December 22 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 22 *

1873 – Abolitionist Charles Lenox Remond joins the ancestors.
He was the first African American lecturer employed by
the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.

1883 – Arthur Wergs Mitchell is born near Lafayette, Alabama.
He will become the first African American Democrat
elected to Congress, representing Illinois for four
terms. In 1937, after being forced from first-class
train accommodations in Arkansas to ride in a shabby
Jim Crow car, Mitchell will sue the railroad and
eventually argue unsuccessfully before the Supreme Court
that interstate trains be exempt from Arkansas’
“separate but equal” laws. He will join the ancestors
on May 9, 1968.

1898 – Chancellor Williams is born in Bennettsville, South
Carolina. He will become a historian and author of
“Destruction of Black Civilization.” He will join the
ancestors on December 7, 1992.

1905 – James A. Porter is born in Baltimore, Maryland. An
artist, chairperson of the department of art at Howard
University and one of the earliest scholars of African
American art, Porter will exhibit his works widely in the
United States, Europe, and Africa. He will join the
ancestors on February 28, 1970.

1939 – Jerry Pinckney is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He
will become an award-winning illustrator of children’s
books and numerous U.S. postage stamps featuring notable
African Americans.

1943 – W.E.B. Du Bois is elected as the first African American
member of the National Institute of Arts & Letters.

1980 – Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., a New York City lawyer and former
judge, is named to President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet as
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

1984 – Four African American youths on a New York City subway
train, are shot by Bernhard Goetz. The white man shoots
because he thought they were going to rob him. He claims
he was seconds from becoming a mugging victim when he
opened fire, and will be acquitted of attempted murder in
1987 but will serve 8 months on a weapons charge. In
1996, he will lose a civil case brought against him by
one of the youths that he shot and paralyzed. The civil
judgment brought against him will be $ 43 million.

1988 – South Africa signs an accord granting independence to South
-West Africa.

1989 – The art exhibit “Afro-American Artists in Paris: 1919-1939”
closes at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery on the
Hunter College campus in New York City. The exhibit of
eight artists including William Harper, Lois Mailou Jones,
Archibald Motley, Jr., Henry O. Tanner, and Hale Woodruff,
among others, powerfully illustrates the results achieved
by African American artists when they were able to leave
the confines and restrictions imposed upon them by race in
the United States.

1996 – Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs 80 yards
for a touchdown in the first half of an 18-14 loss to the
Carolina Panthers, the longest scoring run by a quarterback
in NFL history.

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

December 21 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 21 *

1872 – Robert Scott Duncanson joins the ancestors in Detroit,
Michigan. He suffers a severe mental breakdown and ends
his life in the Michigan State Retreat. Duncanson
avoided painting in an ethnic style, favoring still
lifes and landscapes including “Mount Healthy,” “Ohio,”
“Blue Hole,” “Little Miami River,” and “Falls of
Minnehaha. The Detroit Tribune, on December 26, 1872,
refers to Duncanson as “an artist of rare

1911 – Joshua “Josh” Gibson is born in Buena Vista, Georgia. He
will become a professional baseball player in the Negro
Leagues. Gibson will begin playing in the Negro leagues
in 1930, at age 18. A catcher, he will play mostly for
teams in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including
the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. He will
also play winter baseball in Puerto Rico and the Dominican
Republic. He will join the ancestors suddenly in early
1947, the year that Jackie Robinson will become the first
African American player in the major leagues. In
recognition of his accomplishments, Gibson will be
inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. He will
be referred to as the “Negro Babe Ruth” hitting 800+ Home
Runs. Some say that Babe Ruth should have been referred
to as the “white Josh Gibson.”

1921 – P.B.S. Pinchback, a major Reconstruction politician, joins
at the ancestors at the age of 84.

1959 – Delorez Florence Griffith is born in Los Angeles,
California. As Florence Griffith Joyner, she will bring
glamour to women’s track and field. A world-classrunner,
“FloJo” will win three gold medals (in the 100-meter, 200-
meter and 400-meter races) at the 1988 Summer Olympic
Games in Seoul and a silver medal in the 1600-meter relay.
She will join the ancestors on September 21, 1998.

1959 – Citizens of Deerfield, Illinois block the building of
interracial housing.

1969 – Diana Ross makes her final television appearance as a
member of the Supremes on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1976 – Patricia R. Harris is named Secretary of Housing and Urban

1986 – While seeking a tow for his disabled car in Howard Beach
(Queens), New York, Michael Griffith is struck by an
automobile and killed as he attempts to escape from a mob
of whites who were beating him. The incident will spark
a controversy that will further divide factions in New
York City, already troubled by racially motivated violence.

