, Colorado.

In 1918, Roberts was elected to the California State Assembly as a Republican in a hard fought racial slurred campaign. While in office Roberts sponsored legislation to improve public education and proposed several civil rights measures. In June 1922, he welcomed Black Nationalist leader Marcus Garvey to Los Angeles and even rode in his parade car. He served in the State Assembly until 1934 when he was defeated by Augustus F. Hawkins, a Democrat. Following his defeat, Roberts made two unsuccessful attempts to become the first African American elected to Congress from California.

On July 18, 1952, Roberts was involved in an automobile accident. He died the next day at Los Angeles County General Hospital and was buried at L.A.’s Evergreen Cemetery. In 1957, the city of Los Angeles dedicated Frederick M. Roberts Park, 4700 Honduras St., in his memory. In 2002, the California State Senate honored Frederick Madison Roberts for his contributions and service to the State of California.



1891
John Adams Hyman joins the ancestors in Washington, DC. He was the first African American congressman from the state of North Carolina.


1921
On this date, Constance Baker Motley was born. She was an African-American lawyer, judge, and politician.

From New haven, Connecticut she is one of nine children to a family who had migrated to America from the Caribbean island of Nevis. While attending school, she was active in the New Haven Youth Council, and the New Haven Adult Community council. Motley attended Fisk University, transferring to New York University-graduating in 1943 with a degree in economics. She attained her law degree from Columbia University in 1946.

While at Columbia she became acquainted with Thurgood Marshall, helping with the task needed to file Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 through the NAACP. An instrumental player of that legal team, Motley argued other cases before the Supreme Court, one of her best known cases was Meredith v. Fair 1962, helping James Meredith gain admission to the University of Mississippi in 1962.

She furthered her cause for civil rights in 1964 by being elected to the New York Senate, the first black woman to hold that office. In 1966, Motley was appointed to a federal judgeship in 1966, the first African American woman to hold that position. She made many important rulings in her new post. In 1991, Motley ruled that it is illegal for a company to make photocopies of articles and book excepts and assemble them into anthologies for sale to college or university students.

She has written countless articles and legal observations which reflect her stance on civil rights and its importance in America. One example is: Equal Justice Under Law: The Life of a Pioneer for Black Civil Rights and Women’s Rights 1998. This presents a detailed legal history of her fight against the “separate but equal” racial practices of the 1950s and 1960s. In the fall of 1997 Montley served as jurist-in-residence at the Indiana University School of Law. Constance Baker Motley died on September 28, 2005.



1928
The opening of the Dunbar Hotel of Los Angeles is celebrated on this date. Built by African-American John Sommerville it stands today at 4225 S. Central Avenue in Los Angeles.

Originally called the Hotel Sommerville, it opened with an attendance of over 5,000 people. Because of the stock market crash of 1929 it was sold and renamed the Dunbar Hotel after the Poet, Paul L. Dunbar. At one time it was a very fashionable hotel and was the site of the first NAACP national convention to be held in the western region of the United States.

The Dunbar was the most popular Jazz and Blues scene in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, it was frequented by guests such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Langston Hughes and W. B. Du Bois.



1940
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Selective Service Act, allowing Blacks to enter all branches of the U.S. Military Service and receive equal training.


1953
The Chicago Cubs baseball team integrated for the first time on this date in 1953. Former Kansas City Monarchs Gene Baker and Ernie Banks debuted together as the Cubs’ double-play combination that day.

A shortstop stuck playing second base, Baker led N.L. second basemen in errors his first three seasons. In 1961 he was named manager of the Batavia, N.Y., minor league team, becoming the first black manager in organized baseball.

Meanwhile, Banks who was signed for the Cubs by his Monarchs manager, Buck O’Neil went on to hit 512 home runs and win two MVP awards in a Hall of Fame career.



1964
Leontyne Price and A. Philip Randolph are among the recipients of the Medal of Freedom awarded by President Lyndon B. Johnson.


1970
One Black killed and two whites injured in shoot-out between activists and police officers in a New Orleans housing project.


1990
On this date, Ken Griffey Sr. and his son Ken Griffey Jr. both on the Seattle Mariners homered in consecutive at-bats against the Anaheim Angels.

In the first inning, Senior hit a two-run homer and Junior a solo shot. Both father and son playing together was a first for major league baseball.



2003
On this date, the eldest sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams was killed in a Los Angeles suburb.

31-year-old
Yetunde Price was shot about 12:15 am in Compton, south of Los Angeles. The suspected murder occurred after a confrontation between neighborhood residents and Price, who was riding in a white SUV with an unidentified man. Sheriff’s deputies and a gang squad from the local Compton Police department had surrounded a house near the shooting but the suspects fled the building prior to their arrival. Price died of gunshot wounds to her upper torso.

She was the owner of a Los Angeles area beauty salon, worked as a personal assistant to her two sisters, and was mother of three children. Price was one of five sisters who spent their early years in the Compton community. She was divorced and had moved to Corona, Calif. she took her mother’s maiden name a few years ago after her parents were divorced.



2004
On this day, Wallace Jefferson became the first Black in Texas history to be installed chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. He was appointed to the court in 2001 and received his higher position after the retirement of chief justice Tom Phillips. Jefferson received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and earned a jurist doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He stared his career working in appellate courts for the firm Groce, Locke, and Hebdon in San Antonio then started his own appellate firm with Sharon Callaway and Tom Crofts. He currently holds the chief justice position and resides with his wife and three sons in Texas.


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