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In the 17th century in what now called Rhode Island, settlers founded plantations, in which during this time was a synonym for “settlement” or “colony.” The separate plantation colonies in the Narragansett Bay region were very progressive for their time, passing laws abolishing witchcraft trials, imprisonment for debt, most capital punishment, and on this date, chattel slavery of both blacks and whites. It was the first law in North America making slavery illegal. This law, passed by the General Court of Election, in regulating Black servitude, placed Blacks on the same level as white bond-servants. This meant they were free after completing their term of service of ten years. This is particularly interesting since Rhode Island was the location of the first slaves in the English colonies and the colony actively participated in the early days of the slave trade.

William Alexander Leidesdorff died in San Francisco, California on this date. The first man to open a commercial steamship service on San Francisco Bay, Leidesdorff developed a successful business empire, including a hotel, warehouse, and other real-estate developments. Active politically, he served on San Francisco’s first town council and became city treasurer. A street in the city was named in his honor.

On this date, Massachusetts ruled that all school-age children must attend school, thus becoming the first state to pass compulsory school attendance laws. It is speculated by some that this ruling also included free blacks. By 1918, all states required children to receive an education.

Howard High School in Wilmington, Delaware was founded on this date.

For more than a century this historic institution played a central role in educating the Black Community of Wilmington, Delaware. The Society for the Improvement of Morals of the People of African Descent was active in its beginning. The school was named for General Oliver Otis Howard, who worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau. Edwina B. Kruse served as Howard’s first principal between 1871 and 1922. From 1902 to 1920, Alice Dunbar Nelson was a teacher and administrator there.

In the 1930s and 1940s though innovative and traditional, segregated Howard High School was a continual source of frustration for Black parents in the Wilmington suburb of Claymont. While their community had a well-maintained school in a picturesque setting with spacious facilities, African American children could not, by law, attend the Claymont School. Instead they were transported daily on a 20-mile round trip to Howard High School located in an undesirable section of Wilmington.

This became part of suit that led to the Brown vs. Board of Education case. Over the years in Delaware and far beyond, Howard High School strove for excellence in academic study, athletics, and the arts. In 1975, the Howard Comprehensive High School became the Howard Career Center. An expanded complex was constructed adjacent to the original structure. Today, this historic building houses special programs for a diverse student body. It is also home to two special collections of historic memorabilia showcasing the achievements of Wilmington’s African American community throughout the 20th century.

Dantes Bellegarde was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He became Haiti’s most well known diplomat in the twentieth century. He entered government service in 1904 and served under many administrations until he retired in 1957 at the age of 81. W.E.B Du Bois, in 1926, referred to Bellegarde as the “international spokesman of the Negroes of the world.” He died on June 16, 1966.

George Lewis won the sixth running of the Kentucky Derby on astride Fonso. He was one of ten African Americans to win the Kentucky Derby in the years between 1877 and 1902.

In a major victory for supporters of racial segregation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled seven to one that a Louisiana law providing for “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races” on its railroad cars was constitutional. The high court held that as long as equal accommodations were provided, segregation was not discrimination and thus did not deprive African Americans of equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

Plessy v. Ferguson ruling, which indicated that the federal government would officially tolerate the “separate but equal” doctrine, was eventually used to justify segregating all public facilities, including railroad cars, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. However, “colored” facilities were never equal to their white counterparts in actuality, and African Americans suffered through decades of debilitating discrimination in the South and elsewhere because of the ruling. The ruling was a major setback for integration and marked the beginning of Jim Crow or segregationist laws designed to degrade Blacks or keep them separate from whites, changing a largely “de facto” system of segregation into a legally defined system in the South. It was an end to Reconstruction.

The Plessy case grew out of a careful strategy to test the legality of a Louisiana law passed in 1890 that required railroads to maintain separate train cars for Blacks and Whites. In September 1891, a group of Blacks in New Orleans, Louisiana, formed “The Citizens Committee to Test the Constitutionality of the Separate Car Law,” and raised $3,000 to mount a formal challenge to segregation in Louisiana. Albion Tourgee, then the nation’s best-known White advocate of Black legal rights, agreed to argue the case free of charge.

