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The birth of Roger Brooke Taney is recalled on this date. He was an American lawyer, judge who supported slavery.

Born in Calvert County, Maryland, Taney (pronounced Tony) came from a wealthy slave-owning family of tobacco farmers. He studied law in Annapolis and was in the same class with Francis Scott Key. He joined the House of Maryland Assembly in 1799 and became a prominent attorney in that state by 1825. Taney also became the Attorney General of Maryland two years later. President Andrew Jackson appointed Taney Secretary of the Treasury in 1831. In 1836, he was appointed the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

He presided over abolitionist Thomas Garrett’s trial in 1848 and the Dred Scott Case in 1857. Taney felt that the police power of a state entitled it to make reasonable regulatory laws even if they appeared to override provisions of the U. S. Constitution. He held that, although Congress alone had the power to regulate interstate commerce, a state might exclude a corporation organized elsewhere. In sustaining fugitive slave laws, however, Taney denied to Free states the power of refusing obedience to Federal statutes requiring the surrender of escaped slaves.

His position on the slavery laws was most clearly expressed in the Dred Scott Case (1857). Here he held that slaves (and even the free descendants of slaves) were not citizens and may not sue in the Federal courts. He also felt that Congress could not forbid slavery in the territories of the United States. He died in 1864.

In Washington, DC, a small group meets to form the Washington Society of Colored Dentists. It is the first society of African American dentists in the United States.

Booker T. Washington, educator, orator, and founder of Tuskegee Institute, joins the ancestors on the college’s campus at the age of 59. He was one the most famous African American educators and leaders of the 19th century, whose message of acquiring practical skills and emphasizing self-help over political rights was popular among whites and segments of the African American community. His 1901 autobiography, “Up From Slavery”, which details his rise to success despite numerous obstacles, became a best-seller and further enhanced his public image as a self-made man. As popular as he was in some quarters, Washington was aggressively opposed by critics such as W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. He was born in 1856.

The NAACP led protests against the showing of the racist film, “Birth of a Nation,” on this date. The film glorified the Ku Klu Klan and devalued emancipation, Black morality, and Black reconstruction.

On this date we mark the birth of Mabel Fairbanks. She was an African-American figure skater.

From New York City, as a young girl in 1930s, Fairbanks discovered her lifetime passion watching a Sonia Henje movie. She then saw a pair of black skates in a pawnshop window and talked the guy down to $1.50. They were two sizes too big, but that didn’t stop Fairbanks. She stuffed them with cotton, found her balance on blades by going up and down the stairs in her building, and took to the nearby frozen lake. It wasn’t long before Fairbanks was sailing across the ice, and a passerby suggested she try out the rink in Central Park, she was soon skating solid 6.0 judging, but the pro clubs wouldn’t have her because of her race.

”I remember they said to me, “we don’t have Negroes in ice shows,” “But I didn’t let that get in my way, because I loved to skate. Fairbanks continued to refine her skill and returned to the rink again and again. Then one day, the manager noted her persistence and the shiny pair of new skates her uncle bought her from the Macy’s basement, and he let her inside. From then on, Fairbanks’ ability and sparkle shattered the race barrier at that pivotal rink, and professional skaters started giving her free lessons. In the 1940s, Fairbanks came to Los Angeles and performed in nightclubs like Cyro’s.

Soon Fairbanks was invited to skate on the road with the Rhapsody On Ice show, she jumped at the chance, even though they said they needed her as “someone to skate in the dark countries.” She wowed international audiences, returning to Los Angeles only to find it still blind to her talent, but not to her color. “They had a sign at the Pasadena Winter Gardens that read “Colored Trade Not Solicited,” she remembers. “But it was a public place, so my uncle had newspaper articles written about it and passed them out everywhere until they finally let me in.”

She landed a role on KTLA television’s Frosty Follies show and continued to perform at local showrooms, yet Fairbanks still wasn’t allowed to join professional skating clubs. She got herself and other Blacks in by sending for individual memberships from the USPSA (United States Professional Skating Association), without letting them know they were black. Fairbanks opened the door for other young Blacks to compete in skating, but her pro years had passed, so she became a teacher and coach in Culver City and the Hollywood Polar Palace. Famed Olympic medalist, Scott Hamilton, learned from Fairbanks when he was just a young beginner, and she gave free lessons to those too poor to pay.