1988 – Jesse Jackson, in a speech in Chicago, urges the use of the
term “African American”: “Every ethnic group in this
country has reference to some land base, some historical
cultural base. African Americans have hit that level of

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

December 20 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 20 *

1854 – Walter F. Craig is born in Princeton, New Jersey. He
will become a violinist, organizer of Craig’s
Celebrated Orchestra, and, in 1886, the first African
American to be admitted to the Musician’s Protective

1870 – Robert H. Wood, Mississippi political leader, is elected
mayor of Natchez.

1870 – Allen University, Benedict College and LeMoyne-Owen
College are established.

1870 – Jefferson F. Long of Macon, Georgia, is elected to an
unexpired term in the Forty-first Congress. Georgia
Democrats carry the state election with a campaign of
violence and political intimidation.

1893 – Paul Lawrence Dunbar publishes “Oak and Ivy.” Unable to
afford the $125 publishing costs, he accepts a loan from
a white friend. The loan will be quickly repaid through
book sales, often to passengers in the elevator of the
Dayton, Ohio, building where he works.

1893 – The first state anti-lynching statute is approved in

1938 – Mattie Alou is born in Haina, Dominican Republic. He will
become a professional baseball player like his brother
Felipe. They both will play for the San Francisco Giants.

1942 – Robert “Bob” Hayes is born in Florida. He will become a
world class sprinter for the United States, winning the
Gold Medal in the 100 meter dash in the 1964 Olympic games.
He will later become a wide receiver in the National
Football League.

1956 – The African American community of Montgomery, Alabama votes
unanimously to end its 385 day bus-boycott. Montgomery,
Alabama, removes race-based seat assignments on its city’s

1981 – “Dreamgirls” opens on Broadway at the Imperial Theater.
The musical, which chronicles the rise of a black female
group in the 1960’s, star Jennifer Holliday, Ben Harney,
and Cleavant Derricks. Holliday, Derricks and
choreographer Michael Peters will earn Tony awards for
their work in the musical.

1988 – Max Robinson, the first African American network (ABC) TV
anchor, joins the ancestors from complications of AIDS at
the age of 49.

1998 – Nigerian American Nkem Chukwu gives birth in Houston, Texas
to five girls and two boys, 12 days after giving birth to
another child, a girl. The tiniest of the babies will
succumb a week later.

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

December 19 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 19 *

1798 – Portrait painter Joshua Johnston places an ad in the
“Baltimore Intelligencer” describing himself as “a self-
taught genius.” Johnston, a freeman, will paint portraits
of some of the most successful merchant families in
Maryland and Virginia. Only three of his subjects will
be African American, among them “Portrait of an Unknown
Man” and “Reverend Daniel Coker.”

1875 – Carter G. Woodson is born in New Canton, Virginia. A
founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life
and History, of the “Journal of Negro History,” and Negro
History Week, Woodson will write many books on African
American history. The most popular of his books will be,
“The Negro in Our History,” which will be used extensively
in high schools throughout the United States. He will join
the ancestors on April 3, 1950.

1886 – Clementine Rubin (later Hunter) is born in Clourtierville,
Louisiana. Because there were no birth certificates
issued in rural Louisiana during this time, there is much
controversy about her exact date of birth. Sources mention
her birth in December 1886 and January 1887. The only
real documentation of her earliest existence is a
christening document dated March, 1887. She will become a
painter in the 1930’s after spending years working on the
Melrose Plantation, a haven for many rural Southern
artists. Her first artistic medium will be quilt making,
and her first piece will be in 1938 exhibiting the
hardships of plantation life. Her first painting will be
completed in 1939. In 1955, she will become the first
African American artist to have a one person show at the
Delgado Museum (now known as the New Orleans Museum of
Art). Her folk-art style will earn her the nickname “the
Black Grandma Moses.” By the time she joins the ancestors
on January 1, 1988, she will be considered one of the
twentieth century’s leading folk artists.

1891 – Charles Randolph Uncles becomes the first African American
Catholic priest ordained in the United States. He is
ordained in Baltimore, Maryland.

1910 – The first city ordinance requiring white and black
residential areas is passed by the Baltimore City Council.
Similar laws will be passed in Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke,
Greensboro, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Dallas and

1910 – The Pittsburgh Courier newspaper is founded.

1910 – North Carolina College is founded in Durham, North Carolina.

