October 16 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – October 16 *

1849 – George Washington Williams is born in Bedford Springs,
Pennsylvania. He will become the first major African
American historian and founder of two African American
newspapers, “The Commoner” in Washington, DC, and
Cincinnati’s “The Southern Review.”

1849 – Charles L. Reason is named professor of belles-lettres
and French at Central College in McGrawville, New York.
William G. Allen and George B. Vashon also will teach
at the predominantly white college.

1855 – More than one hundred delegates from six states hold a
Black convention in Philadelphia.

1855 – John Mercer Langston, one of the first African Americans
to win public office, is elected clerk of Brownhelm
Township, Lorain County, Ohio.

1859 – Osborne Perry Anderson, a free man, is one of five
African Americans in John Brown’s raid on the United
States Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

1872 – South Carolina Republicans carry the election with a
ticket of four whites and four Blacks: Richard H.
Gleaves, lieutenant governor; Henry E. Hayne, secretary
of state; Francis L. Cardozo, treasurer; and Henry W.
Purvis, adjutant general. African Americans win 97 of
the 158 seats in the General Assembly and four of the
five congressional districts.

1876 – A race riot occurs in Cainhoy, South Carolina. Five
whites and one African American are killed.

1895 – The National Medical Association is founded in Atlanta,

1901 – Booker T. Washington dines at the White House with
President Theodore Roosevelt and is criticized in the

1932 – Chi Eta Phi sorority is founded in Washington, DC.
Aliene Carrington Ewell and 11 other women establish
the nursing society, which will grow to 72 chapters in
22 states, the District of Columbia, and Liberia and
will eventually admit both men and women.

1968 – Tommie Smith and John Carlos hold up their fists in a
Black Power salute during the 1968 Summer Games in
Mexico City, Mexico. Their actions will come to
symbolize the Black Power movement in sports and will
result in their suspension from the games two days

1973 – Maynard Jackson becomes the first African American mayor
of a major southern city when he was elected mayor of
Atlanta, Georgia. Jackson, at the age of 35, becomes
one of the youngest mayors of a major city to ever be

1984 – Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa is awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize for his role as a unifying figure
in the campaign to resolve the problems of apartheid in
South Africa.

1990 – Art Blakey, jazz drummer (Jazz Messengers), joins the
ancestors, after a bout with cancer, at the age of 71.

1995 – Minister Louis Farrakhan of The Nation of Islam speaks at
The Million Man March in Washington, D.C., which he
called for, and organized. It is known as the “Day of

2000 – The Million Family March, called for by Minister Louis
Farrakhan, is held in Washington, DC.

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


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