The birth of
Salem Poor, possibly
in this year, is celebrated on this date. He was a Black patriot during the
Poor was a free Negro in Andover,
Massachusetts who was married,
leaving his wife when he went off to war to fight for the American Revolution.
He enlisted under Captain Benjamin Ames in Colonel Fryes’ regiment. He fought
at Bunker Hill and is credited with shooting
down British Lieutenant Colonel James Abercrombie.
Poor’s valor and gallantry at the Battle of Bunker Hill caused 14 officers,
including Colonel William Prescott, to cite him with heroism and petition the General
Court of Massachusetts with the following statement:
“The Reward due to so great and Distinguished a Character. The Subscribers beg
leave to Report to your Honorable. House (Which We do in justice to the
Character of so Brave a man) that under Our Own observation, we declare that A
Negro Man Called Salem Poor of Col. Fryes Regiment, Capt. Ames. Company in the
late Battle of Charleston, behaved like an Experienced Officer, as Well as an
Excellent Soldier, to Set forth Particulars of his Conduct would be Tedious, We
Would Only beg leave to say in the Person of this Negro Centers a Brave &
Records resembling this from revolutionary rolls, such as the Massachusetts
Archives at the Statehouse in Boston,
reflect the remarkable character of such men as Salem Poor who enlisted and re-
enlisted according to the orders and remands of General Washington and Lord
Dunmore. Accounts show that Poor served at Valley Forge and White Plains too. What became of him is
unknown. The conduct of most Negroes was sparsely recorded, and their later
lives were completely ignored.
Nat Turner, revolutionary/freedom fighter and leader of a slave revolt in Southampton, VA,
was captured on this date. During the three day revolt, which began on August
21st, Turner and other slaves killed nearly 60 Whites.
date, we celebrate the birth of Tim Moore. He was an
African-American actor and entertainer.
Harry Roscoe “Tim” Moore was the son
of Harry and Cynthia Moore. He grew up in Rock
where he began his show business career as a child shuffling and singing for
passersby on street corners. At the age of 12, Moore and partner Romeo Washburn
left Rock Island
to join a vaudeville troupe, appearing in an act called Cora Miskel and Her
Gold Dust Twins. Moore
talents and his skills soon took him to the British music halls. Returning to
the States, he joined a medicine show that played vacant lots all over the Midwest.
began developing his “con-man” person selling a cure-all potion to gullible
customers. His varied career then included a stint as a carnival “geek,” and in
Hawaii he posed as a native tour guide, taking
carloads of tourists around Oahu. At 15, he
returned home and worked as a fly-shooer in a stable and a fight manager
eventually touring as a professional boxer named “Young Klondike” and earning
$110,000, winning 84 of 104 fights. Following this Moore developed a one-man version of “Uncle
Tom’s Cabin.” He portrayed both Simon Legree and Uncle Tom, performing with one
half his face made up with white chalk and the other with burnt cork. Moore also toured on the
black vaudeville circuit, commonly appearing with his wife Gertrude.
In the ‘20s, Moore
teamed up with Mantan Moreland, working with Blackbirds of 1928. Moore appeared in a
number of black musical revues over a period of 15 to 20 years including Fast
and Furious, Take the Air, Shuffle Along, Harlem Scandals, and Rhapsody in
Black. He also appeared on a radio series Westinghouse program in 1934. Moore wrote nearly all of
his own material as well as skits for other performers, W. C. Fields bought one
of his sketches, “Not a Fit Night for Man nor Beast.” Some of Moore films were, His Great Chance 1923,
Darktown Revue Oscar Michaeux Films, 1931, and the Donald Heywood Choir 1950.
Moore made some
appearances on Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” television program and
appeared at the Apollo Theatre. By the beginning of the 1950’s, he had retired
to his native Rock Island, Moore had already been in show business for 50 years
when he was chosen to play the role of George “Kingfish” Stevens in the
television version of the wildly popular “Amos ‘n’ Andy” radio show. The show
ran from June 28, 1951, on CBS through June 11, 1953. The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show
was the 13th highest rated show during its first year on the air.