1910 – The Norfolk Journal and Guide is established under the
leadership of P. B. Young Sr.

1930 – James Weldon Johnson resigns as executive secretary of
NAACP citing health reasons.

1930 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is awarded to Henry A. Hunt,
Principal, Fort Valley High and Industrial School, Fort
Valley, Georgia, for his pioneering work as an educator.

1930 – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, founded at Howard University in
1913, is incorporated.

1933 – Cicely Tyson is born in the Village of Harlem in New York
City. She will pursue a modeling career, appearing on the
covers of both “Vogue” and “Harper’s Bazaar at the age of
23. She will later pursue acting and win acclaim for her
roles on the stage and on television, as well as in the
movie, Sounder (for which she will be named best actress
by the National Society of Film Critics and receive an
Academy Award nomination) and “The Autobiography of Miss
Jane Pittman,” for which she will win two Emmys.

1941 – Maurice White is born. He will become a singer, musician
(drummer) and founder of Earth, Wind & Fire. Some of his
hits include “Shining Star,” “Sing a Song,” “Got to Get
You into My Life,” “After the Love Has Gone,” and “Best of
My Love”.

1944 – Timothy Reid is born in Norfolk, Virginia. He will become
a comedian and known for his role as “Venus Flytrap” on
“WKRP in Cincinnati, as well as “Frank’s Place.”

1961 – Reggie White is born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He will
become an all-pro defensive lineman for the NFL
Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. He will play
with Green Bay as they win the 1997 Super Bowl. He will
hold the NFL record of 198 sacks until it is broken by
Bruce Smith of the Washington Redskins in 2003. He will
retire from football at the end of the 1998-1999 season.
He will join the ancestors on December 26, 2004, after
succumbing to a cardiac arrhythmia caused by cardiac and
pulmonary sarcoidosis.

1962 – Nyasaland secedes from Rhodesia.

1977 – Jimmy Rogers, a bluesman who played guitar for the original
Muddy Waters band and who will be inducted into the Blues
Hall of Fame in 1994, joins the ancestors in Chicago at the
age of 73. He succumbs to colon cancer. He recorded a
string of solo hits beginning in the 1950s, including
“Walking by Myself,” “Chicago Bound” and “Sloppy Drunk.”
He played with Water’s Band in Chicago clubs and in the
studio for about a decade. In 1996, he won the W.C. Handy
award for male traditional blues artist.

1989 – Police in Jacksonville, Florida, disarm a parcel bomb at the
local NAACP office, the fourth in a series of mail bombs to
turn up in the Deep South. One bomb kills a Savannah,
Georgia, alderman, and another a federal judge in Alabama.
Walter L. Moody Jr. will be convicted in both bombings.

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

December 18 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 18 *

1852 – George H. White is born in Rosindale, North Carolina.
He will become a lawyer, state legislator, and in 1896,
the only African American member of the United States
House of Representatives, where he will be the first to
introduce an anti-lynching bill. White will also found
the town of Whitesboro, New Jersey, as a haven for
African Americans escaping southern racism.

1860 – South Carolina declares itself an “independent

1865 – Congress proclaims the ratification of the thirteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery. The
ratification process had been completed on December 6,

1917 – Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis is born in Cogdell, Georgia.
While he will be best known as an actor in such plays as
“Jeb” (where he will meet his wife, Ruby Dee) and “Purlie
Victorious” and films like “Let’s Do It Again,” “Do The
Right Thing,” and “Jungle Fever,” he will be a playwright,
screenwriter, and director(Cotton Comes to Harlem). In
1969, he will win an Emmy for his role in “Teacher,
Teacher” and will be a featured performer in television’s
“Evening Shade.” He will join the ancestors on February 4,

1958 – Niger gains autonomy within the French Community of Nations.

1961 – Wilt Chamberlain of the NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78
points vs the Los Angeles Lakers.

1964 – Funeral services are held in Chicago for Sam Cooke. Hundreds
of fans will cause damage to the A.R. Leak Funeral Home,
where Cooke’s body is on display.

1971 – Jesse Jackson announces the formation of Operation Push
(People United to Save Humanity), a new African American
political and economic development organization. Jackson,
who resigned from Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm
of the SCLC, says, “the problems of the 1970’s are economic
so the solution and goal must be economic.”

1971 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Rev. Leon H.
Sullivan, founder of Opportunities Industrialization
Centers of America (OIC) for his leadership.

1989 – Ernest Dickerson wins the New York Film Critics Circle Award
for best cinematography for the movie “Do the Right Thing.”

