March 1 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 1 *

1739 – The British sign a peace treaty with the Black “Chimarrones”
in Jamaica.

1780 – Pennsylvania becomes the first state to abolish slavery.

1841 – Blanche Kelso Bruce, the first African American to serve a
full term in the United States Senate, is born a slave in
Prince Edward County, Virginia. He will join the ancestors on
March 17, 1898.

1864 – Rebecca Lee becomes the first African American woman to
receive an American medical degree, when she graduates from
the New England Female Medical College in Boston. She,
along with Rebecca Cole and Susan McKinney, is one of the
first African American female physicians.

1871 – James Milton Turner is named minister to Liberia and becomes
the first African American diplomat accredited to an African
country. James W. Mason was named minister in March, 1870,
but never took his post.

1875 – The (first) Civil Rights Bill is passed by Congress. The bill,
which gives African Americans equal rights in inns, theaters,
public transportation, and other public amusements, will be
overturned by the Supreme Court in 1883.

1914 – Ralph Waldo Ellison is born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He
will become a well known author, best known for his book
“Invisible Man,” for which he will win the 1953 National Book
Award. He will join the ancestors on April 16, 1994.

1927 – Harry Belafonte is born in New York City. He will become a
successful folk singer, actor, and winner of the first Emmy
awarded to an African American. His commitment to civil and
human rights will lead him to march with Martin Luther King,
Jr. in Montgomery, Selma, and Washington, DC. Among his
achievements will be Kennedy Center Honors in 1989.

1940 – Richard Wright’s “Native Son” is published by Harper and

1949 – Joe Louis retires as heavyweight boxing champion after holding
the title for a record eleven years and eight months.

1960 – Four national chain stores announce on October 17 that
food counters in about 150 stores in 112 cities in North
Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee,
Missouri, Maryland, Florida and Oklahoma have been integrated.

1960 – The Alabama State Board of Education expels nine Alabama State
University students for participating in sit-in

1960 – Montgomery, Alabama, police break up a protest demonstration
on the Alabama State University campus and arrest thirty-five
students, a teacher and her husband.

1960 – San Antonio, Texas, becomes the first major Southern city to
integrate lunch counters.

1960 – Pope John elevates Bishop Laurian Rugambwa of Tanganyika to
the College of Cardinals, the first cardinal of African
descent in the modern era.

1963 – Carl T. Rowan is named United States ambassador to Finland.

1967 – The House of Representatives votes to expel Adam Clayton
Powell, Jr. from the 90th Congress. (The Supreme Court will
rule in 1969 that Powell will have to be seated.)

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


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