February 8 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – February 8 *

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1865 – The first African American major in the United States Army is a
physician, Dr. Martin Robinson Delany.

1894 – Congress repeals the Enforcement Act, which makes it easier for
some states to disenfranchise African American voters.

1925 – Marcus Garvey is sent to federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia for
mail fraud in connection with the sale of stock in his Black
Star Line. His prosecution was vigorously advocated by several
prominent African American leaders, including Robert Sengstacke
Abbott and others. Garvey was railroaded because of the power
he had amassed over the African American population of America.

1925 – Students stage a strike at Fisk University to protest the
policies of the white administration at the school.

1944 – Harry S. McAlpin of the “Daily World” in Atlanta, Georgia, is
the first African American journalist accredited to attend
White House press conferences.

1965 – Dr. Joseph B. Danquah, Ghanaian political leader, joins the
ancestors. He had been the leader of the United Gold Coast
Convention, a political body which had pressed the British for
a gradual relinquishing of colonial rule.

1968 – Gary Coleman is born in Zion, Ohio. He will become a child
actor portraying “Arnold” in the television series, “Different
Strokes,” which aired from 1978 to 1986. He will join the ancestors
on May 28, 2010.

1968 – Highway Patrol Officers kill three South Carolina State
University students during a demonstration in Orangeburg,
South Carolina. Students are protesting against a whites-only
Orangeburg bowling alley.

1970 – Alonzo Mourning is born in Chesapeake, Virginia. He will become
a basketball star at Georgetown University and will go on to
play for the NBA Miami Heat. He will be praised for his
courage for making a comeback after undergoing a kidney
transplant and years later winning his first NBA Championship
with the Miami Heat in 2006. Prior to the Heat, he will play
for the Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets.

1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers scores 27 points
while leading his team to a 111-109 victory over the Boston
Celtics. Abdul-Jabbar passes Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA career
record of 12,682 field goals.

1986 – Oprah Winfrey becomes the first African American woman to host
a nationally syndicated talk show.

1986 – 5′ 7″ Spud Webb, of the Atlanta Hawks, wins the NBA Slam Dunk
Competition.

1990 – CBS News suspends resident humorist Andy Rooney for racial
comments he supposedly made to a gay magazine, comments
Rooney denies making.

1995 – The U.N. Security Council approves sending 7,000 peacekeepers
to Angola to cement an accord ending 19 years of civil war.

2000 – Edna Griffin, an Iowa civil-rights pioneer best known for
integrating lunch counters, joins the ancestors at the age of
90. In 1948, Griffin led the fight against Katz Drug Store in
downtown Des Moines, which refused to serve blacks at its
lunch counter. Griffin staged sit-ins, picketed in front of
the store and filed charges against the store’s owner, Maurice
Katz, who was fined. The Iowa Supreme Court then enforced the
law which made it illegal to deny service based on race. She
organized Iowans to attend the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s
1963 march on Washington, D.C., and helped start the former
radio station KUCB. On May 15, 1999, Des Moines’ mayor
proclaimed “Edna Griffin Day.” On February 5, 2000, Griffin
was inducted into the Iowa African American Hall of Fame.

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

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