Today in Black History – December 11 *
1872 – America’s first African American governor takes office as
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became acting governor
1916 – John E. Bush, former slave and teacher, joins the
ancestors. He had been appointed receiver of the United
States Land Office in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1898.
1917 – 13 African American soldiers are hanged for alleged
participation in a Houston riot.
1917 – The Great Jazz migration begins as Joe Oliver leaves New
Orleans and settles in Chicago, to be joined later by
1917 – The NAACP’s Spingarn Medal is presented to Harry T.
Burleigh, composer and accomplished opera singer, for
excellence in the field of music.
1926 – Willie Mae Thornton is born in Montgomery, Alabama. She
will be better known as “Big Mama” Thornton, a blues
singer whose recording of “Hound Dog” in 1952 will be
mimicked by Elvis Presley, much to his success. She
also recorded the hits “Ball & Chain,” and “Stronger
than Dirt.” She will join the ancestors on July 25, 1984.
1928 – Lewis Latimore joins the ancestors in Flushing, New York.
Employed as a chief draftsman, Mr. Latimore created the
drawings for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone in 1870.
1931 – The British Statute of Westminster gives complete
legislative independence to South Africa.
1940 – Lev T. Mills, who will become an artist and chairman of
the art department at Spelman College, is born in
Tallahassee, Florida. His prints and mixed-media works
will be collected by the Victoria & Albert and British
Museums in London and the High Museum in Atlanta and
include glass mosaic murals for an Atlanta subway station
and the atrium floor of Atlanta’s City Hall.
1954 – Jermaine Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. He will become
a singer and musician with his brothers and perform with
their group, The Jackson Five.
1961 – U.S. Supreme Court reverses the conviction of sixteen
sit-in students who had been arrested in Baton Rouge,
1961 – Langston Hughes’ musical, “Black Nativity,” opens on
1964 – Sam Cooke joins the ancestors after being killed. Bertha
Franklin, Manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles,
claimed she killed the singer in self-defense after he’d
tried to rape a 22-year-woman and then turned on Franklin.
1980 – George Rogers, a running back for the University of South
Carolina, is awarded the Heisman Trophy. He achieved 21
consecutive 100-yard games with the gamecocks and led the
nation in rushing.
1981 – Muhammad Ali’s boxes in his 61st & last fight, losing to
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.