* Today in Black History – August 9 *
1848 – The Free Soil party is organized at a Buffalo, New York
convention attended by African American abolitionists.
1898 – Robert Nelson Cornelius Nix, Sr. is born in Orangeburg,
South Carolina. An 11-term congressman, he will be the
first African American congressional representative
from Pennsylvania, when he is elected in 1958. He will
join only three other African Americans in Congress,
William Dawson of Illinois, and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
of New York and Charles Diggs, Jr. of Michigan. He will
join the ancestors on June 22, 1987.
1909 – George William Crockett, Jr., is born in Jacksonville,
Florida. He will become the first African American lawyer
with the U.S. Department of Labor. Crockett will begin
his judicial career in Michigan in 1966, when he is
elected to the Recorder’s Court, a post he will hold until
1978. He will also serve as a visiting judge in the
Michigan Court of Appeals and acting corporation counsel
for the city of Detroit. He will become a congressman in
1980 at the age of 71 and will be re-elected to serve each
succeeding term until his retirement in 1991. He will join
the ancestors on September 7, 1997.
1936 – Jesse Owens wins his fourth gold medal of the 1936 Berlin
Olympic Games in the 4×100-meter relay. His relay team set
a new world record of 39.8 seconds, which held for 20 years.
In their strong showing in track-and-field events at the
XIth Olympiad, Jesse Owens and other African American
athletes struck a propaganda blow against Nazi leader Adolf
Hitler, who planned to use the Berlin Games as a showcase
of supposed Aryan superiority.
1943 – Kenneth Howard Norton is born in Jacksonville, Illinois. He
will become a professional boxer. In 1973, he will fight
Muhammad Ali. He will break Ali’s jaw and go on to win by
a split decision. His victory over Ali will make him the
NABF Heavyweight Champion and it will be the second defeat
for “The Greatest” in his career. He will also win the WBC
heavyweight championship in 1978.
1955 – Douglas Lee Williams is born in Zachary, Louisiana. He will
become a NFL Quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and
Washington Redskins. While playing for the Redskins, he
will lead the team to a victory in Superbowl XXII and will
be named Most Valuable Player.
1960 – A racially motivated disturbance breaks out in Jacksonville,
Florida after ten days of sit-in demonstrations, resulting
in fifty persons injured.
1961 – James B. Parsons becomes the first African American
appointed to the U.S. District Court.
1963 – Whitney Elizabeth Houston is born in Newark, New Jersey. She
will achieve fame as a single artist with her 1985 debut
album, which will sell over nine million copies, have three
number-one singles and earn a Grammy for the song “Saving All
My Love For You.” In 2009, the Guinness World Records will
cite her as the most awarded female act of all time. She will
become one of the world’s best-selling music artists, selling
over 200 million records worldwide. She will release six
studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack
albums, all of which will achieve iamond, multi-platinum,
platinum or gold certification. Her crossover appeal on the
popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV,
starting with her video for “How Will I Know”, will influence
several African American female artists to follow in her
footsteps. She will be the only artist to chart seven
consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She will be the
second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to
have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards on the
Billboard magazine year-end charts. Her 1985 debut album
“Whitney Houston” will become the best-selling debut album by
a female act at the time of its release. The album will be
named Rolling Stone’s best album of 1986, and be ranked at
number 254 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums
of All Time. Her second studio album “Whitney” (1987) will
become the first album by a female artist to debut at number
one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Her first acting role
will be as the star of the feature film “The Bodyguard” (1992).
The film’s original soundtrack will win the 1994 Grammy Award
for Album of the Year. Its lead single “I Will Always Love
You”, will become the best-selling single by a female artist
in music history. With that album, she will become the first
act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million
copies of an album within a single week period under the
Nielsen SoundScan system. The album will make her the top
female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all
time, at number four. She will continue to star in movies and
contribute to their soundtracks, including the films “Waiting
to Exhale” (1995) and “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996). “The
Preacher’s Wife” soundtrack will become the best-selling gospel
album in history. In September 2011, The Hollywood Reporter
will announce that she will produce and star alongside Jordin
Sparks and Mike Epps in the remake of the 1976 film “Sparkle.”
In the film, she will portray Sparks’ “not-so encouraging
mother.” She will also be credited as an executive producer of
the film. On February 11, 2012, she will join the ancestors
after being found transitioned in her guest room at The Beverly
Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California. The official coroner’s
report will show that she had accidentally drowned in the
bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as
contributing factors. News of her transition will coincide with
the 2012 Grammy Awards and feature prominently in American and
international media. The movie “Sparkle,” will be released on
August 17, 2012 in the United States.
1967 – Deion Luwynn Sanders is born in Fort Myers, Florida. He will
attend Florida State University, where he will excel at both
football and baseball. After college, he will become a
National Football League cornerback and Major League baseball
outfielder. He will become a NFL All-Pro, and as a major
league center fielder, will lead both leagues in triples in
1992. He will be considered one of the most versatile
athletes in sporting history because he will play two sports
at multiple positions. In the NFL, he will play primarily at
cornerback, but also occasionally as a wide receiver, kick
returner, and punt returner. He will play for the Atlanta
Falcons, the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the
Washington Redskins, and the Baltimore Ravens, winning the
Super Bowl with both the 49ers and the Cowboys. In baseball,
he will play for the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves, the
Cincinnati Reds, and the San Francisco Giants. After his
playing days were over, he will become a NFL network analyst.
He will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton,
Ohio on August 6, 2011.
1971 – Le Roy (Satchel) Paige is inducted into the Baseball Hall of
1984 – British decathlete Daley Thompson becomes the second man in
history to win the decathlon back-to-back in the Olympic
Games, while setting the record of 8,847 points.
1987 – Beatrice Foods, International is sold to TLC Group, a New York
investment firm led by Reginald Lewis, an African American
businessman and entrepreneur. It is the largest business
acquisition ever by an African American.
1987 – “Mean” Joe Greene and Gene Upshaw are inducted into the
Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
2003 – Gregory Hines, tap dancing virtuoso, joins the ancestors at
the age of 57 after succumbing to liver cancer. He
appeared on television, Broadway and in films.
Information retrieved from the Munirah Chronicle and is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry.