Fort Scott, Kansas is celebrated on this date. This was a sensitive military post and town in the year before the Civil War.
Fort Scott, Kansas was established on this date for the Army’s peacekeeping
efforts along the Indian Frontier. Horse soldiers and Colored Volunteer
infantry soldiers garrisoned it. Both infantry and horse soldiers played
a major role in the Mexican War and the opening of the West. The post was
abandoned by the army in 1853 and became the nucleus for the town of Fort
Scott. It was then that Fort Scott was involved in the turmoil and violence
of the “Bleeding Kansas” years. Fort Scott was a pro-slavery center during
this time, while “Free Soldiers” inhabited the surrounding countryside.
This separation was manifested where a former infantry barracks served
as the Western or Pro-Slavery Hotel, while directly across the old parade
ground stood the Free-State Hotel. Incidents of violence compelled the
military to return to Fort Scott to restore order throughout this era.
Kansas entered the Union as a free state in 1861. In the same year, a new
wave of conflict engulfed the area. The First and Second Kansas Colored
Volunteer Infantry Regiments, the first African-American troops from a
Northern state, were assembled there.
Fort Scott was also a refugee center for the many people left homeless
during the war. The final phase of military occupation at Fort Scott came
during the railroad years of 1869-73.
Charles H. Garvin is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He will become the first African American
physician commissioned in World War I.
Philip B. Downing invents the
letter box and street letter box and is
awarded, respectively, patent #462,093 and 462,096. This improvement in the covering and
opening of outdoor mailboxes protected mail from both intruders and weather. It
is relatively unchanged to this day.
celebrates the birth of Charles “Teenie”
He was an African-American photographer. From the Hill District of Pittsburgh,
he was the youngest son of William A. and Ella Mae “Olga” Taliaferro Harris.
The family owned the Masio Hotel on Wylie Avenue. Young Harris attended
Watt School, now the Robert L. Vann School, and after graduating, he worked
as a chauffeur and mechanic until 1938 with brother William “Woogie” Harris.
Woogie also owned the Crystal Barber Shop on Wylie Avenue and was involved
in the “numbers” or “policy” lottery.
In the late 1920’s Harris became a founding member of the Pittsburgh Crawfords, a (then) sandlot baseball team. He even played for them until 1930 when the Crawfords entered Negro League competition. During that time (1929), Harris bought his first professional camera with money from his brother. He began taking photographs of local and visiting celebrities for Washington-based Flash! Magazine not long after this he married Ruth M. Butler; they had one son, Charles A. Harris; yet they separated around 1932. Four years later, Harris became a freelance photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the country’s largest circulation Black newspapers.
In 1938, he opened a photographic studio in Pittsburgh’s Hill District
at 2128 Center Avenue. In 1944, he married Elsa L. Elliott; and had four
children: Ira Vann Harris, Lionel L. Harris, Crystal Harris, and Cheryl
A. Harris. In 1953, he closed his Studio. In 1975, Harris Retired from
the Pittsburgh Courier. In 1986, he signed a management agreement with
Dennis Morgan, Pittsburgh artist and entrepreneur for his works.
Charles “Teenie” Harris, the dapper photographer whose thousands of images captured celebrities and chronicled decades of black life in Pittsburgh, died June 12, 1998 at the home where he had lived for most of his life. Harris’ archive is housed in the African Studies Department of the University of Pittsburgh.
The Carnegie Museum of Art purchased 27 vintage Harris prints from the
Pittsburgh Courier Photographic Archive for its exhibition “Pittsburgh
Revealed” and accepted the gift of approximately 3500 vintage prints.
date, Anna Langford was born. She was an African-American politician and attorney.
From Springfield, Ohio, Langford was educated at Roosevelt University. She earned a law degree in 1956 beginning an extensive career in civil rights and criminal law. Working throughout the state of Illinois, she actively defended civil rights workers in the 1960s and joined Dr. Martin Luther King’s Chicago civil rights marches.
In 1971, Anna Langford became the first woman elected to the Chicago City
Council. Langford was defeated for re-election in 1975, but returned to serve
two additional terms in the Chicago City Council from 1983 and 1991.
Oliver Tambo was born on this date. He was an African politician and activist against apartheid.
Oliver Reginald Tambo was born in the village of Kantolo, about 20 km from Bizana, in Pondoland.
