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1730
The birth of Lucy Terry Prince is celebrated on this date. She was a black poet and abolitionist.

Terry was born in Africa, enslaved and stolen from there as an infant and sold to Ebenezer Wells of Deerfield, Massachusetts. She was baptized in June of 1735 during the Great Awakening at nineteen and at the age of 20, she was “admitted to the fellowship of the church.” In 1756, Terry married Abijah Prince, a prosperous free Black man who purchased her freedom.

Their first child was born the following year, and by 1769, they had five others. In the 1760s, the Prince family moved to Guilford, Vermont. Lucy was well known for her speaking ability and she used her skills a number of times in defense of her family’s rights and property. In 1785, when a neighboring white family threatened the Princes, Lucy and Abijah appealed to the governor and his Council for protection. The Council ordered Guilford’s selectmen to defend them. She argued unsuccessfully before the trustees of Williams College for the admission of one of her sons, skillfully citing scripture and law “in an earnest and eloquent speech of three hours.”

Later, when a Colonel Eli Bronson attempted to steal land owned by the Princes, the case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. She argued against two of the leading lawyers in the state, one of who later became chief justice of Vermont and she won. Samuel Chase, the presiding justice of the Court, said that her argument was better than he’d heard from any Vermont lawyer. Her husband died in 1794 and by 1803 Prince had moved to nearby Sunderland. Prince road on horseback to visit his grave every year until the year she died.

Although Lucy Terry was a poet, only one of her poems, a ballad called “Bars Fight,” has survived. She is known as the author of the first poem composed by an African-American woman; Lucy Terry Prince was a remarkable woman whose many accomplishments included arguing a case before the Supreme Court. Lucy Prince Terry died in 1821, at the age of 97.



1775
The Continental Congress approves resolution prohibiting the enlistment of African Americans in the Continental Army.


1783
Virginia emancipates slaves who fought for independence during the Revolutionary War.


1790
On this date, the first slave revolt in Haiti took place. France named its newly colonized island Saint Domingue in the early 1700.

French colonists brought in African slaves and developed big coffee and spice plantations. By 1788, there were eight times as many slaves (almost 500,000) as colonists. During the French Revolution, the slaves in Saint Domingue rebelled against their French masters. The slaves destroyed plantations and towns.
Toussaint L’Ouverture, a former slave, took control of the government and restored some order to the country.

However, after
Napoleon I came to power in France in 1799, he sent an army to restore colonial rule. The army sent by Napoleon captured and L’Ouverture and imprisoned him in France. However, many of the French soldiers caught yellow fever and died, and the rebels defeated the weakened French army in 1803. On January 1, 1804, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the leader of the rebels, proclaimed the colony an independent country named Haiti.


1847
William Leidesdorff brings his ship Sitka from Sitka, Alaska, to San Francisco, California. Earlier in the year, the Danish West Indies Native had launched the first steamboat ever to sail in San Francisco Bay. The ventures were one of many activities for Leidesdorff, which included appointment as United States vice-counsel for property acquisition in San Francisco.


1886
Wiley Jones operates the first streetcar system in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


1911
Three organizations, The Committee for Improving the Industrial Conditions of Negroes in New York, The Committee on Urban Conditions, and The National League for the Protection of Colored Women merge, under the leadership of Dr. George E. Hayne and Eugene Kinckle Jones, to form the National Urban League. Eugene Kinckle Jones is named executive secretary.


1940
Pelé was born on this date. He was an African-Brazilian Soccer player and is an international humanitarian.

On this date,
Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in a small town in the state of Minas Gerais in a small village in Brasil called Três Corações. Seen as the greatest player in history of soccer, he became known to the world as Pelé. Raised by a semiprofessional soccer player as a father; Pelé grew up in the city of Bauru. There he intermittently attended school and performed odd jobs until, while still an adolescent, he began to play for the local youth soccer team. It was at this time that he acquired the nickname “Pelé,” by which he is now known throughout the world. At 15, Pelé was transferred to Santos, a team in the much larger port city.

Pelé would play for Santos for 18 years and he would forever become associated with its white Number 10 shirt, along with the yellow shirt of the Brazilian national team. During the years that Pelé played at Santos, the club team won numerous state and national championships in Brazil and in 1962 and 1963 won two world club championships. During what has been called Pelé’s reign, Santos frequently toured throughout the world in front of huge crowds. In Asia, Africa, and Europe, fans paid homage to this Black Brazilian. Concerned that such devotion might result in offers for Pelé to play for teams in richer countries in 1962 the Brazilian Congress declared the 22-year-old to be a “non-exportable national treasure.” In addition, during a visit to Nigeria by the team in 1969, the warring factions in a civil war agreed to a temporary truce lasting the duration of the Brazilian’s stay.

