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 on
October 5, 1992.

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

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.

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