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Where Black History happens everyday.

The U.S. Constitution was approved at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia with three clauses protecting slavery.

The first day of the American Missionary Association School for ex-slaves was established and opened in Fortress Monroe, Virginia under the tutelage of an African American schoolteacher, Mary S. Peake. The school will later become Hampton Institute (now University) in 1868.

Lincoln University of Missouri began classes on this date. One of over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America, they have a very interesting history.

At the close of the Civil War, soldiers and officers of the 62nd United State s Colored Infantry, stationed at Fort McIntosh, Texas, but composed primarily of Missourians, took steps to establish an educational institution in Jefferson City, Missouri, which they named Lincoln Institute. The following stipulations were set for the school:

1.     The institution shall be designed for the special benefit of the freed African-Americans;

2.     It shall be located in the state of Missouri;

3.     Its fundamental idea shall be to combine study and labor. Members of the 62nd Colored Infantry contributed $5,000; this was supplemented by approximately $1,400, given by the 65th Colored Infantry. On January 14, 1866, Lincoln Institute was formally established under an organization committee.

By June of the same year, it incorporated and the committee became a Board of Trustees. Richard Baxter Foster, a former first lieutenant in the 62nd Infantry, was named first principal of Lincoln Institute. On September 17, 1866, the school opened its doors to the first class in an old frame building in Jefferson City. In 1869, Lincoln Institute moved to the present campus, and in 1870 it began to receive aid from the state of Missouri for teacher training. College-level work was added to the curriculum in 1877, and passage of the Normal School Law permitted Lincoln graduates to teach for life in Missouri without further examination. Lincoln Institute formally became a state institution in 1879 with the deeding of the property to the state.

Under the second Morrill Act of 1890, Lincoln became a land grant institution, and the following year industrial and agricultural courses were added to the curriculum. In 1921, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill introduced by Walthall M. Moore, the first black American to serve in that body, which changed the name from Lincoln Institute to Lincoln University and created a Board of Curators to govern the University. The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredited the high school division in 1925, the teacher-training program in 1926, and the four-year college of arts and sciences in 1934.

Graduate instruction was begun in the summer session of 1940, with majors in education and history and minors in English, history, and sociology. A School of Journalism was established in February 1942. Twelve years later, the United States Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, and Lincoln University responded by opening its doors to all applicably meeting its entrance criteria.

Today, Lincoln University serves a diverse student clientele, both residential and non-residential, engages in a variety of research projects, and offers numerous public service programs in addition to providing an array of academic programs.

On this date, Mary Talbert Burnett was born. She was an African-American woman who dedicated her life as an educator, lecturer, and human rights advocate.

From Oberlin, Ohio, after graduating from Oberlin College, she became a teacher at Bethel University in Little Rock, Arkansas. Eventually she became vice principal but left teaching after marrying William Talbert and moving to Buffalo. Talbert obtained a PhD degree at the University of Buffalo and during the First World War she served as a Red Cross nurse on the Western Front. Talbert was the president of the Christian Culture Congress and the National Association of Colored Women from 1916 to 1921.

A founder member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), she was, for several years, its director. After the First World War Talbert toured Europe giving lectures on women’s rights and race relations. In 1921 she traveled thousands of miles making public speeches in an attempt to gain support for Dyer’s anti lynching bill. Mary Talbert died in 1923.

On this date, we the recall the birth of Andrew “Rube” Foster. He was an African-American baseball player, one of the most completely talented baseball players in Black baseball.

From Calvert, Texas, as a raw-talent rookie pitcher in 1902, Foster is credited with 51 victories. In 1903, pitching for the Cuban X-Giants, he won four games in the play-off victory over the Philadelphia Giants. The next year, after jumping to the Philly team, Rube won two games in the three-game play-off victory over his former teammates. By historians, he is considered to have been perhaps the best African American pitcher of the 1900s.

Rube Foster’s keen mind and ability to handle men naturally lent itself to achieving the next step. He became playing manager of the Leland Giants in 1907 and immediately they became the best team in black baseball. A dynasty was born three years later, when Chicago American Giants remained a dominant force until Foster’s departure from baseball. With the Giants, he molded players to fit his “racehorse” style of play. Only the 1916 Indianapolis ABC’s were able to break his monopoly in the West as the American Giants won all other recorded championships from 1910 through 1922.