While at the Polar Palace, her students included many celebrities and their children, like Natalie Cole, Ricky Nelson, Danny Kaye, and Jimmy Durante. It was Fairbanks who paired the two Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner while watching them skate. Many of her Black skating students went on to be Olympic gold medallists because she skated over, around and through walls of racism. Fairbanks’ ability to do and teach has helped cultivate some of the finest skaters of the century. “If I had been allowed to go in to the Olympics or Ice Capades like I wanted to then, I may not have helped other Blacks like I did, and coached such wonderful skaters, and I think all that has been just as important and meaningful.”

You could find Fairbanks rink side, coaching pro skaters at Iceland in Van Nuys. While the “official” skating world denied Fairbanks’ contributions, world-renowned skaters sought her out as a coach. Her students include the United States and World Champions Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, plus Kristi Yamaguchi, Rudy Galindo, and Tiffany Chin. In 1998, Fairbanks was honored with the Silver Achievement Award, Sports Category, at the YWCA’s Leader Luncheon at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.

She taught and coached on the ice until she was 79 years old and was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a disease that weakens the muscles. Mabel Fairbanks died at 85 in September 2001 in Los Angeles, California.

On this date in, Doris Hollis Pemberton was born. She was an African-American civic leader, reporter, and author.

Pemberton was born, in Nacogdoches, Texas, the daughter of John Henry and Della Mae (Powdrill) Hollis. She spent her childhood in Limestone County near Comanche Crossing, Webb Chapel, Rocky Crossing, and Groesbeck, Texas. She enrolled at Texas College, Tyler, when she was sixteen years old and graduated from Texas Southern University at Houston in 1955. She attracted national attention in 1944 when she became the first Black reporter to cover a state Democratic convention in Texas, writing for the Dallas Express.

Pemberton found a racially offensive placard situated near her seat at the convention and hurled the placard away. About 4,000 spectators both cheered and booed as newsreel cameras filmed the incident. She later moved to Houston, where during the 1950s she helped develop classes in arts, crafts, and science for Black children at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Singer Sewing Center, and the United Gas Cooking School.

Eventually she received a law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University but never practiced. Hollis was married to Charles Pemberton and had four children. Pemberton was a member of the Newspaper Institute of America, the National Council of Negro Women, the Auxiliary to the Houston Medical Forum, and the Houston Council on Human Relations, the 4-H Club, the Blue Triangle YWCA, and the National Association for Financial Assistance to Minority Students, the Women of Achievement, and a number of other organizations.

She wrote a book, Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing 1983, a history and reminiscence of people and places in her native Limestone County. Doris Pemberton died in Houston in May 1990, and was buried at the Paradise Cemetery.

The New York Times and Tribune call Charles Gilpin’s portrayal of Brutus Jones in “The Emperor Jones”, a performance of heroic stature. Gilpin had premiered in the play earlier in the month with the New York-based Provincetown Players, which will influence his being named one of the ten most important contributors to the American theater of 1920 and the 1921 recipient of the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

Ellis Marsalis is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After high school, Marsalis will enroll at Dillard University (New Orleans) and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. Marsalis will eventually become New Orleans’ leading Jazz educator. He will become a lecturer at Xavier University and an adjunct teacher at Loyola University. Marsalis will enroll in the graduate program at Loyola University and will graduate with a Masters of Music Education. Marsalis’ teaching career will flower at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). Many of his former students will be professional musicians locally as well as internationally. Three of his six sons, Branford, Wynton and Delfeayo as well as trumpeter Terence Blanchard, saxophonist Donald Harrison and pianist Harry Connick, Jr. will attain worldwide acclaim with recording contracts on major labels.

William Levi Dawson’s Symphony No. 1, Negro Folk Symphony, is the first symphony on black folk themes by an African American composer to be performed by a major orchestra.

Lydia M. Holmes of St. Augustine, Florida patents plans for several easily assembled wooden pull toys including a bird, a truck and dog. Her Knockdown Wheeled Toys is Patent #2,529,692.

Condoleezza Rice was born on this date. She is an African-American politician, administrator, and writer.

