* Today in Black History – January 2 *
1800 – Members of the Free Black Commission of Philadelphia petitions
Congress to abolish slavery.
1831 – The “Liberator” is published for the first time. An abolitionist
newspaper, it is started by William Lloyd Garrison.
1837 – The first National Negro Congress is held in Washington, DC.
1872 – The Mississippi legislature meets and elects John R. Lynch as the
Speaker of the House, at the age of twenty-four.
1898 – Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander is born in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She will become the first African American to
earn a Ph.D. in economics. She will join the ancestors on
November 1, 1989.
1903 – President Theodore Roosevelt shuts down the U.S. Post Office in
Indianola, Mississippi, for refusing to accept its appointed
postmistress because she is an African American.
1915 – John Hope Franklin is born in Rentlesville, Oklahoma. He will
become a scholar and historian most famous for his book “From
Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans,” which will
sell over two million copies. He will join the ancestors on
March 25, 2009.
1947 – Calvin Hill is born in the Turner Station neighborhood in
Dundalk, Maryland. He will be a running back with a 12 year
National Football League career from 1969 to 1981. He played for
the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.
He will be named to the Pro Bowl team 4 times (1969, 1972, 1973
and 1974). He will be the father of NBA star Grant Hill.
1957 – Sugar Ray Robinson is defeated by Gene Fullmer for the world
middleweight boxing title.
1963 – Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “That’s The Way Love Is” is released by
1965 – The Selma, Alabama voter registration drive begins, led by the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a major effort to get
African American voters registered to vote in Alabama.
1970 – Clifton Reginald Wharton, Jr. becomes the first African American
president of Michigan State University and the first African
American president of a major American university in the
1970 – Dr. Benjamin E. Mays is named the first African American
president of the Atlanta, Georgia Board of Education.
1977 – Erroll Garner, pianist and composer, joins the ancestors in Los
Angeles, California. He was considered the best-selling jazz
pianist in the world, most famous for the jazz standard “Misty.”
1977 – Ellis Wilson joins the ancestors. An artist known for his
striking paintings of African Americans, his work had been
exhibited at the New York World’s Fair of 1939, the Harmon
Foundation, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Among his
best-known works are “Funeral Procession,” “Field Workers,” and
1980 – Larry Williams, rhythm and blues singer best known for “Bony
Maronie”, joins the ancestors. He is found dead with a
gunshot wound to the head at the age of 45.
1981 – David Lynch, singer with The Platters, joins the ancestors at the
age of 76.
1984 – W. Wilson Goode, the son of a sharecropper, is sworn in as the
first African American mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1991 – Sharon Pratt Dixon is sworn in as mayor of Washington, DC,
becoming the first African American woman to head a city of
Washington’s size and prominence.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perr.y