After establishing the Black baseball team, Foster also organized the first black baseball league, the Negro National League, and oversaw its development, assuring that it be maintained as a first-class entity. The league operated from 1920 to 1931. However, it was for his contributions to baseball as a manger that he is best remembered. Foster’s Chicago American Giants were the most prominent and successful Black baseball team in the early years of the league and the pre-integration era. They traveled in a private Pullman car and barnstormed the nation, playing both exhibition and regular league games. At a time when there were fewer opportunities for blacks than today, Foster and his team held celebrity status in Black America and were followed avidly through nationally circulated black newspapers.

Foster married Sarah Watts. In his later life, he adopted his longtime nickname “Rube” as his official middle name. He left baseball due to mental illness in 1926 and died in an Illinois asylum on December 9, 1930. At his well-attended, highly emotional funeral, he was eulogized as the “father of Negro baseball.” He was posthumously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, in acknowledgment of the role the Negro leagues played in American life before the integration of baseball and of his own role in baseball history. Black baseball’s greatest manager, Rube Foster was truly a special person for the game.

Founder of the Associated Negro Press, Claude A. Barnett, was born.

Lena Frances Edwards was born on this date. She was an African-American medical doctor.

From Washington D. C. her parents were Thomas Edwards and Marie Coakley Edwards. She was valedictorian of her 1917 Dunbar H.S. class. Dr. Edwards, a 1924 graduate of Howard University Medical School, established her long medical career in Jersey City, NJ in 1925. Her practice was largely within the European immigrant community. An advocate of natural childbirth, she struggled for years before being admitted for a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Margaret Hague Hospital in Jersey City in 1931.

She taught obstetrics at Howard University Medical School (1954), was medical adviser to the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, and volunteered at a mission for Mexican migrant workers in Texas. This effort resulted in her subsidizing the founding of Our Lady of Guadeloupe Maternity Clinic in Hereford, TX. President Lyndon Johnson recognized her service to society in 1964 when he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A devout Roman Catholic, she was given the Poverello Medal in 1967, as one whose life exemplified the ideals of St. Francis of Assisi.

Married to a classmate, Dr. Kieth Madison, they had six children. In 1984, Howard University medical alumni association honored her as a “living Legend.” Lena Edwards died on Dec. 3, 1986.

On this date, Jack McDuff was born. He was an African-American jazz organist.

”Brother” Jack McDuff was from Champaign, Ill., he taught himself to play bass and piano, though he studied briefly in Cincinnati at New York Tech. McDuff played bass in a trio in the 1950s with Max Roach and Johnny Griffin, then switched to the Hammond B-3. Inspired by Jimmy Smith, then later by Richard “Groove” Holmes and Don Paterson-musicians who, as he puts it, “swing hard, have good technique and feel good”-evolved a distinctive style characterized by thumping, staccato bass lines, intricate bebop licks and, overall, a more delicate and less voracious approach than Jimmy Smith.

In the late 1950s, he worked and recorded on Prestige with Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, then in 1960 formed his own group, recording for the same label. Known for his good taste in guitarists, McDuff hired a young George Benson in 1963, and later brought on Grant Green, Pat Martino and Mark Whitfield. A prolific artist, McDuff has recorded more than 60 albums as a leader, including the jukebox hit single, “Rock Candy.” His career took a downturn in the 1970s and 1980s, but recuperated when Hammond B-3 tyro Joey DeFrancesco revived interest in the instrument.

McDuff also has recorded as a sideman over the years with Jimmy Witherspoon, David “Fathead” Newman, Joe Williams, Carmen McRae, Etta James, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Yusef Lateef, Kenny Burrell, Roland Kirk, Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Houston Person and Phil Upchurch. McDuff lived in the Minneapolis until his death in January 2001.

Ernie Banks becomes the first African American baseball player to wear a Chicago Cubs uniform. Banks is also quick to say “Let’s play two!”  Banks will be the Cubs’ outstanding shortstop from 1954 to 1960. In 1961 he will be moved to left field, then to first base, where he will spend the rest of his career. In 1969, Ernie Banks will be voted the Cub’s best player ever by Chicago fans. ‘Mr. Cub’ will retire in 1971. He will elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year of his eligibility.