In June 1892, Homer A. Plessy bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad and sat in the car designated for Whites only. Plessy was of mixed African and European ancestry, and he looked white. The Citizen’s Committee wanted to challenge the segregation law in court, so it alerted railroad officials that Plessy would be sitting in the Whites only car, although he was partly of African descent. Plessy was arrested and brought to court for arraignment before Judge John H. Ferguson of the U.S. District Court in Louisiana. Plessy then attempted to halt the trial by suing Ferguson because the segregation law was unconstitutional. This set up the legal question argued and won four years later in Plessy v. Ferguson.

Plessey v. Ferguson was overturned 58 years later in 1954 by the Supreme Court in their unanimous ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, KS.

A year after the Treaty of Vereeniging, which signaled the end of the Anglo-Boer War 2, the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Lord Alfred Milner, proposed that educated and prosperous “non-Whites” should be allowed to vote in local elections throughout South Africa (as was the currently the case in the Cape Colony).

In the treaty, Britain promised to return the two former colonies to self-rule as soon as it was practical, while a decision on voting rights for Blacks was postponed until such self-rule was returned. Of the four colonies that would later make up the Union of South Africa (Transvaal, the former ZAR, the Free State, Natal and the Cape) the latter was the only one where citizens other than Whites could vote. But even there, this franchise was reserved for those who met the stringent qualifications of prosperity and education. Milner’s proposal was rejected.

On this date, Joseph Vernon “Big Joe” Turner, Jr., known by many as the “Boss of the Blues,” was born on this date in Kansas City, MO. He was an African-American blues singer, or “shouter,” and a critical link between Rhythm and Blues and whose records were imitated by White musicians in the early days of rock and roll.

Singing in his youth in church choirs and informally for tips, Turner drew attention as a singing bartender, accompanied by pianist Pete Johnson, in Kansas City saloons. Discovered by jazz critic John Hammond, Turner, with his convincing baritone voice, was taken to New York City for the 1938 Carnegie Hall “Spirituals to Swing” concert and stayed on to become a popular attraction, with boogie-woogie piano accompaniment, at New York nightclubs.

He began recording with top jazz musicians and touring the United States and Canada, sometimes with blues players or Count Basie’s orchestra. In 1951 Turner signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and cut a string of Rhythm & Blues classics that led the way straight into Rock & Roll. He made a top-selling rhythm-and-blues record, “Chains of Love,” and followed it with “Sweet 16,” “Honey, Hush,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” and “Flip, Flop and Fly,” which were rerecorded by young White musicians, notably Bill Haley, using censored lyrics.

His most famous hit, “Shake, Rattle and Roll” was released in 1954, and made it to number 1 and was rerecorded thereafter by young White musicians, notably Bill Haley and the Comets, using censored lyrics.

However, before “Shake”, came the million-selling “Chains of Love,” which reached number 2 on the Rhythm & Blues charts and number 30 on the pop side, plus “Chill Is On,” “Sweet Sixteen,” “Don’t You Cry,” “TV Mama,” and the number 1 smash, “Honey Hush.” Turner’s chart success continued after “Shake” with “Well All Right,” “Flip Flop and Fly,” “Hide and Seek,” “The Chicken and the Hawk,” “Morning, Noon, and Night,” “Corrina Corrina,” and “Lipstick Powder and Paint.” Turner nearly dominated the Rhythm & Blues charts from 1951 to 1956.

He continued to perform through the 1980’s. Turner appeared in major jazz and folk festivals in the United States and Europe, on television, and in jazz clubs, recording continually into the 1980s. He died in Inglewood, CA on November 24, 1985 at the age of 74, succumbing to a heart attack having suffered earlier effects of a stroke and diabetes. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu was born on this date in the village of Qutubeni in the Engcobo district of Transkei, South Africa. He was an African politician and activist and became a major player in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and became deputy president of the African National Congress.

His mother was a Black domestic worker and his father a White public servant. Never formally recognized by his father, Sisulu AKA Xhamela (his tribal name) was raised in the tribal tradition by his mother’s family and experienced Xhosa initiation rites. He got his primary education at the village school and at a nearby Anglican mission.

