March 14 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 14 *

1794 – Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin, making it possible to clean
50 pounds of cotton a day, compared to a pound a day before the
invention. This will make cotton king and increase the demand
for slave labor.

1829 – African American editor John Russworm writes an editorial in
“Freedom’s Journal” supporting the colonization of Africa by
African Americans.

1889 – Menelik becomes ruler of Abyssinia (Ethiopia). Menelik II will
be the Ethiopian emperor (1889-1909) during the frantic race
for African protectorates by European countries. He will
transform the country from a collection of semi-independent
states into a united nation. As ruler of the kingdom of Shoa,
in central Ethiopia, he will conquer the Oromo people to the
south and annex their land. During Menelik’s reign he
suppressed the Ethiopian slave trade, curbed the feudal
nobility, and founded the city of Addis Ababa.

1917 – The first training camp for “colored” officers is established
by the U.S. Army in Des Moines, Iowa, after a long lobbying
effort by the NAACP, led by Joel E. Spingarn and James Weldon
Johnson. The camp will issue 678 officer commissions to
African Americans, compared to 380,000 African American
enlisted men mobilized in World War l.

1933 – Quincy Delight Jones is born in Chicago, Illinois. A trumpeter
and record producer, he will collaborate with many major
American and French recording artists, including Michael
Jackson on the latter’s “Thriller” and “Bad” albums, two of
the most successful records during the 1980’s. A musical
innovator, in 1991, Jones will receive two Grammy awards for
producer of the year and album of the year for “Back on the
Block.” To date, he will accumulate over 25 Grammy awards,
Grammy’s Trustees Award in 1989, and the Grammy’s Legends
Award in 1990. He will also be Musical Director for Mercury
Records, then Vice President. He will also establish Qwest
Records.

1934 – Shirley Scott is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She will
become an accomplished jazz organist, with a blues orientation
to most of her presentations. She started her career playing
with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis in 1956 and continued until 1960.
She will record most of her work with her ex-husband, Stanley
Turrentine from 1961 to 1970. She will join the ancestors on
March 10, 2002, succumbing to heart failure. Her heart failure
will be hastened by the diet drug fen-phen. She will win an
$8 million settlement in February, 2000 against American Home
Products, the manufacturers of the drug cocktail.

1946 – Wes Unseld is born in Louisville, Kentucky. His early career
plans will include becoming a teacher, but that thought will
be put on hold when he becomes the second overall pick in the
1968 draft by the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets. In 1969, Unseld’s
debut will be memorable. He becomes only the second NBA
player besides Wilt Chamberlain to be named Rookie of the Year
and MVP in the same season. During a solid 13-year NBA career,
spent entirely with the Bullets organization, Unseld will
become a superb position rebounder and retire as the NBA’s
seventh all-time leading rebounder with 13,769 boards, a 14.0
per game average. Unseld, who will play in five NBA All-Star
games, ranks as the Bullets all-time leader in minutes played
(35,832) and rebounds. He is only one of 20 players in NBA
history to score more than 10,000 points (10,624) and grab more
than 10,000 rebounds. The pinnacle of Unseld’s career will
come in 1978, when he and fellow Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes lead
Washington past Seattle for the NBA championship. For his
efforts, Unseld will be named MVP of the championship series.
After his retirement from the NBA, he will become the coach of
the Bullets.

1947 – William J. Jefferson is born in Lake Providence, Louisiana. He
will become a Louisiana state senator in 1979 and, in 1990,
the first African American congressman elected from the state
since Charles Edmund Nash left office in 1876. On November 13,
2009, he will be sentenced to thirteen years in federal prison
for bribery after a corruption investigation, the longest
sentence ever handed down to a congressman for bribery or any
other crime. He will begin serving that sentence in May, 2012 at
a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Beaumont, Texas.

1960 – Kirby Puckett is born in Chicago, Illinois. He will become a
major league baseball outfielder. He will be selected by the
Minnesota Twins in the first round (third overall) of the
January 1982 free-agent draft and will spend his entire 14-year
professional career in the Twins organization. Not only will
he become a 10-time All-Star, in 1993 he will become the first
Twins player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP Award. He will
be the Twins’ all-time leader in hits, runs, doubles and total
bases. He will retire on July 12, 1996, after losing vision in
his right eye due to glaucoma, and will become the Twins’
executive vice president of baseball. He will join the
ancestors in Phoenix, AZ, on March 6, 2006 after succumbing to
a stroke.

1967 – In the first NFL-AFL common draft, the Baltimore Colts pick
Bubba Smith as the first pick.

1985 – Bill Cosby captures four of the People’s Choice Awards for “The
Cosby Show.” The awards were earned from results of a
nationwide Gallup Poll.

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

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