1912—Legendary filmmaker and photographer Gordon Parks is born in Fort Scott, Kan. Along with his pioneering work in movie and images, Parks wrote 12 books and authored a ballet entitled “Martin” in honor of civil rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
1924—Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Chisholm turned the main Black feminine politician in America. She served within the New York State Meeting, america Congress and ran for the Democratic Celebration nomination for president in 1972. Chisholm died on Jan. 1, 2005.
1641—U.S. (then British) colonies started legalizing slavery. On this present day, Massachusetts turned the primary colony to take action. Different colonies adopted go well with. Satirically, Massachusetts was additionally the primary state to outlaw slavery because of a 1783 State Supreme Court docket ruling.
1774—In one other compromise measure that characterised the authorized battle in opposition to slavery in America, the Continental Congress approves a measure banning the additional importation of slaves into the nation. Nonetheless, slavery itself remained authorized. Plus, it was frequent for slave ships to violate the ban.
1877—Decide Jonathan Jasper Wright resigns. Wright had been the primary Black state Supreme Court docket decide. Nonetheless, he resigned on this present day (out of attainable worry for his life) because the Reconstruction period ended White racists have been reasserting management over Southern politics and legislation. Whereas on the South Carolina Supreme Court docket, Wright wrote 87 opinions which have been famous for “clear considering and a strong foundation in frequent legislation.”
1878—Arthur Spingarn is born. He, alongside together with his brother Joel, was one of many principal early organizers of the NAACP. At one level, he headed each the NAACP and the NAACP Authorized Protection Fund. His contribution to the group was primarily within the areas of legislation and contacts to liberal, politically well-connected Whites.
1859—John Brown, one of many main White heroes of Black historical past, is hanged close to Harpers Ferry, Va. He was a tireless crusader in opposition to slavery. His actions ranged from working within the secretive “Underground Railroad,” which helped Blacks escape slavery to attacking slave homeowners who needed to develop slavery exterior of the South. Brown’s frustration, with the sluggish tempo of efforts to abolish slavery, led him to aim to incite a violent slave revolt which started with a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in October 1859. His group was finally cornered and he was hanged on this present day in 1859.
1884—Granville T. Woods (1856-1910) invents and on this present day patents a significant enchancment to the phone transmitter. Certainly, it may be moderately argued that this extremely productive African American inventor truly invented the phone as a result of his gadget (referred to as “telegraphony”) was superior to that invented by Alexander Graham Bell. It was so superior, actually, that the Bell Firm bought it from Woods partly as a result of his phone was higher and partly to stop Woods from changing into a significant competitor. Woods obtained practically 50 patents for innovations within the areas of transportation, electrical energy and communications. He was referred to as “the Black Edison” after Thomas Alva Edison who is mostly thought of the most efficient U.S. inventor. Nonetheless, Woods and Edison would cross paths when Edison sued him in a dispute over which one first invented the multiplex telegraph. Edison tried to purchase Woods off by providing him a outstanding place in his firm however Woods declined.
1891—Historian Charles Wesley is born in Louisville, Ky. Wesley was one in every of Black America’s best historians and a robust advocate of the necessity for Blacks to know their historical past. His main works included “Uncared for Historical past,” “Collapse of the Confederacy” and “Negro Labor in america.” He had a protracted affiliation with Carter G. Woodson’s Affiliation for the Research of Afro-American Life and Historical past in Washington, D.C.
1847—Frederick Douglas and Martin R. Delaney set up “The North Star” and it goes on to grow to be a significant anti-slavery newspaper.
1922—Ralph Gardner is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a pioneer chemist whose analysis into plastics led to the event of so-called onerous plastics and aided product developments within the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.
1982—Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns defeats Wilfredo Benitez for the WBC Junior Middleweight boxing title. Hearns turns into the primary particular person to win boxing titles in 5 completely different weight lessons.
1783—Common George Washington offers his well-known farewell handle to troops at Fraunces Tavern in New York Metropolis. The tavern was owned by a outstanding Black businessman of French and West Indian descent named Samuel “Black Sam” Fraunces, who had aided the People of their bid to achieve independence from England. After he turned president, Washington employed Fraunces as his chief steward.