In 1928, he moved to Johannesburg working in a range of jobs, including dairy-worker, laborer, miner, domestic helper, baker’s assistant, various factory jobs, part-time teller, and advertising agent. Sisulu studied at night school, going into business for himself as a small real estate agent. In the early 1930s he brought his mother and sister to live with him. Over this period, Sisulu also became involved in political activities, organizing strikes through the “Orlando Brotherly Society.” In 1940 he joined the African National Congress (ANC), immediately demonstrating a talent for leadership and organization.

It was during this time that he met Nelson Mandela who referred him for employment with a lawyer in Johannesburg. The work, along with loans from Sisulu, enabled Mandela to complete his law degree at the University of South Africa. The two became friends. In 1944, with Mandela and Oliver Tambo he founded the ANC Youth League and was the league’s treasurer and, thereafter, rose rapidly in the ranks of the parent body, serving as secretary-general from 1949 to 1954. Sisulu was a key figure in events leading up to the ANC’s acceptance of the Youth league’s program of action in 1949.

During that time he married Albertina Titowe, a nurse and prominent anti apartheid activist. The couple had five children, four spent time in exile or prison. Black life in South Africa took another turn for the worst in 1948. The white electorate voted the National Party into power that year. They campaigned on the promise to introduce a system of “apartheid” to totally separate the races. Discrimination against Blacks, “colored” and Asians were codified and extended. All South Africans were legally assigned to one racial group, white, African, colored, or Asian. All races had separate living areas and separate amenities (such as toilets, parks, and beaches).

Signs enforcing the separation were erected throughout the country. Only white South Africans were allowed full political rights. At this time Sisulu and Tambo were elected to the ANC national executive. In 1949, the Youth League’s ‘Program of Action’ was adopted by the ANC at its annual conference. They advocated the use of boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience and no cooperation to achieve full citizenship and direct parliamentary representation for all South Africans. Sisulu was elected secretary-general of the ANC. He closed his estate agency business and became a full-time party organizer.

He was one of the key figures in the 1952 Defiance Campaign. The government, through the Suppression of Communism Act, introduced harsher penalties for protests against apartheid. During this time, he visited communist Eastern bloc countries, Israel, China and Britain; and then moderated his views somewhat to support the non-racial Congress Alliance. He was designated as a statutory “communist” and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Before the sentencing he told the court, “I wish to make this solemn vow and in full appreciation of the consequences it entails. As long as I enjoy the confidence of my people, and as long as there is a spark of life and energy in me, I shall fight with courage and determination for the abolition of discriminatory laws and for the freedom of all South Africans irrespective of color or creed.” Also, campaign leaders and newspapers were banned and about 8,500 people were arrested, including Sisulu.

In 1956, Sisulu, Mandela, Tambo and 153 others were arrested for high treason and charges under the act. They were acquitted on all counts in 1961. At the end of the decade he helped form Umkhonto we Sizwe (1960), the ANC’s military wing.

During this time, the regime introduced a program of forced relocation of Africans, coloreds, and Asians from areas designated for Whites only to the homelands and other declared areas. In 1956, Sisulu, Mandela, Tambo, and 153 others were arrested for high treason and charges under the act. They were acquitted on all counts in 1961. In July, 1963 police raided an ANC safe house in Rivonia, and discovered arms and equipment. Sisulu, Mandela, and other leaders of the ANC and Umkhonto stood trial for plotting to overthrow the government by violence and bring about a communist state. On June 11 (or 12), 1964, eight of the accused, including Sisulu and Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment for planning acts of sabotage in an October, 1963 trial. The following day Sisulu, Mandela and other convicted Rivonia trialists were sent to Robben Island Prison.

In 1982 Sisulu was transferred to the maximum-security Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland. While in prison, Sisulu wrote the history of the African National Congress. On October 15, 1989, Sisulu was released from prison with five other senior members of the ANC. He was elected ANC deputy president in July, 1991. He was awarded “Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe,” the ANC’s highest honor in 1992. In 1994, at the age of 82 Sisulu resigned from the post in the ANC and retired to his family home in Soweto on the eve of South Africa’s first multi-racial elections in 1994. Two years after his retirement Sisulu helped the new South African constitution bar discrimination against the country’s minorities, including whites.

