* Today in Black History – June 25 *
1876 – The most famous Native American uprising, at Little
Big Horn, begins in the Dakota territories (present-
day Montana). General George Armstrong Custer leads
three U.S. Army battalions to their deaths, including
Isaiah Dorman, an African American cavalryman, scout,
and intermediary between the Sioux and the United
States government, who had warned Custer of the
hostile Native American presence.
1933 – James Howard Meredith, the first African American
student at the University of Mississippi, is born in
1935 – Eddie Lee Floyd, rhythm and blues recording artist
(“California Girl,” “Knock on Wood”) and songwriter is
born in Montgomery, Alabama. His recording career did
not keep him from being one of his label’s most
productive writers. Virtually every Stax artist will
record his material, often co-written with either
Steve Cropper or Booker T. Jones, including Sam & Dave’s
“You Don’t Know What You Mean to Me”, Rufus Thomas’ “The
Breakdown”, Otis Redding’s “I Love You More Than Words
Can Say”, and Johnnie Taylor’s “Just the One (I’ve Been
Looking For)”. The latter will play during the opening
credits of director Harold Ramis’s film “Bedazzled.”
In 1980, he will also release material on the UK record
label I-Spy Records, owned and created by the UK band,
Secret Affair. He will join old Stax collaborators
Cropper and Dunn, and front The Blues Brothers Band on
a series of world tours, and in 1998, he and Wilson
Pickett will appear on screen dueting on “634-5789” in
Blues Brothers 2000. As well as singing with The Blues
Brothers Band, he will be the special guest with former
Rolling Stone Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings on several
dates in the US and the UK. In 2008, he will return to
Stax Records. His first new album in six years, “Eddie
Loves You So,” will be released in July 2008.
1935 – Joe Louis defeats Primo Carnera at Yankee Stadium.
1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order
8802 forbidding racial discrimination in war industries
and government service and creating the Federal
Employment Practices Committee.
1942 – Willis Reed is born in Hico, Louisiana. He will become
a professional basketball player for the New York Knicks
after an All-American career at Grambling State University.
An All-Star in his first seven professional years
(1964-71), he will lead the New York Knicks to their
first-ever title in 1970 before injuries began slowing
him down. For years, He will bang against NBA greats Wilt
Chamberlain, Wes Unseld and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and it
will gradually take its toll. Tendinitis in his knees will
obliterate the 1971 and 1972 seasons, but his unrelenting
will and spirit will enable him to overcome the
frustration and anguish and return in 1973. The left-
handed Reed will contribute athletically and spiritually
to another Knick NBA title in 1973. Torn cartilage in his
right knee will force him to retire in 1974, cutting short
a marvelous career. A physical inside player with a soft
outside jump shot, he will be the only player named MVP of
the All-Star Game, regular season and playoffs in the same
year (1970). A five-time All-NBA selection, he will tally
12,183 points (18.7 ppg) and grab 8,414 rebounds (12.9 rpg).
Playing with a Hall of Fame cast of Dave DeBusschere, Bill
Bradley, Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe and Jerry Lucas, He will
lead the Knicks in scoring five seasons and in rebounding
six seasons. His number 19 jersey will be retired by the
Knicks. He will be enshired in the Hall of Fame in 1982.
He will named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in
1947 – James Carter “Jimmie” Walker, comedian (“JJ” on “Good Times,”
“At Ease”) is born in the Bronx, New York City. In 2012,
his autobiography, “Dyn-o-mite! Good Times, Bad Times, Our
Times – A Memoir,” will be published by Da Capo Press.
1948 – Joe Louis KOs Jersey Joe Walcott in 11 rounds to retain the
heavyweight championship of the world.
1950 – Charles H. Houston is posthumously awarded the NAACP’s
Spingarn Medal for his legal work with the association
Legal Committee. He is cited as a “stalwart defender of
democracy, inspired teacher of youth, and leader in the
1964 – Racially motivated disturbances erupt in Saint Augustine,
Florida, when a mob of 800 whites attacks part of a parade
of several hundred African Americans participating in an
1968 – Lincoln Alexander of Hamilton West in Ontario, Canada, is
the first Canadian of African descent to become a member
of the Canadian Parliament.
1968 – Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his first major league
game playing for the San Francisco Giants.
1975 – Mozambique gains its independence from Portugal. Samora M.
Machel, leader of the Mozambique Liberation Front, becomes
the republic’s first president.
2005 – The NAACP selects retired Verizon executive Bruce S. Gordon
to be its new president.
Information is retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry