Lord John Murray Dunmore, the Royal British governor of the colony of Virginia, issues a proclamation granting
freedom to any slave who is willing to join the British army in its fight
against the American revolutionaries. The offer applies only to slaves owned by
“rebels”. About 800 slaves will eventually accept the offer.
On this date
we recall the birth of George
Washington. He was an African-American farmer, businessman and the founder
of the town of Centralia,
Born a slave in Virginia, George Washington
escaped and was raised by a white family in Missouri. Unable to attend school, he was
tutored and eventually ran a sawmill in St.
Joseph, Missouri. He
struggled under the racial restrictions of that slave-holding state and in 1850
joined a wagon train on the Oregon Trail.
After reaching the northwest, George Washington again entered the lumber
business and established a homestead on the Chehalis River.
But his farm lay in the path of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
He and the company came to terms and with the settlement he received, Washington planned a new
town. He called it Centerville
and laid out two thousand lots, setting aside for parks and churches in 1872.
The town thrived, though the name was changed to Centralia, George Washington spent the rest
of his life there as an honored citizen. When he died, in 1905, the town, 30
miles south of Olympia,
shut down for a day of mourning. George
(named after him) is in the heart of Centralia,
at Pearl St.
and Harrison St.
P. Lovejoy, newspaperman, was killed defending his newspaper, the Alton
Observer, from a pro-slavery mob in Alton,
A slave revolt occurs on the Creole, which was
en route to New Orleans, from Hampton, Virginia.
Rebels overpowered crew and sailed ship to the Bahamas, where they were granted
asylum and freedom.
Edward Bouchet, is the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from a college in
the United States (Yale University).
He received a Ph.D. in physics.
Edward Bannister, the first African American artist to win wide critical acclaim, is
awarded a prize at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition for his work, “Under the Oak”.
Knights Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary is organized in Mobile,
Alabama, by four Josephite
priests and three Catholic laymen. It is the largest African American lay
Catholic organization. The organization is located in 34 states, has 298
Councils (men’s divisions) and 312 Courts (ladies’ divisions) with 123 Junior
Councils (young men) and 208 Junior Courts (young ladies) between the ages of
7-18 years old. The Order is named after St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest from
Spain who ministered to
African slaves in Cartegena, Colombia, South America
in the 1600’s. Peter Claver is said to have converted over 300,000 slaves to
Catholicism. The Knights of Peter Claver and Ladies Auxiliary engages in a
variety of church and community service projects. It also supports charitable
appeals of many national and international organizations such as the NAACP and
the United Negro College Fund, Catholic elementary and secondary schools, and Xavier University
in New Orleans.
The Knights of Peter Claver is a member of the worldwide International Alliance
of Catholic Knights.
Meharry Medical College is incorporated as a separate entity in Nashville, Tennessee.
The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Col. Charles Young, U.S. Army, for organizing the Liberian constabulary and establishing
order on the frontiers of Liberia.
Arthur Wergs Mitchell becomes the first African American Democratic congressman (Illinois), after defeating Republican Oscar Depriest in a
Delecta Clark is born in Blythesville,
Arkansas. He will become a rhythm
and blues singer better known as “Dee” Clark. He will
move to Chicago
as a child and be in the Hambone Kids with Sammy McGrier and Ronny Strong. They
will recorded for Okeh Records in 1952 - the next year Clark
will sing with the Goldentones. This group will later become the Kool Gents.
Clark will go solo in 1957 and in 1958 enjoyed his first smash with “Nobody for
You,” an Abner release that will reach number three Rhythm & Blues and just
miss the Top 20 on the pop charts. He will continue a string of R&B winners
with “Just Keep It Up,” “Hey Little Girl,” and “How About That” for Abner in
1959 and 1960. Clark will team with guitarist Phil Upchurch to write “Raindrops”
in 1961, which will become his signature song. Raindrops will peak at number
three Rhythm & Blues and number two pop, and will be his last major hit. He
will join the ancestors in 1990.
On this date,
Alexa Irene Canady was born.
She is an African-American Neurosurgeon.