His mother, Julia, was the third wife of Mzimeni Tambo, son of a farmer
and assistant salesman at a local trading store. Tambo’s parents were traditionalist,
but also saw the importance of western education and he was sent to school,
as he grew older he developed a desire to leave home and gain wider experience
elsewhere and enrolled at the missionary school at Flagstaff, called Holy
Cross. His father could not afford his fees, but Tambo displayed such enthusiasm
that the school found a sponsorship for him through two English sisters.
One of his older brothers, who was working as a migrant laborer in Natal,
also sent a part of his wages to cover any additional costs. After five
years at Holy Cross he was accepted at St Peter’s, a well-known school
for black children in Johannesburg. For the first time he was exposed to
youngsters of other traditional African cultures, as well as to institutionalized
segregation and white racism. In 1933, when he was 16 Tambo’s parents passed
away within a year of each other and he was orphaned. During this time
Tambo achieved an excellent pass, which resulted in the Eastern Cape assembly
of chiefs, the Bhunga, granting him a bursary to further his education
at Fort Hare University. Tambo initially decided to study medicine, but
at the time no university medical school would accept black students. He
opted for a course in the sciences and three years later he graduated with
a B. S. degree in mathematics and physics.
After being elected as Chairperson of the Students’ Representative Council
of his residence, the Anglican Beda Hall, he organized a student protest
and was expelled from Fort Hare. He went back to his home in Kantolo to
look for employment in order to support the younger members of his family
and was offered a position as Master in Mathematics at his alma mater,
St Peter’s. At that time Johannesburg was an exciting melting pot of cultures
for young, upcoming Africans and Tambo soon became involved with Walter
Sisulu, Anton Lembede, Jordan Ngubane and Nelson Mandela, a fellow student
from Fort Hare. The group regularly visited the house of Dr Xuma, a medical
doctor who was also the President of the African National Congress (ANC).
Here they formulated a plan to revive the ANC and make it more accessible
to ordinary people. In 1944, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), as well as the
Women’s League, were established. Anton Lembede was elected chairman of
the new ANCYL, with Oliver Tambo as its secretary and Walter Sisulu as
its treasurer. In 1948 the National Party came into power and suddenly
a number of discriminatory laws were put into place. In order to challenge
these laws Tambo decided to study law through correspondence and in 1952
he joined the law practice of Nelson Mandela, where, together, they were
able to assist Africans in their struggle against apartheid. In 1953 Tambo
was appointed as the ANC national secretary in place of Walter Sisulu,
who had been banned by the government as a result of the Defiance Campaign.
During 1955, Tambo became engaged to Adelaide Tsukudu, a Youth League activist
and nurse employed at Baragwanath Hospital and they were married in December
1956; the couple had three children.
In the aftermath of the Sharpeville Massacre Tambo went on a ‘Mission in
Exile’ in order to gain international support for the South African liberation
movement. Tambo emerged as one of the foremost advocates of women’s rights
within the movement. During the 1980’s, Tambo, as the president of the
ANC, was increasingly recognized by the Organization for African Unity
as a head of state in exile. He also promoted Nelson Mandela as a symbol
of worldwide political freedom and resistance to racial intolerance. Tambo
led the group that formulated the Harare Declaration and because of the
grueling schedule he was subjected to his health began deteriorating health
resulting in a mild stroke in 1982.
Disregarding the advice of his medical advisers Tambo did not ease his
efforts, and in 1989, after the presentation of the Harare Declaration,
he collapsed and suffered a severe stroke. While Tambo recuperated, Nelson
Mandela and other political prisoners were released. In December 1990,
Tambo returned home and attended the first ANC Congress to be held inside
South Africa since its banning. Nelson Mandela was elected President of
the ANC and Tambo its National Chairman.
The remaining three years of his life Tambo spent at his sister’s house in
Kantolo, the home he had longed for during all his long years in exile. During
the early hours of the morning of April 23, 1993, Oliver Tambo suffered a
massive and fatal stroke. He was honored with a state funeral.
Ruby Dee was born on this date in 1924. She is an African American actress and
Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, her father, Marshall Edward Wallace, was a porter
and waiter on the Pennsylvania Railroad; her mother, Emma Wallace, was
a schoolteacher. She grew up in Harlem, New York, and was a 1945 graduate
of Hunter College.