African American students are admitted to a Clay, Kentucky elementary school under National Guard protection. They had previously been barred by local authorities on September 12.

Kevin Clash was born on this date. He is an African American puppeteer.

From Baltimore, Maryland, Clash is the distinctive voice for Elmo, the Muppet character. Elmo was introduced on “Sesame Street” in the 1980s. Clash began making puppets when he was 10, having been a “Sesame Street” fan from early childhood. He began performing with his puppets at age 12 in his neighborhood, later taking his act to Baltimore’s Harborplace. Local Baltimore television personality Stu Kerr spotted Clash and hired him for his show, “Caboose.”

In 1979, he began working for national television shows like “The Great Space Coaster” and “Captain Kangaroo.” His work came to the attention of Muppet designer Kermit Love, and he joined the cast of “Sesame Street” full-time in 1985. At that time, the Elmo character existed, but his character did not emerge until Clash was given the task to develop it. Told to provide a voice for Elmo soon after joining Sesame Street as a puppeteer, Clash came up with Elmo’s distinctive voice and laugh, turning the puppet into one of the show’s most popular characters. It also netted Clash an Emmy Award.

Clash gave Elmo a falsetto voice and a sweet, curious outlook on the world, and soon Elmo was one of the most popular characters on “Sesame Street.” Clash also contributed his voice to the “Tickle Me Elmo” doll, a marketing sensation in 1996. Clash also was executive producer for the film “Elmopalooza,” (1998) co-producer for “The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland” (1999) and co-executive producer for “CinderElmo” (1999) and “Elmo’s World.” Clash’s other Muppet characters include Hoots, Natasha and many others from “Sesame Street,” Leon from “The Jim Henson Hour” and Clifford from “The Jim Henson Hour” and “Muppets Tonight.” He also works as a talent scout for Jim Henson Productions.

Clash won an Emmy award in 1990 for outstanding performer in a children’s series and again in 2001 for co-executive producer of “Sesame Street.” Kevin Clash has a 9-year-old daughter, Shannon.

Fourth Black church burned near Dawson, Georgia. Three white men later admitted burning the church. They were sentenced to seven-year prison terms.

Abdul-Malik Kashie Yoba is born in the Bronx, New York. He will become an actor best known for his role as the star of the popular Fox Television police drama “New York Undercover” from 1994 to 1998. He will also appear in films such as “Cool Runnings” and “Criminal.” He will make appearances on the Fox television series “Arrested Development” as Ice, a bounty hunter and party planner. He will also be a recurring character, Brock Harris, on the UPN sitcom “Girlfriends.” He will also appear in the FX Networks crime drama “Thief.” In 2007, he will appear in NBC’s crime drama “Raines” alongside Jeff Goldblum.

Julia premieres on NBC with Diahann Carroll in the title role. It is the first modern television show to star an African American woman since Beulah in the 1950’s.

The Flip Wilson Show premieres on NBC. Starring Flip Wilson, the New Jersey comedian born as Clerow Wilson, it is the first prime time variety show starring an African American male since the Nat King Cole Show.

Illinois becomes the first state to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a holiday.

The New York Times agreed to settle a six-year-old lawsuit alleging employment discrimination against minority groups out of court for $685,000. Under the settlement, the times agreed to provide journalism scholarships and to open up metropolitan news beats to minority members.

Vanessa Williams, Miss New York State, is named Miss America in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the first African American winner in the history of the pageant. Williams will relinquish her crown after a 1984 scandal and later stage a remarkable comeback through a stellar recording career, which will include her multimillion-selling album, “The Right Stuff”.

New York Met’s Dwight Goodin becomes the 2nd person to strike out 32 batters over 2 consecutive games.

“The Content of Our Character” is published by San Jose State University professor Shelby Steele. The book will attract controversy because of its provocative positions on affirmative action and race relations and win a 1992 National Book Award.

Ground is broken for the Harold Washington wing of the DuSable Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by artist and poet Margaret T. Burroughs in 1961, the DuSable is one of the oldest African American museums in the U.S.


As some 20 warships sit off the coast of Haiti, former President Jimmy Carter, Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) and retired Gen. Colin Powell arrive in the Caribbean nation in an 11th-hour bid to avert a U.S.-led invasion.

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