In 1999 he found great satisfaction when the ANC won the general election increasing its majority. Walter Sisulu died in Orlando on May 5, 2003 at his home after a long illness. His state funeral was held 12 days later.

Coleman Alexander Young was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He fought as a bombardier-navigator with the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and settled in Detroit and work as an auto worker after the war. In 1948, he became the first African American elected to the Wayne County Council of the AFL-CIO. He founded the National Negro Labor Council in 1951. Walter Reuther and other white leaders of the labor movement referred to the NNLC as a tool of the Soviet Union and caused Young to be called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952. He reached the pinnacle of his political career when, as a state senator, he was elected the first African American mayor of the city of Detroit, Michigan in 1973. He revitalized Detroit, integrated the police and fire departments, and significantly increased the number of city contracts with minority businesses. He was elected mayor for an unprecedented five terms. He stepped down as mayor in 1993 at the age of 75. He died in 1997.

Naomi T. Gray was born Naomi Jean Thomas on this date in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Graduating from Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, she earned her B.S. degree in sociology from Hampton University in 1945 and three years later, she earned her M.S. degree from Indiana University in Indianapolis.

A caseworker in the Foster Care Agency in Indianapolis from 1948 to 1949, Gray joined the Planned Parenthood Federation of America a year later. During her twenty years with Planned Parenthood, she established and directed seven regional offices throughout the United States and developed guidelines for community education and organizational programs. Gray became the first woman to serve as vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and also served as a social work instructor at San Francisco State University. Honored as an Indiana Distinguished Citizen, and cited for her work by the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease, Gray also founded and served as president of the Urban Institute for American Affairs. A co-founder and executive director of the Sojourner Truth Foster Family Service Agency, she also worked as a consultant for several health and family planning groups.

A member of many community organizations including the National Urban League, the National Conference on Social Welfare, the California State Planning Commission on Minority Business Enterprises and the San Francisco Health Commission, Grey has also served as a member of the African American Child Task Force, the NAACP, and the San Francisco Black Chamber of Commerce. As co-founder of the African American Education Leadership Group, she worked to establish an academic elementary school in a predominately African American community in San Francisco. Gray also served on Mayor Willie Brown’s Task Force on Children, Youth and Their Families from 1990 to 1993.

Children’s advocate Kay Wyrick, who was honored by the Parenting Coalition, Inc. for her devotion to the development of children, was born in Hartford, CT.

Hugh Shearer, former Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1967-1972, was born on this date in Martha Brae, Trelawny, Jamaica. Shearer died on July 5, 2004 at the age of 81.

Reginald “Reggie” Martinez Jackson, one of six children, was born on this date in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. He was an African-American baseball player.

When he was six, his parents divorced, and Jackson grew up with his father, Martinez, who was in jail for bootlegging when Reggie graduated from Cheltenham Township High School in 1964. Jackson was a four-sport varsity athlete in high school; at Arizona State he played both baseball and football. After his sophomore season, the Kansas City Athletics, with the No. 2 pick of the 1966, draft selected him. He played for the A’s, both in Kansas City and in Oakland from 1967-1975, who traded him to Baltimore in April 1976.

A free agent the following year, he signed a four-year contract with the New York Yankees. Jackson moved to the California Angels in 1982, where he played for five seasons. He finished his career with the team where he started, playing the 1987 season with the Oakland As. In Jackson’s tenure with four American League franchises and all except the Orioles, the teams won at least two division titles with him on their roster. His Oakland teams won three consecutive World Series championships, the only organization other than the Yankees to three-peat, and his Yankee teams earned back-to-back titles in 1977-78. When he was with the Angels, California twice came within a victory of its first pennant and World Series appearance.

He holds the major league career record for most league championship series played (11) most games (45) most at-bats (163) and the American League records for most RBIs (20) most hits (37) and most singles (24) in LCS play. But it was in the World Series that he received the nickname, “Mr. October.” Playing in five World Series and 27 games, Jackson batted .357 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI’s. He also holds the career slugging percentage record of .755, and holds or shares nine World Series records that contain the phrase “home run.”

