Today in African American History

Today in Black History – August 31            *

1935 – Eldridge Cleaver is born in Wabaseka, Arkansas. He will join
the Black Panther Party in 1967, becoming its Minister of
Information and putting together The Black Panther
newspaper. He will be the 1968 Presidential candidate for
the Peace and Freedom Party. He and another Panther member,
will be assaulted by police in 1968 (Cleaver is arrested).
He and Kathleen Cleaver, his wife and a Panther leader in
her own right, flee the country, eventually founding the
Panther’s international branch in Algeria before moving to
France. Cleaver split from the Party in 1971, forming his
own version of the organization with several Party chapters
switching from Bobby Seale to him. Cleaver will return to
the United States in the late 1970’s as a born-again
Christian and a republican. He will spend his later years
as a conservative idealist concerned with the environment,
and will join the ancestors on May 1, 1998 at the age of

1935 – Frank Robinson is born in Beaufort, Texas.  He will become
a professional baseball player and will become Most
Valuable Player in the National League in 1961 and Most
Valuable Player in the American League in 1966.  Later, he
will become the first African American manager in major
league baseball.

1936 – Marva Collins is born in Monroeville, Alabama. She will
become an innovative educator who uses her pension funds
to open Westside Preparatory School in Chicago, dedicated
to reverse the educational decline in the city’s African
American neighborhoods.  Collins’ motto for the school is
“entrance to learn, exit to serve.”

1943 – The USS Harmon, a destroyer escort, is launched.  It is
named after Mess Attendant 1st Class Leonard H. Harmon, a
1942 Navy Cross recipient.  It is the first United States
warship named for an African American.

1958 –  Edwin Corley Moses,  track star (hurdler, Olympic-gold-
1984), is born in Dayton, Ohio.  He will be referred to as
“the greatest hurdler in the history of track and field”
for his 122 consecutive wins in the 400 meter hurdles
(spanned eleven years and 22 countries).

1962 – Joint independence is granted to Trinidad and Tobago by
Great Britain.

1983 – Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson retires from the Army
Nurse Corps.  She is the first African American woman to
achieve the rank of Brigadier General and the first
African American to be chief of the Army Nurse Corps.

1983 – Edwin Moses of the United States sets the 400 meter hurdle
record (47.02) in Koblenz, Germany.

1984 – Pinklin Thomas defeats Tim Witherspoon for the WBC
heavyweight boxing title.

1990 – Nat (Sweetwater) Clifton, former New York Knickerbocker
star, joins the ancestors after succumbing to a heart
attack at the age of 65.

1991 – KQEC-TV of San Francisco begins broadcasting under new
owners, the Minority Television Project.  It is the
second minority-owned public television station.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.

Today in African American History

* Today in Black History – August 30 *

1800 – Jack Bowler and Coachman Gabriel Prosser’s plans for a
slave revolt in Richmond, Virginia, are betrayed by a
pair of house slaves attempting to save their master.
Prosser’s plan, which involved over 1,100 slaves, would
have resulted in the death of all slave-owning whites,
but would have spared Quakers, Frenchmen, elderly women,
and children.

1838 – The first African American magazine “Mirror of Freedom”,
begins publication in New York City by abolitionist
David Ruggles.

1843 – The Liberty Party has the first African American
participation in a national political convention.
Samuel R. Ward leads the convention in prayer — Henry
Highland Garnet, a twenty-seven-year-old Presbyterian
pastor who calls for a slave revolt and a general slave
strike. Amos G. Beman of New Haven, Connecticut is
elected president of the convention.

1856 – Wilberforce University is established in Xenia, Ohio under
the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1863,
the university was transferred to the African Methodist
Episcopal (AME) Church.

1861 – General John C. Fremont issues an order confiscating the
property of Confederates and emancipating their slaves.
The order causes wide-spread protest and is revoked by
President Lincoln.

1892 – S. R. Scottron patents a curtain rod.

1901 – Roy Wilkins is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will become
a civil rights leader, assistant executive secretary of
the NAACP under Walter White and editor of the Crisis
Magazine for 15 years. He will become Executive Secretary
of the NAACP in 1955, a post he will hold for 22 years.
During his tenure, he will be a champion of civil rights
committed to using constitutional arguments to help obtain
full citizenship rights for all African Americans.

1931 – Carrie Saxon Perry is born in Hartford, Connecticut. In
1987, she will be elected mayor of Hartford, becoming the
first African American mayor of a major eastern United
States city.

1953 – Robert Parish is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He will
become a professional basketballplayer. Playing 14 years
with the Boston Celtics from 1980 to 1994, he will win
three NBA titles (1981, 1984 and 1986) teaming with
legendary small forward Larry Bird, and, from 1983 to 1992
with Kevin McHale. The trio will be regarded by many as the
best frontcourt in NBA history.

1956 – A white mob prevents the enrollment of blacks at Mansfield
High School in Texas.

1961 – James Benton Parsons is confirmed as the first African
American judge of a United States District Court in the
continental United States (Northern Illinois). He had
been appointed by President John F. Kennedy on April 18,

1967 – Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African
American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been
appointed by President Lyndon Johnson on June 13, 1967.

1969 – Racially motivated civil disturbances occur in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida.

1983 – Lt. Colonel Guion S. Bluford is the first African American
in space when he serves as a mission specialist on the
Challenger space shuttle. The space shuttle, launched
from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, stayed in orbit
almost six days. This was the Challenger’s third flight
into space.

1987 – Ben Johnson of Canada runs 100 meters in world record time
of 9.83 seconds.

1990 – Ken Griffey & Ken Griffey, Jr. become the first father &
son to play on the same professional sports team (Seattle
Mariners). Both single in the first inning.

Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.