1867 – Tennessee Gov. William Gannaway Brownlow issues a proclamation
warning that the unlawful events of the Ku Klux Klan “must and
SHALL cease” and that militia would be immediately organized
against the organization. This is in response to Ku Klux Klan
activities in a nine county area. The Klan’s aim is to
reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South
during the Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican’s party’s
infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish
control of the black labor force, and restore racial
subordination in every aspect of Southern life. (Editor’s Note:
The KKK was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee on December 15, 1865)
1870 – Hiram Rhoades Revels of Mississippi becomes the first African
American Senator. He is elected by the Mississippi legislature
to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jefferson Davis. After the
Senate term expires, he will become the first President of
Alcorn A&M College, in Lorman, Mississippi (the first African
American land-grant institution in the United States).
1948 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is ordained as a Baptist minister.
After graduating from Morehouse College in June, 1948, he will
enter the Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
1964 – Twenty-two year old Cassius Clay becomes world heavyweight
boxing champion when he defeats Sonny Liston in Miami, Florida.
The feared Liston is the favorite, but Clay predicts he will
“float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Soon after his
victory, Clay will assume his Muslim name of Muhammad Ali. He
will be considered by many, the greatest heavyweight champion
of all time.
1978 – Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. joins the ancestors at the age of
58 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. James was an early graduate
of the Tuskegee Institute Flying School and flew more than 100
missions during the Korean War. He was the first African
American to achieve the rank of four-star general.
1980 – Robert E. Hayden, African American poet and former poetry
consultant to the Library of Congress, joins the ancestors in
Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hayden’s most notable works include
“Words in Mourning Time and Angle of Ascent: New and Selected
1991 – Adrienne Mitchell becomes the first African American woman to
die in a combat zone in the Persian Gulf War when she joins
the ancestors after being killed in her military barracks in
Dharan, Saudi Arabia.
1992 – Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle, Lisa Fischer, Luther Vandross,
B.B. King, Boyz II Men, and James Brown, among others, win
Grammy awards in ceremonies hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.
1999 – A jury in Jasper, Texas, sentences white supremacist John
William King to death for chaining James Byrd Jr., an African
American man, to a pickup truck and dragging him to pieces.
2000 – The killers of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo, four
white New York police officers, are acquitted of all charges
by a jury in Albany, New York. Diallo had been fired upon 41
times, with 19 shots hitting him while holding only his wallet
in the vestibule of his own home.
Munirah Chronicle is edited by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry