April 24 African American Historical Events

* Today in Black History – April 24 *

1867 – The first national meeting of the Ku Klux Klan is held at
the “Maxwell House” in Nashville, Tennessee.

1867 – African American demonstrators stage ride-ins on Richmond,
Virginia streetcars. Troops were mobilized to restore

1884 – The Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia
is founded. It is the first African American medical

1886 – Augustine Tolton is ordained as a Catholic priest after
studying at the College of the Propagation of the Faith in
Rome for five years. Tolton will distinguish himself as a
speaker and a pastor at Catholic churches in New Jersey,
New York City, Chicago, and Quincy, Illinois.

1895 – The National Association of Colored Physicians, Dentists and
Pharmacists is organized at the First Congregational Church
in Atlanta, Georgia. It will change its name to the
National Medical Association in 1903.

1937 – Joseph “Joe” Henderson is born in Lima, Ohio. He will make
his initial reputation in what might be called Blue Note
Records’ second classic phase in the early 1960s, when a
new generation of young musicians began to extend the basic
hard bop framework of the label’s seminal 1950s output in
more experimental directions. He will be one of the players
at the core of that development, both as a leader and in
recordings as a sideman with artists like Kenny Dorham, Lee
Morgan, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner, Larry Young and Horace
Silver, among others. His firm grasp of the root idiom
combined with his experimental nature made him an ideal
exponent of the new style, which did not abandon jazz
structures in as radical a fashion as the free jazz
movement. He will join the ancestors on June 30, 2001 in
San Francisco.

1943 – Speaking on race relations and racial equality at Wayne
State University, Langston Hughes says, “I am for the
Christianity that fights poll tax, race discrimination,
lynching, injustice and inequality of the masses. I don’t
feel that religion should be used to beat down Jews [and]
Negroes, and to persecute other minority groups.

1944 – In Smith v. Allwright, the Supreme Court rules that a
“white primary” law that excludes African Americans from
voting is a violation of the 15th Amendment and thus

1948 – James Melvin Washington is born in Knoxville, Tennessee.
He will become a leading theologian whose emphasis was the
African American religious experience. He will be a
professor at the Union Theological Seminary in New York
from 1975 until he joins the ancestors on May 3, 1997. His
published works will include “Frustrated Fellowship: The
Black Baptist Quest for Social Power” (1986), “A Testament
of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr.”
(1986), and “Conversations with God: Two Centuries of
Prayers by African Americans” (1994).

1954 – Wesley Cook is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will
become an activist during his teenage years and will be
arrested and beaten for demonstrating against presidential
candidate governor George Wallace of Alabama. He will be a
founding member of the Philadelphia chapter of the Black
Panther Party in 1968 and will be known as Mumia Abu-Jamal.
After spending the summer months in 1970 working on the BPP
newspaper in California, he will return to Philadelphia to
work as a radio journalist with the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting and will have his own talk show on station
WUHY. He will lose his position as a radio journalist after
his continual criticism of mayor Frank Rizzo and
specifically his coverage of the police treatment of the
militant organization MOVE. While working as a taxicab
driver, he will be accused of killing a Philadelphia
policeman, Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Faulkner is killed in
an altercation with Mumia’s brother, after wounding Mumia.
Mumia is presumed to be the shooter and will be convicted
of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. This
verdict is handed down ignoring testimony of witnesses who
saw the killer flee and irregularities during the trial.
On death row since the trial, Mumia will have numerous
appeals turned down. His case will attract worldwide
attention as a racist miscarriage of justice.

1965 – An armed revolt against the dictatorship in the Dominican
Republic is ended with an invasion by United States troops.
Participating in the revolt is Maximiliano Gomez Horatio,
the leader of the Dominican Popular Movement.

1972 – James M. Rodger, Jr., of Durham, North Carolina, is honored
in a White House ceremony as National Teacher of the Year.
He is the first African American to receive the honor.

1972 – Robert Wedgeworth is named director of the American Library
Association. He is the first African American to head the

1993 – Oliver Tambo joins the ancestors in Johannesburg, South
Africa at the age of 75. He was the former president of
the African National Congress (ANC), law partner of Nelson
Mandela and an important anti-apartheid leader.

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


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