For that same season the top-rated show was Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. Tim
Moore died in December 1958.
marks the birth of Frank M. Johnson. He was an
American lawyer and Federal judge who championed civil rights.
Born and raised in Winston Country, Alabama, near Haleyville, Frank M. Johnson
was a graduate of the University Of Alabama School Of Law in 1943. He spent
three years in the Army and began private law practice in Jasper, Alabama after
his discharge. Johnson was the U. S. Attorney for the northern district of his
home state from 1953-55, he then received a recess appointment from president
Eisenhower to the U. S. District Court, where he served until President Carter
nominated him to the U. S. court of Appeals (Fifth Circuit) in 1979.
Johnson moved to the Eleventh Circuit in 1981 and served there until his death,
July 23 1999. According to his former law clerk, Judge Johnson was “the
embodiment of the constitution in Alabama and throughout the United States”.
Senator Howell Heflin of Alabama said it was Judge Johnson’s “unrelenting
devotion to the rule of law” that helped him strike down segregation laws.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said, “Judge Johnson, really through his courage and
integrity, helped make this country a true constitutional democracy.”
Frank Johnson was a republican and his rulings in the 1950’s and 1960’s helped
end the era of segregated buses, schools, parks and restaurants. Johnson’s
rulings led to threats against him and his family and made him an outcast in
Montgomery. A cross was burned on his lawn and his mother‘s home was bombed.
date, Gus Savage was born.
He was an African American politician.
From Detroit, Michigan, Savage attended public schools in Chicago and served in
the U. S. Army after graduation until 1946. He then earned a B.A. degree in
philosophy from Roosevelt University in 1951. While attending Chicago-Kent
College of Law (1952-1953), he began his career as a journalist. Politically,
Savage started in the 1940s as a fulltime member of the Progressive Party of
former Vice President Henry A. Wallace. He also promoted programs for Paul
Robeson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Hon. Elijah Muhammad.
A determined opponent of Chicago’s Democratic machine, Savage ran for Congress
in Illinois’ Third Congressional District in 1968 but lost. A 1970 primary bid
was also unsuccessful. Savage did win in 1979, taking his seat as a member of
Congress on January 3, 1981 as chairman of the Committee on Public Works and
Transportation Subcommittee on Economic Development. He was also a senior Black
member of the Committee on Small Business.
In 1986, he successfully sponsored an amendment to the National Defense
Authorization Act of 1987. This set aside a possible $25 billion for
minority-owned and controlled businesses, institutions, and Historically Black
Colleges and Universities.
On this date
Clifford Brown was born.
He was an African-American jazz trumpeter.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Brown attended Delaware State College and
Maryland State College and played in Philadelphia before joining, first, Tadd
Dameron’s band in Atlantic City, New Jersey, then Lionel Hampton’s big band for
a European tour, both in 1953. He then played with leading West Coast musicians
and the Art Blakey quintet. In 1954 he and drummer Max Roach formed the
Brown-Roach quintet, which quickly became one of the outstanding postwar jazz
Brown and Richie Powell, the quintet’s pianist, died in an accident on the
Pennsylvania Turnpike. From 1953, when Brown began recording frequently, his
style was fully mature. Influenced by Fats Navarro, he developed an innate
sense of solo form, a rich tone, and a virtuoso technique in all trumpet ranges.
His style included brilliant high notes, high rhythmic detail, and a generous
incorporation of grace notes and varied inflections, all of which he played
with rare grace and ease. He was especially noted for the melodic qualities of
his improvising, which often flowed in long phrases.
Most of his recordings are of consistently high quality, at his best in the
Brown-Roach At Basin Street and Sonny Rollins Plus Four albums (both 1956). The
jazz standard “Joy Spring” (1954) is one of the best-known songs that he wrote.
