Today in Black History – October 29 *
1902 – The Dinwiddle Quartet from Virginia is the first
African American singing group on record when they
record six single sided discs, including “Down at the
Old Camp Ground,” on the Victory Talking Machine
Company’s Monarch label.
1923 – Runnin’ Wild opens at the Colonial Theater, Broadway.
Miller and Lyles Productions introduced the Charleston
to New York and the world.
1924 – Dixie to Broadway, “the first real revue by Negroes,”
opens at the Broadhurst Theater, New York City, with
Florence Mills in the starring role.
1929 – The collapse of the stock market and the beginning of
the Great Depression. By 1937, 26 per cent of African
American males will be unemployed.
1945 – Beatrice Moore is born in New York, New York. She will
become an actress and singer better known as Melba
Moore. Her big break will come when she joins the cast
of the Broadway musical “Hair.” She will eventually win
the lead role. It will be the first time that an African
American actress replaces a white actress (Diane Keaton)
for a lead role on Broadway. That engagement will be
followed with another Broadway hit, “Purlie,” which
earns her a Tony Award and rave reviews. This success
will be followed by appearances in film and television.
In addition to her success in acting, she will have a
fruitful recording career.
1947 – The President’s Committee on Civil Rights condemns racial
injustices in America in a formal report, “To Secure
1947 – Texas Southern University is established.
1947 – The NAACP Spingarn Medal is awarded to Dr. Percy L. Julian
for his achievements as a scientist.
1949 – Alonzo G. Moron, from the Virgin Islands, becomes the
first person of African descent to become president of
Hampton Institute (now University) in Hampton, Virginia.
1960 – Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) boxes in his first professional
fight, beating Tunney Hunsaker in 6 rounds.
1961 – Randy Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. He will become a
member of the famed family group, “The Jackson Five.”
1969 – Johnson Products Company of Chicago, Illinois, the largest
African American hair-care products manufacturer, is
incorporated. Founded by George Johnson in 1954, in 1971,
it will become the first African American owned company
listed on the American Stock Exchange.
1969 – The U.S. Supreme Court states that school systems must end
segregation “at once” and “operate now and hereafter only
unitary schools.” In the Mississippi case, Alexander v.
Holmes, the Court abandons the principle of “all
1974 – Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman in Zaire to regain his
heavyweight crown in a fight billed as “The Rumble in the
Jungle.” In addition to the fight being the first
heavyweight title fight held in Africa, it is the 14th
Anniversary of Ali’s professional boxing debut.
1981 – William Otis Walker, publisher of the “Cleveland Call &
Post,” joins the ancestors at the age of 85. He was the
first African American to hold a post in the Ohio Cabinet
in 1963, and was national chairman for “Black Republicans
for Reagan and Bush” in 1980.
1987 – Thomas Hearns wins an unprecedented 4th boxing title in
different weight classes.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.