* Today in Black History – June 19 *
1809 – The first African Baptist Church in the U.S. became
an organized body in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1862 – Slavery is abolished in U.S. territories by Congress.
1864 – In a famous duel between the USS Kearsage and the CSS
Alabama off Cherbourg, France, a brave African American
sailor, Joachim Pease, displays “marked coolness” and
will win a Congressional Medal of Honor. The CSS
Alabama will be sunk.
1865 – Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in
1863, slavery will continue in Texas, until General
Gordon Granger arrives in Galveston with Union forces,
announcing that all slaves in Texas are free. One
third of the people in Texas are slaves. Juneteenth
will be celebrated annually with picnics and barbecues
at public emancipation grounds, some of which will be
used past year 2000. Juneteenth will become a legal
Texas state holiday in 1980. “JUNETEENTH” celebrations
will come to commemorate the emancipation of African
1867 – P.B.S. Pinchback urges African Americans to use their
franchise privileges. “The Congress of the United
States has conferred upon our People the Elective
Franchise and it is our important duty to see that we
use it well….”
1868 – Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby removes the mayor and aldermen
of Columbia, South Carolina, and makes new appointments,
including three African Americans: C.M. Wilder, Joseph
Taylor and William Simonds.
1914 – Ernest Crichlow is born in Brooklyn, New York.
Studying at the Art Students League, Crichlow will be
associated with the Harlem Art Center during the 1930’s
as a noted painter and illustrator whose objectives will
be to advocate social commentary and communication
through art. He will join the ancestors on November 10,
1926 – DeFord Bailey becomes the first African American
musician to perform on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry show.
1936 – Joe Louis is knocked out by Max Schmeling in the 12th
round of their heavyweight boxing match. The German boxer
earns his victory at Yankee Stadium in New York.
1946 – Joe Louis fights Billy Conn, in New York City, in the
first championship prize fight to be televised.
1948 – Phylicia Ayers-Allen Rashad, actress (best known for
playing the part of Clair opposite Bill Cosby on the long-
running “Cosby Show”) is born in Houston, Texas.
1953 – Albert W. Dent, president of Dillard University, is
elected president of the National Health Council.
1953 – A bus boycott begins in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
1959 – Mark DeBarge is born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He will
become a recording artist as a member of the rhythm & blues
group DeBarge. The group will be composed of three brothers,
Randy, James and Eldra and sister Bunny. They will actively
perform from 1978 to 1991.
1962 – Paula Julie Abdul, singer/choreographer, is born in Van
1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is approved by the Senate,
73-27, after surviving an 83-day filibuster.
1965 – “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops tops the pop and
Rhythm & Blues charts. The Motown group will get their second
and only other number one hit with “Reach Out I’ll Be There”
in 1966. Their other hits include: “It’s the Same Old Song”,
“Standing in the Shadows of Love”, “Bernadette” and “Ain’t No
Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)” (their only million seller).
The group calls Motown, Detroit, Michigan home and got their
start in 1953 as the Four Aims. Levi Stubbs, Renaldo ‘Obie’
Benson, Lawrence Payton and Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir will place 24
hits on the charts from 1964 to 1988. They first recorded as
The Four Tops for Leonard Chess and Chess Records in 1956;
then went to Red Top and Columbia before signing with Berry
Gordy’s Motown label in 1963. The Tops, who will have no
personnel changes in their more than 35 years together will
be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
1968 – Fifty thousand demonstrators participate in Solidarity Day
March of the Poor People’s Campaign. Marchers walk from the
Washington Monument to the Lincoln Monument, where they are
addressed by Vice President Hubert Humphrey, presidential
candidate Eugene McCarthy, Coretta Scott King and Ralph
1969 – Illinois State troopers are ordered to Cairo, by the
governor, to quell racially motivated disturbances.
1971 – The mayor of Columbus, Georgia declares a state of emergency
due to racial disturbances.
1986 – Len Bias, a senior at the University of Maryland and the
1st-round pick of the Boston Celtics, joins the ancestors
after suffering a fatal cocaine-induced seizure.
1990 – Opening statements are presented in the drug and perjury
trial of Washington D.C. Mayor Marion S. Barry Jr. Barry is
later convicted of a single count of misdemeanor drug
possession, and sentenced to six months in prison. He will
resume a career in politics after prison, when he is elected
to the DC City Council representing Ward 8.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Rene’ A. Perry.