* Today in Black History – October 25 *
1806 – Benjamin Banneker joins the ancestors at the age of 74
in Ellicott Mills, Maryland. Banneker was a self-
taught mathematician and builder (at age 21) of the
first striking clock built in the United States. An
amateur astronomer, Banneker’s calculations for solar
and lunar eclipses appeared in 29 editions of his
almanacs, published from 1792 to 1797.
1915 – Attorney James L. Curtis is named minister to Liberia.
1926 – Crisis magazine, led by editor W.E.B. DuBois, awards its
first prizes in literature and art. Among the winners
will be Arna Bontemps’ poem “Nocturne at Bethesda,”
Countee Cullen’s poem “Thoughts in a Zoo,” Aaron
Douglas’ painting “African Chief” and a portrait by
1940 – The Committee on the Participation of Negroes in the
National Defense Program met with President Roosevelt.
1940 – The National Newspaper Publishers Association is
1940 – The Spingarn Medal is presented to Dr. Louis T. Wright
for his civil rights leadership and his contributions
as a surgeon.
1940 – Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. is promoted to Brigadier
General, the first African American to attain that rank
in the United States Army or any other branch of the
1958 – Ten thousand students, led by Jackie Robinson, Harry
Belfonte and A. Phillip Randolph, participate in the
Youth March for integrated schools in Washington, DC.
1958 – Daisy Bates, head of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP,
and the nine students who integrated Little Rocks’s
Central High School are awarded the Spingarn Medal for
their courage and leadership in the civil rights
1962 – Uganda is admitted as the 110th member of the United
1968 – The city of Chicago officially recognizes Jean Baptiste
Pointe du Sable as its first settler.
1973 – Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian marathoner who won the Olympic
Gold Medal in 1960 and 1964, joins the ancestors at
the age of 46.
1976 – Clarence “Willie” Norris, the last surviving member of
the nine Scottsboro Boys, who were convicted in 1931
of the alleged rape of two white women on a freight
train, is pardoned by Governor George Wallace. Norris
had spent 15 years in prison and had been a fugitive
fleeing parole in Alabama in 1946.
1983 – Mary Francis Berry, professor of history and law at
Howard University, and two other members of the Civil
Rights Commission are fired by President Ronald Reagan.
Considered a champion of minority concerns on the
Commission, Berry will charge the administration with
attempting to “shut up” criticism. She will later sue
and be reinstated.
1983 – The United States and six other Caribbean nations
invade the island nation of Grenada.
1988 – Two units of the Ku Klux Klan and eleven individuals
are ordered to pay $1 million to African Americans who
were attacked during a brotherhood rally in
predominately white Forsythe County, Georgia.
1990 – Evander Holyfield knocks out James “Buster” Douglas in
the third round of their twelve-round fight to become
the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
Holyfield’s record stood at 25-0, with 21 knockouts.
1997 – The Million Woman March, organized by grass root sisters,
led by Sister Phile Chionesu and Sister Asia Coney,
takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event
is attended by 1.3 million attendees (300,000 to 1
million according to Philadelphia officials). The MWM
had been promoted by word of mouth and avoided
traditional media and mainstream groups, such as
sororities and many civil rights groups. Sis. Chionesu
calls the march “a declaration of independence from
ignorance, poverty, enslavement, and all the things
that have happened to us that has helped to bring about
the confusion and disharmony that we experience with
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.