Brown was the most influential trumpeter of his generation; the lyrical aspects
of his music influenced many trumpeters, including Lee Morgan and Booker
Little, and his technical brilliance especially influenced trumpeters such as
Donald Byrd and Freddie Hubbard. He died June 26, 1956 in Pennsylvania.
Clifford Brown was noted for lyricism, clarity of sound, and grace of
technique. He was a principal figure in the hard-bop idiom.
Eddie Holland is born in Detroit, Michigan. He
will become one-third of an amazing songwriting and production trio,
Holland-Dozier-Holland. Eddie Holland will not be as successful on his own as
when teamed with Brian Holland, his brother, and Lamont Dozier. Eddie Holland
will score his biggest hit as a solo artist back in 1962, with “Jamie” reaching
number six on the R&B charts and peaking at #30 pop. He recorded three more
songs for Motown in the mid-‘60s, but none of them were hits, and he then
concentrated on songwriting and production. The Holland-Dozier-Holland trio
will write numerous hits for Motown acts through the ‘60s before departing in
1968. They will form their own label in 1970, Hot Wax/Invictus, and will have
success for a while with such acts as The Chairmen Of The Board, Laura Lee, and
the Honey Cone. Some of the songs written by the trio are “Where Did Our Love
Go”, “Baby Love”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “I Hear a Symphony”, “You Keep
Me Hangin’ On”, “Reach Out”, and “I’ll Be There.” Holland-Dozier-Holland will be inducted into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Otis Miles is born in Texarkana, Arkansas. He will become a rhythm and blues
singer known as Otis Williams and will be one of the original members of the
Motown group, The Temptations. Some of their hits will be “I Can’t Get Next to
You”, “Cloud Nine”, “Runaway Child”, “Running Wild”, “Just My Imagination”,
“Papa was a Rolling Stone”, and “Masquerade.”
Philip “Phil” Chenier is born in Berkeley, California. He
will become a professional basketball player and will be best known as a member
of the Washington Bullets team.
The Defense Department announces that all units in the
armed forces are now integrated. The announcement comes six years after President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981.
Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, students at
Oakland City College in Oakland, California, create the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire
to regain his heavyweight crown in a fight billed as “The Rumble in the Jungle.” In addition to the fight being the
first heavyweight title fight held in Africa, it is the 14th Anniversary
of Ali’s professional boxing debut.
Dr. Joseph H. Evans is elected president of the United
Church of Christ, the first African American to hold the post in this
predominantly White denomination.
Esther Rolle wins an Emmy Award for her role in “Summer of My German Soldier.”
Richard Arrington is the first African American to be
elected mayor of Birmingham,
Alabama. With Black comprising
nearly 45 percent of the electorate, Arrington, a former councilman, defeated
Frank Parsons, a White lawyer and businessman with 52 per cent of the vote. Arrington,
the son of a sharecropper, was reared in Fairfield,
AL and had pursued a career in
higher education. A former dean at Miles
College, he had earned
bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and a doctorate in zoology and
biochemistry. However, his desire to improve conditions for Blacks in the city
led him to win a seat as the first Black member of the Birmingham City Council
in 1971. After his second term opn the council, at age 44, he ran a grassroots
campaign for mayor of the state’s largest city, won and re-elected a recofd
four times, holding office 20 years. He is currently a visiting professor in
the Center for Urban Affairs at the University
of Alabama at Birmingham.
Frank Mingo, CEO of the Mingo Group, joins the
ancestors in New York City. He, along with D. Parke Gibson, Barbara Proctor of
Proctor and Gardner, and Tom Burrell of Burrell Advertising, was one of the
pioneering advertising executives who specialized in targeting African American
Led by President Robert L. Johnson, BET Holdings, Inc., the parent
company of Black Entertainment Television, sells 4.2 million shares of stock in
an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. BET is the first
African American company listed on the “Big Board.”