March 24 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – March 24 *

1912 – Dorothy Irene Height is born in Richmond, Virginia. In 1965,
she will inaugurate the Center for Racial Justice, which is
still a major initiative of the National YWCA. She will
serve as the 10th National President of the Delta Sigma
Theta Sorority, Inc. from 1946 to 1957, before becoming
president of the National Council of Negro Women in 1958.
Working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy
Wilkins, Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph and others, She
will participate in virtually all major civil and human
rights event in the 1950’s and 1960’s. For her tireless
efforts on behalf of the less fortunate, President Ronald
Reagan will present her the Citizens Medal Award for
distinguished service to the country in 1989. She will
receive the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP in July, 1993.
She will be inducted into the “National Women’s Hall of
Fame” in October, 1993 and President Bill Clinton will
present her the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in
August 1994. She will join the ancestors on April 20, 2010.

1941 – “Native Son,” a play adapted from Richard Wright’s novel of
the same name, opens at the St. James Theatre in New York
City.

1944 – Patricia Louise Holt is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
She will become a singer best known as Patti Labelle. As a
teenager, she and Cindy Birdsong (later a member of the
Supremes) will sing with the Ordettes. When two girls
leave the group, Nona Hendrix and Sarah Dash will sign on
and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells will be born in 1961.
By the next year, they will have their first multimillion
seller, “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman.” With other hits,
including “All Or Nothing” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone,”
the group will develop a strong following worldwide. After
years of success and being “Rocked and Rolled out,” as
Patti describes it, the group will disband on good terms
in 1977. She will continue to perform as a solo artist and
will release top-selling albums. She will receive numerous
awards including Philadelphia’s Key to the City, a medal
from the Congressional Black Caucus, a citation from
Congress on her 20th anniversary in the music business,
another citation from President Reagan, a cable ACE, the
B’nai B’rith Creative Achievement Award, two NAACP
Entertainer of the Year Awards, the NAACP Image Award for
three consecutive years, the Ebony Achievement Award, the
Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award, three Emmy
nominations, eight Grammy nominations and a 1992 Grammy
Award for Best R&B Female Vocal performance for her album
“Burnin.”

1958 – Bill Russell, center for the Boston Celtics, becomes the
NBA’s MVP. He is again named as MVP in 1961, 1962, 1963
and 1965.

1962 – Benny ‘Kid’ Paret is knocked out in the twelfth round by
Emile Griffith, in a welterweight title bout in New York
City. Paret will join the ancestors 10 days later.

1969 – Joseph Kasavubu, President of the Congo, joins the ancestors.
In 1960, he and Mobutu Sese Seko overthrew the government of
Patrice Lumumba.

1972 – Z. Alexander Looby, the first African American to serve on
the Nashville City Council, joins the ancestors in
Nashville, Tennessee. He had also been a successful
Nashville attorney, in the forefront of the Civil Rights
Movement, for many years. In 1960, he survived the April
19th bombing of his home.

1975 – Muhammad Ali defeats Chuck Wepner in a 15-round bout to
retain his world heavyweight crown.

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

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