1996 – The Oakland, California School board becomes the first in
the nation to recognize Black english, a.k.a. Ebonics, as a
separate language, NOT a dialect or slang.

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

December 17 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 17 *

1920 – South Africa receives League of Nations mandate over South
West Africa.

1937 – Art Neville is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will
become a member of the popular singing group, “The
Neville Brothers.”

1939 – Eddie Kendricks is born in Union Springs, Alabama. He will
become one of the original members of the Motown group,
“The Temptations”. He will begin a solo career in 1971 and
will have many successful hits such as “Keep on Truckin”
and “Boogie Down.” In 1982, he will rejoin the Temptations
for a reunion tour and again in 1989, when the group is
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He will
join the ancestors after succumbing to cancer in 1992.

1945 – Ernie Hudson is born in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He will
become an actor and best known for his role in the movie

1971 – Congressman Charles Diggs, Jr. resigns from the United
States’ delegation to the United Nations in protest of the
Nixon administration’s policies regarding Africa.

1975 – Noble Sissle joins the ancestors in Tampa, Florida at the
age of 86. A protege of James Reese Europe, Sissle traveled
with the famous bandleader to Europe as the drum major in
the 369th Regimental Band and teamed with Eubie Blake to
form the writing team of Sissle and Blake. Together with
Flourney Miller and Aubrey Lyles, Sissle and Blake wrote
“Shuffle Along” and other musicals. A founding member of
the Negro Actor’s Guild, Sissle was a successful orchestra
and bandleader in his own right, touring Europe in the
1930’s and with the USO during World War II.

1975 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Henry (“Hank”)
Aaron “for his memorable home-run record which stands as a
landmark” and for his sportsmanship.

1979 – In a case that aggravates racial tensions, Arthur McDuffie,
a Black insurance executive, is fatally beaten after a
police chase in Miami. Four white police officers are
later acquitted of charges stemming from McDuffie’s death.

1991 – Michael Jordan, outstanding guard for the Chicago Bulls, who
led his team to their first-ever NBA championship, is named
the 1991 “Sport Illustrated” Sportsman of the Year.
Jordan’s likeness will appear on the December 23rd issue of
the magazine in the form of a full-color holographic
stereogram, a first for a mass-market publication.

1999 – Jazz great Grover Washington, Jr. joins the ancestors
resulting from a heart attack following a taping session.

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

December 16 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 16 *

1834 – George Lewis Ruffin is born in Richmond, Virginia. The
son of free African Americans, he and his wife, Josephine
St. Pierre Ruffin (1842–1924), will flee to England after
the Dred Scott decision (1857), and return soon to
Boston. While making his living as a barber, he will
speak out on matters concerning African Americans. He
will read the law in Boston and become the first Black
to graduate from Harvard Law School (1869). While
maintaining a thriving practice in Boston, he will serve
in the Massachusetts legislature (1869–71) and Boston
City Council (1876–8), and will be named a municipal
judge (1883). An active Baptist and able speaker, he will
attend national conventions of African Americans and
become a close friend of many prominent people of his
day, including Frederick Douglass. His wife was a partner
in his many efforts to improve the lot of fellow
African Americans. He will join the ancestors in 1886

1838 – The Zulu chieftain Dingaan is defeated by the Boers in
South Africa.

1859 – Shields Green and John Anthony Copeland, two of five
African American freedom fighters, are hanged for their
participation in John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Copeland will be led to the gallows shouting “I am dying
for freedom. I could not die for a better cause. I had
rather die than be a slave.”

1859 – The last slave ship, the Clothilde, landed a shipment of
slaves at Mobile Bay, Alabama.

1870 – The Colored Methodist Church of America is established at
Jackson, Tennessee. The organization will change its
name in 1954 to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
The denomination will grow to include approximately 3,000

1875 – Charles Caldwell, a militant African American militia
officer, joins the ancestors, after being assassinated in
Clinton, Mississippi.

1875 – Alabama A&M College, Knoxville College and Lane College are

1875 – Governor Daniel H. Chamberlain, acting in concert with
white Democrats and conservatives, refuses to resign his

1875 – William J. Whippers is elected judge of the circuit court
of Charleston by the South Carolina General Assembly.

1895 – Andy Razafkerief(Razaf) is born in Washington, DC. He will
become an important lyricist and musical collaborator with
Eubie Blake and Fats Waller. His most famous songs will
include “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and the
lyrics to “Stomping at the Savoy.” He will be inducted
into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 1972.