1807—Prince Corridor dies. His was probably the most outstanding Black names in colonial America. Corridor was born (circa 1748) in Barbados within the West Indies and migrated to Boston. He turned one of many leaders of the town’s Black neighborhood. He additionally turned an abolitionist and a Mason. The truth is, he’s thought of the “father of Black Masons.” He additionally fought within the American struggle for independence from England.
1775—A memorial is devoted to Salem Poor in Cambridge, Mass. Poor was a slave who had purchased his freedom and have become a hero combating within the American Revolutionary Conflict for independence from England. He so distinguished himself in battle, together with at Bunker Hill, that he gained the reward of 14 officers.
1784—The superb poet Phyllis Wheatley dies in Boston, Mass. Wheatley was kidnapped in Africa at age 7 and bought to a affluent Boston household, which positioned a excessive worth on training. By age 12, she was studying Greek and Latin classics. Within the 1770s she turned a sensation within the metropolis due to her superb capability to put in writing poetry. A London firm printed her first e book of poetry. Sadly, she died in poverty earlier than she might discover a writer for her second e book. That second quantity has by no means been discovered. Though some letters she wrote throughout this era have been lately found and bought at public sale.
1870—Legendary Black cowboy William “Invoice” Pickett is born in Travis County, Texas. Standing solely 5’7” and weighing 145 kilos, he’s thought of one of many hardest males each to be referred to as a cowboy. He turned well-known within the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Reveals the place he carried out dare satan feats and invented the rodeo sport of “bulldogging.” He’s thought to have been of Black and Indian descent. He died at age 70 in Ponca Metropolis, Okla.
1870—Alexandre Dumas (pere) dies in France. Dumas, probably the most well-known French writers of the 1800s, was a Black man born to a French marquis and a slave lady on the island of St. Domingue (now Haiti). Dumas wrote such famous works as “The Three Musketeers” and “The Rely De Monte Cristo.”
1932—The “King of Gospel” Rev. James Cleveland is born in Chicago, Unwell.
1932—Flamboyant singer-performer “Little Richard” is born and raised in Macon, Ga. He turns into one of many founding fathers of rock-and-roll. His dynamic stage efficiency and homosexuality usually landed him in bother. However he remained a significant drive within the music area.
1955—The historic bus boycott begins in Montgomery, Ala. The Black boycott of metropolis buses was set in movement when civil rights heroine Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a White man. The legislation at the moment required her to surrender the seat. A younger minister named Martin Luther King Jr. was referred to as upon to steer the boycott launching his profession because the nationwide civil rights chief.
1957—New York turns into the primary metropolis to move a legislation banning racial or spiritual discrimination in housing with the Honest Housing Practices legislation.
1849—Harriet (Ross) Tubman escapes slavery in Maryland. However she turns into maybe the best “conductor” on the Underground Rail Highway returning to the South 19 occasions and serving to an estimated 300 slaves escape. Regardless of a critical head harm obtained from an offended slave grasp when she refused to beat one other slave, Tubman was one in every of Black America’s biggest examples of braveness and willpower. Throughout the Civil Conflict she additionally spied on the South and relayed the knowledge to Northern generals.
1870—Joseph H. Rainey (1832-1887) is sworn in as the primary Black to serve within the U.S. Home of Representatives. He represented South Carolina—the state wherein he was born a slave. However his father—a barber—managed to boost the cash to buy his household’s freedom. Earlier this 12 months, the portrait of Rainey was lastly hung within the Home of Representatives.
1949—Blues legend Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter dies. Ledbetter was born in 1885 close to Mooringsport, La. However he had a fast mood and a violent streak. Thus, he stayed in bother with the legislation. Certainly, his musical genius was found in jail by a visiting White folklorist. Upon launch from jail, he moved north and have become a sensation performing within the U.S. and Europe.
1961—Revolutionary psychiatrist and author Frantz Fanon dies in Washington, D.C., the place he had gone for medical remedy. In his writings, the Martinique-born Fanon explored the psychological features of racial oppression and Black liberation. His most well-known works have been “Black Skins, White Masks” and “Wretched of the Earth,” which was thought of by many “the handbook for Black revolution.”