* Today in Black History – February 26 *
1844 – James Edward O’Hara is born in New York City to an Irish
merchant and a West Indian woman. He will move to North
Carolina after completing his basic education. After studying
law at Howard University, he will be admitted to the North
Carolina bar and become a practicing attorney in Halifax
county and active in state politics. He will later become
the second African American to be elected to congress from
North Carolina. He will serve two terms,in the forty-eighth
and forty-ninth congress. He will join the ancestors on
September 15, 1905.
1870 – Wyatt Outlaw, Town Commissioner in Graham, North Carolina, joins
the ancestors after being executed (lynched) by the “White
Brotherhood,” The Ku Klux Klan. He was president of the
Alamance County Union League of America (an anti Ku Klux Klan
group), helped to establish the Republican party in North
Carolina and advocated establishing a school for African
Americans. The Klan will hang him from an oak tree near the
Alamance County Courthouse. Dozens of Klansmen will be arrested
for the murders of Outlaw and other African Americans in
Alamance and Caswell Counties. Many of the arrested men will
confess, but, despite protests by Governor William W. Holden,
a federal judge in Salisbury will order them released.
1926 – Dr. Carter G. Woodson starts Negro History Week. This week
will be expanded to Black History Month in 1976.
1926 – Theodore “Tiger”(The Georgia Deacon) Flowers becomes the first
African American middleweight champion of the world. He will
defeat Harry Greb in fifteen rounds to win the title in New
1928 – Antoine “Fats” Domino is born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He
will be a pioneering Rhythm & Blues pianist whose hits will
include “Ain’t That A Shame” and “Blueberry Hill.” He will
have 35 Top 40 American hits and employed a music style based
on traditional rhythm and blues ensembles of bass, piano,
electric guitar, drums, and saxophone.[
1930 – “The Green Pastures” opens on Broadway at the Mansfield Theater
with Richard B. Harrison as “De Lawd.”
1946 – A race riot in Columbia, Tennessee results in two deaths and
ten injured persons.
1964 – Boxer Cassius Clay converts to Islam, adopting the name
Muhammad Ali, saying, “I believe in the religion of
Islam…believe in Allah and peace…”
1965 – During civil rights demonstrations in Selma, Alabama, that were
designed to get the attention of the Johnson administration in
Washington, DC, police violence erupts against the marchers.
In an effort to protect his mother from a beating, 26 year old
Jimmie Lee Jackson strikes a police officer. He will join the
ancestors after being shot and killed. Civil rights activists,
outraged by his death, will plan a march from the Edmund Pettus
Bridge in Selma to Montgomery.
1966 – Andrew Brimmer becomes the first African American governor of
the Federal Reserve Board when he is appointed by President
Lyndon B. Johnson.
1984 – Rev. Jesse Jackson acknowledges that he referred to New York
City as “Hymietown.”
1985 – At the 27th Grammy Awards, Best Album of the Year for “Can’t
Slow Down”, is presented to Lionel Richie. Tina Turner is a
big winner with Best Song, Best Record and Best Pop Vocal
Performance by a Female for “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.