1934 – John Edward Jacobs is born in Trout, Louisiana and will be
raised in Houston, Texas. Jacobs will serve the National
Urban League in many capacities and in 1982 will replace
Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. as its president.

1937 – Augusta Savage, sculptress, is commissioned to sculpt a
piece for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The sculpture
is to symbolize the African American contribution to the
field of music. It is the first such commission given to
an African American.

1946 – The first coining honoring an African American and designed
by an African American is issued. The fifty-cent piece
contains the bust of Booker T. Washington.

1962 – William “The Refrigerator” Perry, is born in Aiken, South
Carolina. He will become a NFL defensive lineman with the
Chicago Bears. He will be best known for his occasional
performance as a running back on short yardage situations.

1967 – Wilt Chamberlain, of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, scores 68
points against the Chicago Bulls.

1973 – Jim Brown’s single season rushing record in the NFL is
smashed by O.J. Simpson. Brown rushed for 1,863 yards,
while Simpson ran for 2,003 yards.

1976 – Rep. Andrew Young is appointed Ambassador and Chief
representative to the United Nations by President Jimmy

1990 – Jean-Bertrand Aristide is elected president of Haiti in
the country’s first democratic elections.

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

December 15 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 15 *

1644 – A Dutch land grant is issued to Lucas Santomee, son of
Peter Santomee, one of the first 11 Africans brought to
Manhattan. Among the land granted to Santomee and the
original Africans is property in Brooklyn and Greenwich

1706 – A slave named Onesimus arrives in the home of Cotton
Mather. The slave’s experience and explanation of
African inoculation will result in Mather’s encouragement
of Dr. Zabdiel Boylston to inoculate for smallpox in

1864 – In one of the decisive battles of the Civil War, two
brigades of African American troops help crush one of the
South’s finest armies at the Battle of Nashville.
African American troops open the battle on the first day
and successfully engage the right flank of the rebel line.
On the second day Col. Charles R. Thompson’s African
American brigade makes a brilliant charge up Overton Hill.
The Thirteenth U.S. Colored Troops will sustain more
casualties than any other regiment involved in the battle.

1896 – Julia Terry Hammonds receives a patent for the apparatus
for holding yarn skeins.

1934 – Maggie Lena Walker, the first woman to head a bank, joins
the ancestors at the age of 69.

1934 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Award is awarded to William Taylor
Burwell Williams, Tuskegee dean and agent of the Jeanes
and Slater funds, for his achievements as an educator.

1939 – Cynthia Ann “Cindy” Birdsong is born in Mount Holly
Township, New Jersey. She will become a singer with Patti
LaBelle and the Bluebells and Diana Ross and the Supremes.

1941 – Lena Horne records the torch classic for Victor Records,
that will become her signature song: “Stormy Weather.”

1943 – Thomas W. “Fats” Waller joins the ancestors, outside Kansas
City, Missouri at the age of 39, from pneumonia. The self-
taught piano player began recording as a teenager and
became one of a small group of African American pianists to
make piano rolls for the growing player piano industry.
Waller’s first solo recording in 1926 led to his own radio
show and three tours of France. Waller was known for such
popular songs as “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “I’m Gonna Sit Right
Down and Write Myself a Letter,” and “Honeysuckle Rose.”
He also wrote music for the stage and the movies, most
notably “Stormy Weather.”

1943 – The San Francisco Sun-Reporter is established. Its co-
founder, Thomas Fleming will be its editor and a working
journalist into his nineties.

1943 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to William H. Hastie
“for his distinguished career as a jurist and as an
uncompromising champion of equal justice.”

1950 – Ezzard Charles knocks out Nick Barone to retain his
heavyweight boxing title.

1954 – The Netherlands Antilles become a co-equal part of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands.

1961 – Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, psychologist and educator, is awarded
the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for pioneering studies that
influenced the Supreme Court decision on school

1961 – Police use tear gas and leashed dogs to stop a mass
demonstration by fifteen hundred African Americans in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana.

1980 – Dave Winfield signs a ten-year contract with the New York
Yankees, for somewhere between $1.3 and $1.5 million. He
will become the wealthiest player in the history of U.S.
team sports. The total package for the outfielder is said
to be worth over $22 million dollars.

1985 – Businessman J. Bruce Llewellyn and former basketball star
Julius Erving become owners of Philadelphia Coca-Cola
Bottling, the fourth-largest African American business in
the United States.