At the age of 30, Canady was the first Woman and First African American to
become a Neurosurgeon in America. From Lansing Michigan, Alexa Irene Canady is
the daughter of Elizabeth Hortense (Golden) Canady and Clinton Canady Jr. Her
father was a graduate of the School of Dentistry of Meharry Medical College,
practicing in Lansing. Her mother was a graduate of Fiasco University was
active for years in civic affairs of Lansing. She also served as national
president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Young Canady and her brother grew up outside Lansing and were the only two
Black students in the entire school. Despite the obstacles, Canady was an
exceptional student and named a National Achievement Scholar in 1967. She
attended the University of Michigan, getting her BS, degree in 1971. After this
came the University of Michigan, Medical School, and her M.D. cum laude in
1975. Canady’s Interned at Yale’s New Hane Hospital from 1975 to 1976, and an
example of her non-recognition due to being Black and a woman came on her first
day of her residency at Yale New Hane Hospital. She was appointed as first
female and first black to a residency in neurosurgery. As she began making her
rounds a hospital administrator referred to her as “the new equal-opportunity
package.” Despite the remark, Dr. Canady viewed her accomplishment as a double
achievement for herself and both women and African Americans.
From there she went to the University of Minnesota in neurosurgery, from 1976
to 1981. She also worked at the University of Pennsylvania Children’s Hospital
of Philadelphia, Ped Neurosurg from 1981-82. Currently, Canady is the director
of neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital in Detroit and a clinical associate
professor at Wayne State University. Her Areas of Expertise are Craniofacial
Abnormalities, Epilepsy, Hydrocephalus, Pediatric Neurosurgery, and Tumors of
Spinal Cord and Brain. She has also added to special research topics such as
assisting in the development of neuroendoscopic equipment, evaluating
programmable pressure change valves in hydrocephalus, head injury,
hydrocephalus and shunts, neuroendoscopy, and pregnancy complications of
Besides Dr. Canady’s position as the director of pediatric neurosurgery, she
also works to change the perspective of how African Americans both as patients
and physicians are being presumed and perceived. She claims the major medical
problem for Blacks stems from the scarcity of research targeting their specific
health concerns and needs. Canady believes the issues will be better addressed
now that medical schools are diversifying their student bodies and their
She feels very optimistic about the changing face of American medicine. She
knows that her own accomplishments are helping to inspire the dreams of a
younger generation. In 1975 Canady was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary
Medical Society. In 1983, she was Teacher of the Year, Children’s Hospital of
Michigan, and in 1991 Dr. Canady was honored as Alumni, University of Michigan.
In reviewing a Baltimore, Maryland case, the U.S. Supreme Court bans segregation
in public recreational areas.
On this date,
the Supreme Court ruled
against Atlanta, Georgia’s “separate
but equal” precept, in public golf courses.
The case was called Holmes vs.
Atlanta. The Holmes
family was one of prominence in post-war Atlanta. Dr. Hamilton M. Holmes Sr. conducted
his family practice out of an office on Auburn Ave. in the heart of the city.
His son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, was a
well-respected minister. Alfred (Tup)
Holmes was the outspoken sibling; he served
as union steward at Lockheed Aircraft in Marietta, Georgia, in 1951, when the
Holmes trio joined Charles T. Bell to make a
stand against segregation.
This foursome shared a passion for golf and, like most of Atlanta’s
African-American elite, they all belonged to Black-owned and Black-run Lincoln
Country Club, a nine-hole layout better known for the quality of its buffet
than its course conditions. The group attempted to play at a course on the
other side of town. Although Bobby Jones Golf
Course, located on the affluent northwest side of town, was one of
seven public venues within the city limits, it was off limits to
African-Americans unless they happened to be carrying someone else’s clubs.
Sensing resistance, Tup and Bell came up with a plan to help persuade the
others. They would dispatch ahead one of their members, K. B. Hill, who passed
for Caucasian on several deceptions, to infiltrate the whites-only course.
However, the racism with which the group was confronted on that mid-summer
morning was no laughing matter. “The head pro told us straight out we couldn’t
play, that they didn’t allow no niggers at Bobby Jones,” recalled Bell. Hill
was quickly corralled and, along with the others, escorted off the grounds. It
took two years, but they eventually filed a lawsuit-Holmes vs. Atlanta-that
sought to desegregate public golf courses and parks in the city. Dissatisfied
with U. S. District Court Judge Boyd Sloan’s 1954 ruling in the case the
litigants decided to appeal to a higher power.