From Birmingham, Alabama, she is the only child of Angelena Rice and the Reverend John Wesley Rice, Jr. Her father became a minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church and her mother was a music teacher. Her name is a variation on the Italian musical term “con doloezza” which is a direction to play “with sweetness”. Her father also worked as a high-school guidance counselor. Young Rice was born the same year as the Brown v. Board of Education decision. She was eight when her schoolmate Denise McNair was killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church by white supremacists in 1963. Rice has said that growing up during segregation taught her determination against adversity, and the need to be “twice as good” as non-minorities.

In 1967, the family moved to Denver when her father accepted an administrative position at the University of Denver. At age 15, Rice began classes with the goal of becoming a concert pianist. Her plans changed when she attended a course on international politics taught by Josef Korbel, the father of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. This experience sparked her interest in the Soviet Union and international relations and led her to call Korbel, “one of the most central figures in my life” Rice enrolled at the University of Denver, where her father both served as an assistant dean and taught a class called “The Black Experience in America.”

In 1974, at age 19, Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver. In 1975, she obtained her master’s degree from Notre Dame. She first worked in the State Department in 1977, during the Carter administration, as an intern in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. At age 26, she received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. In addition to English, she speaks Russian, French, and Spanish. Rice was a Democrat until 1982 when she changed her political affiliation to Republican after growing averse to former President Carter’s foreign policy. She also was influence by her father.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, Notre Dame in 1995, the National Defense University in 2002, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004. She lives in Washington, DC.

Rice has been a member of many boards of directors. From 1989 through 1991, she served in the Bush Administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she was Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she was on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender — Integrated Training in the Military. As a writer, her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).

She also has written numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and defense policy, and has addressed audiences in settings ranging from the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Moscow to the Commonwealth Club to the 1992 and 2000 Republican National Conventions. As professor of political science, Dr. Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and won the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 1999, she completed tenure as Stanford University’s Provost, during which she was the institution’s chief budget and academic officer.

Dr. Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State on January 26, 2005. Prior to this, she was the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, since January 2001.

On this date, Valerie Wellington was born. She was an African-American blues singer.

From Chicago, Illinois, Valerie Eileen Hall trained as an opera singer at Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music for three years. She learned piano as a youngster and played with local blues man Lee ‘Shot’ Williams at the age of 15. In 1982 she came to the notice of the blues audience as a singer by portraying Ma Rainey in a local musical stage play and, two years later, she recorded her debut album for the Rooster label, which received ‘rave’ reviews from the critics, all of whom commented on the power of Wellington’s voice.

In 1987, she contributed one track to Alligator Record’s The New Bluebloods, an anthology of younger blues artists, as well as providing music to several television commercials. As a blues-woman she fit right in, not only becoming a regular in the blues clubs but also compiling an impressive theatrical resume for her portrayals of women who, like opera singers, learned to project their voices without microphones.

The influence of Koko Taylor has also been evident in Wellington‘s musical approach, which combines classic vaudeville-era blues with hard-driving Chicago sounds. Sadly, Valerie Wellington died from a brain aneurysm at the age of 33 on January 2, 1993 in Maywood, Illinois.

Four African American girls are escorted by U.S. Marshals and parents to two New Orleans schools being desegregated.

Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) defeats Cleveland Williams by TKO in the third round in front of boxing’s largest indoor crowd, assembled in the Houston Astrodome.  He retains his world heavyweight title.

On this date, Diversity Information Resources (DIR) was incorporated.

This was one of the first business groups in America created to encourage whites to do business with Black businesses. Known as “TRY US Resources” in its beginning, Diversity Information Resources was founded in Minneapolis in 1968 by H. Peter Meyerhoff. He was an aeronautics engineer at Honeywell. Personally affected by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. he sought to advance race relations by improving economic conditions for Blacks.

Meyerhoff and his wife were European Jews who managed to escape Hitler at the outset of World War II. Themselves victims of discrimination, they launched the “Buy Black” directory (Shown), a 10 page directory of Black-owned businesses. Still operating effectively today, the DIR directory/database has grown to include more than 10,000 certified minority and women-owned businesses. Policy and direction for Diversity Information Resources are set by a board of directors whom represent major U.S. corporations. Diversity Information Resources has expanded its operations to include educational seminars, and other publications.

DIR’s Mission Statement is: To be the global leader providing information resources that develops, influences and supports supplier diversity growth.

Rosa Parks was presented the first “Eleanor Roosevelt Woman of Courage Award” by the Wonder Woman Foundation on this date.

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D. McCree is granted a patent for the portable fire escape. Patent #440,322.