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

December 14 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 14 *

1829 – John Mercer Langston is born in Louisa County, Virginia.
He will have a distinguished career as an attorney,
educator, recruiter of soldiers for the all African
American 5th Ohio, 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments,
dean of the law school and president of Howard University,
diplomat, and U.S. congressman.

1915 – Jack Johnson becomes the world heavyweight boxing champion.

1920 – Clark Terry is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He will become
a trumpeteer and flugelhorn player who will be known for
his association with Duke Ellington on the 1950’s, his
innovative flugelhorn sound, and unusual mumbling scat

1939 – Ernest “Ernie” Davis is born in New Salem, Pennsylvania.
He will become the first African American to win the
Heisman Trophy (1961). He will join the ancestors on May
18, 1963, succumbing to acute monotypic leukemia before
he is able to play in the National Football League.

1945 – Stanley Crouch is born in Los Angeles, California. He will
become a drummer, poet, and writer for “The Village Voice.”
Among his books will be “Notes of a Hanging Judge,”
published in 1990.

1963 – Singer Dinah Washington joins the ancestors after a sleeping
pill overdose at the age of 39 in Detroit, Michigan. She
popularized many, many great songs, including “What a
Diff’rence a Day Makes”, “Unforgettable” and several hits
with Brook Benton, including “Baby (You’ve Got What it
Takes)” and “A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall
in Love)”.

1968 – Sammy Davis Jr. is awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for
his “superb and many-faceted talent,” and his contributions
to the civil rights movement.

1968 – Classes of San Francisco State University are suspended
after demonstrations by the Black Student Union and Third
World Liberation Front.

1972 – Johnny Rodgers, a running back with the University of
Nebraska, is awarded the Heisman Trophy. Rodgers gained a
total of 5,586 yards for the Cornhuskers in three years.

1980 – Elston Howard, a New York Yankee catcher for many years,
joins the ancestors.

1991 – Desmond Howard, of the University of Michigan wins the
Heisman trophy.

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

December 13 African American Historical Events

Today in Black History – December 13 *

1903 – Ella Baker is born in Norfolk, Virginia. A civil rights
worker who will direct the New York branch of the NAACP,
Baker will become executive director of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference in the 1960’s during
student integration of lunch counters in the southern
states. She also will play a key role in the formation
of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and its
voter registration drive in Mississippi. She will join
the ancestors on December 13, 1986 in New York City.

1913 – Archibald Lee Wright is born in Benoit, Mississippi.
Better known as Archie Moore, he will become a boxer and
win the light heavyweight crown in 1952. He will reign
as champion until 1959 and again in 1961. His will be one
of the longest professional careers in the history of
boxing. In 2002, he will be inducted into the St. Louis
Walk of Fame. In 2006, he will become a California Boxing
Hall of Fame Inductee and Ring Magazine will name him
boxing’s fourth Ring Magazine Best Punchers of all time
in 2003. He will join the ancestors on December 9, 1998.
He still holds the record for the most career knockouts
by any boxer, at 145.

1924 – Lawrence Eugene “Larry” Doby is born in Camden, South
Carolina. He will become the first African American in
baseball’s American League, playing for the Cleveland
Indians. He will be the 1954 RBI leader. His career
statistics include a .283 career average with 253 home
runs and 970 RBI in 1533 games. He will hit at least 20
homers in each season from 1949-56, leading the league in
1952 (32) and 1954 (32), and appearing between the top
ten leaders in seven seasons (1949, 1951-56). He will hit
for the cycle (1952), and also lead the league in runs in
1952 (104), RBI in 1954 (126), on base percentage in 1950
(.442), slugging average in 1952 (.541), and OPS in 1950
(.986). He will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
in 1998. He will join the ancestors on June 18, 2003 in
Montclair, New Jersey.

1944 – The first African American women complete officer training
for the WAVES (Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers for Emergency
Service). They had been admitted to the corps two months

1958 – Tim Moore, an actor best known for his portrayal of
Kingfish on the Amos ‘n’ Andy television show, joins the
ancestors at the age of 70.

1981 – Popular African American comedian Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham
joins the ancestors after a stroke at the age of 75. He
became famous in mainstream America, late in his life for
his “here comes de judge” routine popularized in
television’s “Laugh-In.”

1989 – President De Klerk of South Africa meets with imprisoned
Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk’s office in Cape Town, to talk
about the end of apartheid.

1997 – Charles Woodson, of the University of Michigan, is awarded
the Heisman Trophy. He is the first defensive player ever
to win the coveted prize.

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