Voted to the American League All-star team 14 times Jackson finished his career with 1,551 runs, 2,584 hits, 463 doubles, 49 triples, 1702 RBI’s, and 563 home runs.

Jackson’s crowning achievement came with his three-home-run performance in World Series-clinching Game 6, each on the first pitch, off three different Dodger pitchers. (His first plate-appearance, during the 2nd inning, resulted in a four-pitch walk.) The first came off starter Burt Hooton, and was a line drive shot into the lower right field seats at Yankee Stadium. The second was a much faster line drive off reliever Elías Sosa into roughly the same area. With the fans chanting his name, “Reg-GIE! Reg-GIE! Reg-GIE!” the third came off reliever Charlie Hough, a knuckleball pitcher, making the distance of this home run particularly remarkable. It was a towering drive into the black-painted batter’s eye seats in center, 475 feet away.

Since Jackson had hit a home run off Dodger pitcher Don Sutton in his last at bat in Game 5, his three home runs in Game 6 meant that he had hit four home runs on four consecutive swings of the bat against four different Dodger pitchers. Jackson became the first player to win the World Series MVP award for two different teams. In 27 World Series games, he amassed 10 home runs, including a record five during the 1977 Series (the last three on first pitches), 24 RBI and a .357 batting average. Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols, and Pablo Sandoval are the only other players to hit three home runs in a single World Series game. Babe Ruth accomplishing the feat twice - in 1926 and 1928 (both in Game 4). With 25 total bases, Jackson also broke Ruth’s record of 22 in the latter Series; this remains a World Series record, Willie Stargell tied in the 1979 World Series. In 2009, Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies tied Jackson’s record for most home runs in a single World Series.

In his first year of eligibility, Jackson was named on 396 of the 423 ballots and elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. On August 1, 1993, he was the only player to be inducted into the Hall on that day.

Born on this day was Feliciano “Butch” Tavares, of the group Tavares. In 1976 in the UK, Tavares charted No. 4 and the US, No. 15, with the single “Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel.”

Paul Robeson, in defiance of the authorities who refused to allow him to cross the border, stood on the back of a flatbed truck on the U.S.-Canada border and sang songs of defiance and solidarity to 40,000 people.

During Muslim-Nationalist riots for independence in Nigeria, at least 32 people were killed.

Mary McLeod Bethune died in Daytona Beach, Florida on this date. Born the 15th of 17 children in Mayesville, S.C., Bethune rose to become one of the nation’s foremost Black educators and early civil rights activists. She was a driving force behind the founding of Florida’s Bethune-Cookman College and the National Council of Negro Women. She was 79.

Flamboyant tennis player Yannick Noah was born in Sedan, France. Arthur Ashe spotted his talents while on a three-week, goodwill tour of Africa in 1971, and arranged for Noah to be sent back to France to further develop his game.  Noah went on to win the French Open in 1983, a Grand Slam event. During his career, he won 23 singles titles and was runner up at 13 others.

Beauty products entrepreneur Lisa Price was born on this date in Brooklyn, New York. She is the founder of Carol’s Daughter, one of the first African American-owned beauty product lines with a flagship store. During her childhood, she remembers the smell of the soap her grandmother made at their Brooklyn brownstone. Price attended public schools in New York, where she received her high school diploma.

In 1990, Price began making creams and lotions based on natural materials in her kitchen. Encouraged by family members and friends, she began Carol’s Daughter from her home in 1993. Her customers soon multiplied. By 1999, Price added mail-order, website and walk-in customers and her business moved from the parlor floor of her brownstone to a formal store in Brooklyn’s upscale Fort Greene area.

Supported by a staff of twenty-three, the Carol’s Daughter line, boasts more than 300 aromatic products for the face, hair, body and home. Her clientele include celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Chaka Khan and Oprah Winfrey. In 2002, Carol’s Daughter grossed more than $2.25 million in sales. In 2004, Price along with Hillary Beard wrote her memoir entitled Success Never Smelled So Sweet: How I Followed My Nose and Found My Passion. In 2005, a group of investors assisted her in opening a flagship store in Harlem on 125th Street.

