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
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
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.
The 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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
to No.1 on the US singles chart with “I Like The Way, (The Kissing
Game),” a No. 43 hit in the
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
started an 8 week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with “Tha
No.8 hit in the UK.
Tiger Woods won
the Byron Nelson Golf Classic.
On this date, the Isley
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
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
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.