John H. Calhoun, a businessman and president of the local chapter of the NAACP
recommended the organization throw its clout behind the golfers; the NAACP
responded by providing resources and the chief counsel of its legal defense
team, an up-and-coming lawyer named Thurgood Marshall, to present their case
before an appeals court in New Orleans. When that court upheld Judge Sloan’s
ruling, the golfers were forced to take their fight to the nation’s ultimate
battleground, the U. S. Supreme Court. This time they won. The Supreme Court
accepted the case in the fall term of 1955 and, ruled in favor of the Black
golfers. Not everyone was happy with this outcome, especially Georgia Gov.
Marvin Griffin who had added to an already incendiary climate by declaring, “Co-mingling
of the races in Georgia state parks and recreation areas will not be tolerated.”
(Then) Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield urged the city to sell its courses
to individuals, who could then declare them open to private membership only.
Although Hartsfield’s effort failed, it fueled the growing anger of diehard Jim
Crow preservationists. However, Atlanta’s public courses were officially
desegregated without incident. “It’s gratifying to know that I participated in
something so meaningful,” said Bell, the only survivor of the original
Dr. Holmes died in September of 1965, Oliver nearly a year to the day later,
and Tup succumbed to cancer in December of 1967. In 1983, Atlanta Mayor Andrew
Young renamed Adams Park Golf Course the Alfred E (Tup) Holmes Memorial GC.
Fittingly, it was maintained by the city for the enjoyment of all its
citizenry, until 1986 when it was leased to the American Golf Management
Elston Howard, the starting catcher for the New York Yankees, became the first African
American to win the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Neither
Mickey Mantle (hurt most of the season), nor Roger Maris got a single vote as
Howard was crucial in helping the Yanks win their 4th consecutive AL
Pennant. That season Howard hit for an average of 287 with 28 home runs and 85
runs batted in (RBI) and solidifying a sturdy pitching staff.
Carl Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio, and Richard Hatcher of Gary,
Indiana, become the first African American mayors of these major United States
cities. Stokes in sworn in on November 13th and becomes the first
Black to serve as mayor of a major American city.
The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Edward W. Brooke for his public service as the first African American U.S. senator
A report of the Senate
Permanent Investigating Committee says there
were seventy-five major riots in 1967, compared with twenty-one major riots in
1966. The committee reports that eight-three persons were killed in 1967 riots,
compared with eleven in 1966 and thirty-six in 1965.
A racially motivated civil disturbance occurs in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Reverend Andrew Young of Atlanta, Georgia and Barbara Jordan of Houston,
Texas become the first southern African Americans elected to Congress since
Reconstruction. Also elected for the first time was Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (California). Republican Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts was overwhelmingly endorsed for a second term.
Five African Americans are elected to Congress: William Gray III (Pennsylvania), Bennett
Stewart (Illinois), Melvin Evans (Virgin Islands), Julian
Dixon (California) and George “Mickey” Leland (Texas). Lt. Gov. Mervyn Malcolm Dymally was defeated in California’s election and Senator Edward
W. Brooke was defeated in Massachusetts’ election.
David Dinkins is the first African American elected mayor of New York City.
Lawrence Douglas Wilder (D-Virginia) is elected as the first African American governor in the
United States since Reconstruction. Wilder, a Richmond native, ran the state
from 1990 to 1994; state law limits each governor’s service to one four year
term. Wilder, a graduate of Virginia Union and Howard University also was the
first Black elected to the Virginia senate in 1969.
Football League withdraws its plans to hold the 1993 Super
Bowl in Phoenix due to Arizona’s refusal to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar Magic Johnson announces
his retirement from professional basketball after learning he has tested
positive for the AIDS virus.
Rock legend Jimi Hendrix was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Tiger Woods becomes the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953, to win four straight
Chebet wins the New York City Marathon.
In the first major election of the 21st
Century, many Florida voters felt
disenfranchised when they were not allowed to vote or had their votes go
uncounted on this date. As a result, George W. Bush claimed Florida’s 25
electoral votes and the Presidency with fewer popular votes and possibly fewer
votes in Florida than his opponent Al Gore. Many Blacks and other protested