* Today in Black History – September 30 *
1935 – John Royce “Johnny” Mathis is born in San Francisco,
California. He will become a romantic pop singer who will
amass more than 50 gold and platinum records for such hits
as “Misty”. He will also have the distinction of having
an album on the Billboard pop charts for the longest
period, 560 weeks.
1935 – “Porgy and Bess,” a folk opera by composer George Gershwin,
has its premiere in Boston at the Colonial Theatre. It
was a flop! It was revived in 1942 and ran longer than any
revival in the history of American musical theater.
1942 – Franklin Joseph “Frankie” Lymon is born in New York City.
He will become the lead singer of Frankie Lymon and the
Teenagers and will record his signature song, “Why Do Fools
Fall in Love?,” at age fourteen. He will develop a serious
drug problem before he turns twenty and will join the
ancestors after succumbing to a drug overdose on the
bathroom floor of his grandmother’s apartment at age 25,
on February 27, 1968.
1943 – Marilyn McCoo (Davis) is born in Jersey City, New Jersey.
She will become a singer with the group, “The Fifth
Dimensions”. Some of the hits with the group will be “Up,
Up and Away,” and “Aquarius.” She will have a solo hit,
“One Less Bell to Answer,” and will record “You Don’t
Have to be a Star” with her husband, Billy Davis, Jr. She
will later become a TV hostess for “Solid Gold” from
1981-1984, and from 1986-88. She will also be a TV music
reporter for “Preview.”
1962 – A large force of federal marshals escorts James H. Meredith
to the campus of the University of Mississippi. President
Kennedy federalizes the Mississippi National Guard.
University of Mississippi students and adults from Oxford,
Mississippi, and other southern communities riot on the
university campus. Two persons are killed and one hundred
or more are wounded.
1966 – Bechuanaland becomes the independent Republic of Botswana
with Sir Seretse Khama as its first President.
1975 – Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier square off in a fight billed
as “The Thrilla in Manila”. Ali will win the fight and
retain his world heavyweight title when, after 14 rounds,
Frazier’s trainer refuses to let him continue.
1976 – Two Centuries of Black American Art opens at the Los Angeles
County Museum of Art. The exhibit features over 60
lithographers, painters, and sculptors including 19th
century masters Joshua Johnston, Edward Bannister, and
Henry O. Tanner as well as modern artists Charles White,
Romare Bearden, and Elizabeth Catlett. The introduction
to the exhibit’s catalogue asserts that the assembled
artists’ work proves that the human creative impulse can
triumph in the face of impossible odds, and at times even
because of them.
1991 – President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first freely
elected president, is overthrown by a military junta.
The three-member junta that takes over begins a campaign
of terror and violence that in a three-year period will
cause the deaths of over 5000 Haitians and force tens of
thousands to flee the island by boat. Jean-Bertrand
Aristide sat in the presidency for only seven months.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.