Dee was the first black woman to appear in major roles at the American
Shakespeare Festival, in Stratford, CT. She became one of the foremost
actresses in America, beginning her career on Broadway in the early 1940’s,
where she made several appearances. She married actor Ossie Davis and had
a strong personal career with such notable stage roles as “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Purlie
Victorious,” and “The Taming of the Shrew.” Later she would get
national recognition for her role in the 1950 film, The Jackie Robinson
Story. Her acting career has crossed all major forms of media, television
series and movies, over a span of 8 decades, including films such as A
Raisin in the Sun, the screen version, opposite Sidney Poitier (1961), Uptight
(1968), Buck and the Preacher (1972), the widely viewed and historical
important television series, Roots (1978), Do The Right Thing
(1989), Jungle Fever (1991) by Spike Lee and starring Wesley Snipes, and
The Delany Sisters: The First Hundred Years (1999).
During the 1960s, Dee appeared in such politically charged films such as
Gone Are the Days and The Incident, which paved the way for many young African American filmmakers and actors.
She has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards, winning once for her role
in 1990’s Decoration Day. Dee and her late husband, actor Ossie Davis,
were well-known civil rights activists.
She is a member of such organizations as CORE, the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee and Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Her
son Guy Davis was born in 1952. She and her husband were personal friends
of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving Malclom
X’s eulogy at his 1965 funeral. Dee is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority
and a survivor of breast cancer for more than thirty years.
Just, an African-American embryologist who pioneered understanding of cell
division, researching fertilized egg cells, experimental parthenogenesis,
hydration, cell division, dehydration in living cells, and the effect of
ultra violet rays on egg cells, died of pancreatic cancer on this date.
In 1915, he was awarded the first Spingarn Medal, the highest honor given
by the NAACP. His research during the summers of 1909-30, at the Marine
Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, Mass, included thousands of experiments
on marine mammal cell fertilization. Outside MBL, he experienced discrimination.
Seeking more opportunities, he spent most of the 1930s in various European
countries. WW II hostilities caused him to return to the U.S. in late 1940,
but he died the next year.
Jayne Kennedy is born in Washington, DC. She will become an actress, writer and producer.
Her movie credits will include “Fighting Mad,” “Body and Soul,” “Mysterious
Island of Beautiful Women,” “Cover Girls,” “The Muthers,” and “Group Marriage.”
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first
Black general, a One-Star Brigadier General, in the U.S. Air Force. He was
assigned to the top position by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at Godman Field, KY. In 1944, Brigadier General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.
pinned the Distinguished Flying Cross to the chest of Colonel B.O. Davis,
Jr., who had led the 332nd Pursuit Squadron, a Black group, on a successful bombing raid against
a German installation located deep in occupied France. The younger Davis
withstood the silent treatment during his days at West Point and became
the first Black to be graduated from the prestigious military academy in
forty-seven years. Davis also has the distinction of being the country’s first Black Three-Star
Dr. Charles S.
Johnson, educator, sociologist, and author, died in Louisville, KY, at age 63.
Dr. Johnson became the first Black President of Fisk University in 1946
and served until his death. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover named him
to the Black housing committee; later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt
named him to his Farm Tenancy Committee, the Department of Labor’s Fair
Labor Standards Committee, and the National Committee of Children in Wartime;
President Harry S. Truman sent him to Japan as a member of the education
mission of the State Department and later appointed him a delegate to UNESCO.
Dr. Johnson was the author of 18 books and more than 70 articles.
Martin Luther King Jr. is released on bond from the Georgia
State Prison in Reidsville. Political observers say the John F. Kennedy call for King’s release increased the
number of African American voters who ensured his election.
The Republic of the Congo becomes the
Republic of Zaire.
President Jimmy Carter signs the
Hawkins-Humphrey Full Employment Bill. Co-authored and sponsored by black
Congressman Augustus F. Hawkins, this was also called the “Full Employment and
Balanced Growth Act.”
St Vincent & the Grenadines becomes independent of Great Britain.
Andrew Young, former United Nations Ambassador, is elected mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
John Oliver Killens, author of
novels, “And Then We Heard the Thunder and Young Blood,” died on this date.
Walter E. Washington, ex-mayor of Washington, DC, died on this date at age of 88. He was the
first elected mayor of the nation’s capital in modern times and the first
African American to head the government of a major U.S city.
On this date, racial
rioting began in France.
Starting in a northeastern Paris suburb of Toulouse, African immigrants were angry over the deaths of two Black teenagers. Also there has been rage building over racism, living and working conditions for Africans and the dissent grew into a nationwide insurrection.
The reaction forced France to confront anger building for decades in neglected
suburbs and among the French-born children of Arab and Black African immigrants.
The teenagers whose deaths sparked the rioting were of Mauritanian and
Tunisian descent. They were electrocuted as they hid from police in a power
substation thinking they were being chased.