Price makes time to give back to the community. Carol’s Daughter donates monies, goods and services to not-for-profit organizations including the Arthur Ashe Foundation, Hale House, and the September 11th Fund. Her college speaking engagements and seminars encourage others to become entrepreneurs. Carol’s Daughter’s products are distributed nationwide.

Price lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn with her husband, Gordon and sons Forrest and Ennis.

On this date, Jimmy Soul was a No.1 on the US singles chart with “If You Want To Be Happy,” a No.39 hit in the UK.

Ernie Davis, star running back at Syracuse University and first black player to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961, died on this date of leukemia before playing a pro game.

On this date, Archie Bell and the Drells started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with “Tighten Up,” Note that it didn’t chart in the UK.

President Richard M. Nixon rejected the sixty demands of the Congressional Black Caucus, saying his administration would continue to support “jobs, income and tangible benefits, the pledges that this society has made to the disadvantaged in the past decade.” The caucus expressed deep disappointment with the reply and said the Nixon administration “lacked a sense of understanding, urgency and commitment in dealing with the critical problems facing Black Americans.”

On this date, Bob Marley and the Wailers played the first night on a 19-date North American tour at the Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

On this date Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Larry Herndon became the 14th Major League player to hit 4 consecutive HRs.

John William “Bubbles” Sublett died in New York City on this date at the age of 84. He had been half of the piano and tap dance team, “Buck and Bubbles” from 1912 to 1955. He was known as “father of rhythm tap,” and developed a tap style called “jazz tap.” He continued to perform (after the death of Ford “Buck” Washington in 1955) until 1980, when he appeared in the revue “Black Broadway.”

On this date, the South African army occupied Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

In just Oakland A’s 39th balk of the season, pitcher Dave Stewart broke a single season record for balks with his personal 12th balk en route to a total of 16, which holds as a record (even today as of May 18, 2010). Note that the career total goes to Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies with 90. 

On this date, wife of Darryl Strawberry, Lisa, filed for divorce.

Hi-Five went to No.1 on the US singles chart with “I Like The Way, (The Kissing Game),” a No. 43 hit in the UK.

On this date, the
African National Congress (ANC) threatened in an open letter to President F. W. de Klerk to suspend constitutional negotiations until the government meets its demands for an end to violence. These including firing security ministers Adriaan Vlok and Magnus Malan, punishing members of the security forces implicated in violence, outlawing the public carrying of weapons, and releasing remaining political prisoners. President F. W. de Klerk subsequently placed restrictions on the carrying of weapons and pledged to take action on other issues raised in the letter. Although he refused to dismiss the cabinet ministers, both were later demoted in the wake of the “Inkathagate” scandal (This was revelations about South African Defence Force involvement in death squads and the ongoing violence in the rand and Natal). The ANC concluded that these actions did not address its concerns sufficiently, and announced its withdrawal from talks on constitutional issues. However, this had little practical effect, since the two sides were primarily engaged in talks on removing obstacles to negotiations, which were not affected by the ANC’s action.

On this date, Rita Dove was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate, becoming the first African American female poet to serve in this honorary office.

On this date, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony started an 8 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with “Tha Crossroads,” a No.8 hit in the UK.

Tiger Woods won the Byron Nelson Golf Classic.

On this date, the Isley Brothers were at No.1 on the US album chart with “Body Kiss,” the group’s first US No.1 in over 30 years.

Following protests and a boycott of South Carolina’s tourism and convention facilities, the South Carolina General Assembly voted to remove the confederate flag from South Carolina’s Capitol dome on this date. The boycott was not immediately lifted because of controversy over the flag’s relocation.

The founding members of the legendary pop music group
Earth, Wind, and Fire received honorary doctoral degrees at the Columbia College Chicago commencement at the UIC Pavilion by Warrick L. Carter and vice president Dr. Eric V.A. Winston on this date. After an eloquent introduction by Columbia President Dr. Carter, Maurice White, Ralph Johnson, Philip Bailey, and Verdine White took to the stage to be “hooded” by members of Columbia’s senior administration. Following acceptance speeches by Johnson and Verdine White, group members joined in a tribute rendition of their hit Shining Star performed by student music ensembles.

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