November 5 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – November 5 *

1828 – Theodore Sedgwick Wright becomes the first African 
American person to get a Theology Degree in the United 
States, when he graduates from Princeton Theological 

1867 – First Reconstruction constitutional convention opens in
Montgomery, Alabama. It has eighteen African Americans 
and ninety whites in attendance.

1901 – Etta Moten (later Barnett) is born in San Antonio, Texas. 
She will become an actress starring in “Porgy and Bess” 
and have a successful career on Broadway. She will 
appear in the movie “Flying Down to Rio”(1933), singing 
and dancing the Carioca, and as a singer in “The Gold 
Diggers of 1933″(1933). In her later years, she will be 
active as an Advisory Board Member of The Black Academy 
of Arts and Letters. 

1917 – The Supreme Court (Buchanan vs Warley) rules that a 
Louisville, Kentucky, ordinance mandating blacks and 
whites live in separate areas is unconstitutional.

1926 – Negro History Week is initiated by Carter G. Woodson. 

1931 – Ike Turner is born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He will 
become a singer, songwriter/pianist and will join forces
in 1960 with his wife, Tina Turner.

1935 – The Maryland Court of Appeals orders the University of 
Maryland to admit African American student, Donald 

1956 – Art Tatum, joins the ancestors at age 46 in Los Angeles, 
California. Despite impaired vision, he received formal 
training in music and developed a unique improvisational 
style. He was an accomplished jazz pianist who impressed 
even classicist Vladimir Horowitz. Perhaps the most 
gifted technician of all jazzmen, Tatum had other assets 
as well, among them an harmonic sense so acute as to make 
him an almost infallible improviser. This aspect of his 
style, as well as his great rhythmic freedom, influenced 
the young players who became the founders of a new style 
called bebop.

1956 – The Nat King Cole Show premiers. The 15-minute show 
starring the popular singer will run until June 1957 and 
reappear in July in a half-hour format. The first network 
variety series hosted by an African American star, it was
canceled due to lack of support by advertisers. 

1968 – Eight African American males and the first African American 
female, Shirley Chisholm, are elected to the U.S. Congress. 
Including previously elected Massachusetts senator Edward 
Brooke, it is the largest number of African American 
representatives to serve in Congress since the 44th 
Congress of 1875-1877. 

1970 – The National Guard is mobilized in Henderson, North 
Carolina, as a result of racially motivated civil 

1974 – George Brown of Colorado and Mervyn Dymally of California 
are the first African American lieutenant governors elected
in the 20th century, while Walter Washington becomes the 
first African American to be elected mayor of the District 
of Columbia, and Harold Ford is elected to Congress from 
Tennessee, the first African American from the state. 

1974 – The Spingarn Medal is awarded to Damon J. Keith “in tribute 
to his steadfast defense of constitutional principles as 
revealed in a series of memorable decisions he handed down 
as a United States District Court judge.”

1989 – The first memorial to the civil rights movement in the 
United States is dedicated at a ceremony in Montgomery, 
Alabama. The memorial was commissioned by the Southern 
Poverty Law Center, a legal and educational organization 
located in Montgomery.

1994 – George Foreman, 45, becomes boxing’s oldest heavyweight 
champion by knocking out Michael Moorer in the 10th round 
of their WBA fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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


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