French President Jacques Chirac privately said that rioters would be caught
and punished; yet acknowledged in a meeting with Latvian President Vaira
Vike-Freiberga that France has not integrated immigrant youths. Chirac
deplored the “ghettoization of youths of African or North African origin”
and recognized “the incapacity of French society to fully accept them.”
France “has not done everything possible for these youths, supported them
so they feel understood, heard and respected,”
Chirac added, noting that unemployment runs as high as 40 percent in some suburbs,
four times the national rate. One person, Jean-Jacques Lechenadec had died.
In a game between the
Oakland Raiders and the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers in the Oakland Alemeta
County Stadium, another chapter in the history of play between these two teams
occurred. In a 1972 playoff game, in Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium in what
is one the most storied and talked about plays in NFL history, famously dubbed
“The Immaculate Reception” by Pittsburgh sportscaster Myron Cope, Steelers’
Hall of Fame full back Franco Harris took in a controversial deflected pass and
ran the ball in from a touchdown. On this date, in the first play from
scrimmage in the game with the Raiders backed up to their own 7-yard line, No.
2, Raiders’ Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, on a read option play, scampered untouched for 93 yards
enroute to a Raider’s touchdown, an NFL record for a run by a quarterback. On
the play, no doubt, with the Raiders in their situation, everyone expected
Pryor to hand off the ball to running back Darren McFadden.
The run also set the record for longest touchdown run in Raiders history,
breaking Bo Jackson’s record of a 92-yard touchdown run in 1989. The previous
record run from scrimmage by a quarterback is held by former Steelers
quarterback Kordell Stewart. Stewart scored on an 80-yard run in a Week 16 loss
to the Carolina Panthers in 1996. The longest run from scrimmage is held by
Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett of the Dallas Cowboys, who on January 3, 1983,
during a Monday Night Football game in Minnesota, broke a 99-yard touchdown run
against the Vikings, which is the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history. As
of this date, 14 NFL players have had 99-yard pass plays (obviously for
touchdowns). They are below:
- Victor Cruz of the New York Giants on December 24, 2011
Welker of the New England Patriots on September 12, 2011
- Bernard Berrian of the Minnesota Vikings on November 30, 2008
Davis of the Cleveland Browns on October 17, 2004
Boerigter of the Kansas City Chiefs on December 22, 2002
Brooks of the Green Bay Packers on September 11, 1995
Martin of the San Diego Chargers on September 18, 1994
Quick of the Philadelphia Eagles on November 10, 1985
Branch of the Oakland Raiders on October 2, 1983
Allen of the Washington Redskins on September 15, 1968
- Pat Studstill of the Detroit Lions on October 16, 1966
Mitchell of the Washington Redskins on September 15, 1963
Speedie of the Cleveland Browns on November 2, 1947
Farkas of the Washington Redskins on October 15, 1939
The Raiders went on to
win the game 21-81.
On this date, Minnesota
Vikings’ rookie Cordarrelle Patterson took the opening kickoff against the Green Bay Packers and returned 109-yards for a touchdown. This set the NFL record for longest kickoff return in league history and tied Antonio Cromartie’s record, then with the San Diego Chargers, for longest play in NFL history, a return of a missed field goal 109-yards for a touchdown in a November, 2007 game against the Vikings played at the Metrodome.
Patterson broke the kickoff return record of 108 yards previously held by New
England Patriots’ Ellis Hobbs (2007), Green Bay’s Randall Cobb (2011), and
Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones (2012).
Of note, Marcus Sherels, also of the Vikings, had a 109-yard return in a 2013
preseason, against the Tennessee Titans.
Of the record, future kickoff returners can only tie Patterson’s record, but
they can never break it.
On this date, in a 31–30
win over the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions in Ford Field in
Detroit, MI caught 14 of 16 passes thrown in his direction, and finished the
game with 329 receiving yards and one touchdown. In doing this, he broke the
Lions franchise record of 302 receiving yards set by Cloyce Box on December 3,
1950. The yardage he gained was the highest receiving yardage ever in a
60-minute regulation game and the second-highest overall single-game yardage in
NFL history. It ranked only behind Flipper Anderson, then of the Los Angeles
Rams, who had a 336-yard performance in a 1989 Week 12 overtime win against the
New Orleans Saints where he had 15 receptions with a 22.4 yards per reception
average. (Anderson accumlated an additional did 40 of those yards in overtime.)
In this same game, Johnson also tied Lance Alworth of the San Diego Chargers
and Dallas Cowboys for the most career games with at least 200 yards receiving.