With the Brazilian national team, Pelé played in four World Cups, figuring in Brazil’s unprecedented three victories between 1958 and 1970. Pelé retired from Santos, in 1974, a year later however, a multi million-dollar offer lured him back into the game to play for the New York Cosmos as a North American league attempted to spread soccer to the United States. His second and final retirement came in October of 1977. Pelé is considered by many to have been the most complete soccer player in the history of the game and has been repeatedly chosen as the most outstanding athlete of the twentieth century.

He scored his thousandth goal in 1969 playing in Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracana Stadium, a goal he dedicated to the “children of Brazil.” Pelé would ultimately score 1,281 goals in 1,362 games. Pelé’s importance in Brazil is of such magnitude that some have claimed that he would be elected president if he ever chose to be a candidate, and this in a country which, although Black and Mestizo in its majority, has had only light-skinned presidents. In 1993, President Cardoso appointed Pelé to the position of Minister of Sports. Pelé’s fame reaches far beyond the confines of Brazil and sports.

He was the first Black man to be on the cover of Life Magazine, for instance, and even more than two decades after the end of his professional soccer career, he is certainly among the people of African descent one of the most recognized in the world.



1945
Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers signs Jackie Robinson to the club’s Triple A farm team, the Montreal Royals. In a little under 18 months, Robinson will be called up to the majors, the first African American to play major league baseball in the twentieth century.


1947
The NAACP issued an informal petition on racism and racial injustice in America to the United Nations at Lake Success, New York. The petition was entitled, “An Appeal to the World.”


1951
The NAACP pickets the Stork Club in support of Josephine Baker, who had been refused admission to the club a week earlier. After a city-convened special committee calls Baker’s charges unfounded, Thurgood Marshall will call the findings a “complete and shameless whitewash of the long-established and well-known discriminatory policies of the Stork Club.”


1958
Michael Eric Dyson was born on this date in 1958. He is an African-American Educator, and writer.

From Detroit, MI he is the son of Everett and Addie Dyson. Young Dyson grew up in a middle class family. His father was an autoworker, his mother a Para-professional in the city schools. Dyson was an active youngster attending boarding school at the age of 16. It wasn’t long before he began to feel uncomfortable around his classmates, who treated him as an outcast, often wrecking his dorm room and personal items, and calling him racist names. Dyson lashed out against these students and the school and was expelled.

He returned to public high school and graduated in 1976, after which he became a teenage father-to-be living on welfare. These responsibilities led him to accept a series maintenance and auto sales jobs. He also hustled and was a gang member, and it seemed as if this existence was going to be his life. Yet through everything, Dyson stayed with his Baptist church and slowly began to rediscover his love of oratory. With the help of his church pastor, Dyson studied and became a minister by the time he was 21.

He attended Tennessee’s Knoxville College divinity school, and later transferred to Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City where he earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors in 1982. After doing his undergraduate work, Dyson worked as a freelance journalist. This helped him to raise money to help his younger brother, who had gone to prison in the early 1980s for second-degree murder. He worked for numerous magazines and newspapers, writing on African-American popular culture and music. He then began his career in academia by accepting a graduate fellowship at Princeton University.

He also taught at Princeton, Hartford Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. in 1993. Other academic credits for him include: Brown University, Providence, RI, assistant professor, c. 1993-95; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, c. 1995-97; Columbia University, visiting distinguished professor, 1997-99; DePaul University, Chicago, IL, Ida B. Wells-Barnett University professor, 1999-2002; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Avalon Foundation professor, 2002.

He married his second wife, Marcia Louise in 1992; and has two children: Michael II and Maisha. Called one of a group of “new intellectuals,” scholar Michael Eric Dyson is a professor, lecturer, and an author who addresses issues of race and culture on television and in publications from Christian Century to Rolling Stone.



1966
“Supremes” Album Tops U.S. Charts. The record “Supremes A Go Go” becomes the top-selling LP album in the U.S. It is the first album by an all-female group to reach that position. One of the most successful groups of its kind, the Supremes, fronted by Diana Ross, will have seven albums reach the top 10 during the 1960s.


1968
Kip Keino of Kenya wins an Olympic Gold Medal for the 1,500 meter run (3 min 34.9 sec).


1986
Kevin Nesmith, a Black cadet at the Citadel in South Carolina, was taunted by five White students who dress in Ku Klux Klan type attire. They harassed him and littered his room with burned papers.


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