Douglas Wilder is Sworn in as Governor of Virginia Jan13

Douglas Wilder is Sworn in as Governor of Virginia...

1990 – Lawrence Douglas Wilder of Virginia is Inaugurated as the First Black Governor On this date in 1990, Lawrence Douglas Wilder of Virginia is inaugurated as the first Black to be elected governor in the United States. Wilder was elected in Virginia by a margin of approximately 7,00 votes (less than half of a percentage point). His victory was  confirmed after a recount. He was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.. That Wilder was the first Black elected Governor in the history of the United States was novel enough, but that he was elected to Virginia, the Capital of the Confederacy made the victory even more significant. Wilder was presented the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP and served a full term, leaving office in 1994. 1925 – Benjamin Hooks born Benjamin Hooks was born on this day in 1925 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a Baptist minister and was a civil rights activist. He was a graduated of DePaul University School of Law, receiving a Juris Doctor in 1948. He passed the Bar in Tennessee and was one of the few Black lawyers in Memphis. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1956  and in 1965 was appointed to serve on the Shelby County Criminal Court, thus becoming the first Black criminal court judge in the history of Tennessee. He joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and would later serve as the executive director of the NAACP in November of 1976. He served in that capacity for for 15 years. Hooks died on April 15, 2010.   1953 – Don Barksdale First Black to Play in an NBA All-Star Game Don Barksdale becomes first Black person to play in an NBA All-Star Game as a member of the Baltimore Bullets. Barksdale was an...

James Farmer Born

1920 – James Farmer Born. James Farmer was born on this date in 1920. Farmer was a Civil rights leader born in Marshall, Texas. He initiated and organized the 1961 Freedom Rides, in which civil rights activists rode interstate buses into segregated states. The United States Supreme Court had ruled in  Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia (1946) and Boynton v. Virginia (1960) that segregation public bus transportation was unconstitutional. Thus, the Freedom Rides were intended to challenge the non-enforcement of those rulings. Farmer later served as  the co-founder National Chairman of what would become the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and organization that called for the use of non-violent protest against segregation in the United States. 1944 – “Smoking Joe” Frazier Born. Joseph “Smoking Joe” Frazier was born on this date in Beaufort, South Carolina. Frazier won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympic games and would become one of the top heavyweight boxers of his time. He became the  undisputed Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Jimmy Ellis in 1970. In what many called the “Fight of the Century,” he defeated Muhammed Ali in match at Madison Square Garden in 1971. He lost his title in a match against George Foreman and then lost a return match against Ali. He later faced Ali in what was called the “Thrilla in Manilla.” The two battled in an oppressive heat in the Philipines and Ali won when Frazier trainer Eddie Futch stopped the bout because both of Frazier’s eyes were swollen almost shut. ALthough he was victorious, Ali said that he match was “Closest thing to dying that I know of.” Frazier would finish with a professional record of 32 wins (27 by knockout), four losses and one draw. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame as well as...

Riot at the University of Georgia...

1961 – Riot at the University of Georgia. On this date in 1961, two Black student at the University of Georgia were suspended by the University after a riot erupted protesting their enrollment. Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault were the first two African-American students admitted to the University of Georgia. The two were high school classmates and after they were denied entrance to the University in 1959, the two were the subjects of a lawsuit brought against the University, the result of which found the University compelled to admit them. The two registered for classes amid a protest by white students. A few days later, Charlayne’s dorm was surrounded by almost 1,000 whites who threw rocks, bottles, bricks and firecrackers at it. The University suspended Hunter and Holmes, citing a concern for their safety. More than 300 of the University’s professed protestedd the action, supporting the two Black students. A court ordered the University to re-admit the two and they both eventually graduated. Hunter graduated with a degree in Journalism and went on to enjoy an award-winning career  working for media outlets such as the New York Times, PBS and NPR. Holmes became an orthopedic physician and later a professor of orthopedics and associate dean at Emory University. Holmes died in 1995 of heart failure in Atlanta, Georgia. 1936 – Charles Anderson entered Kentucky House Charles Anderson entered Kentucky House of...

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Founded...

1957 – Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana by five ministers including Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Joseph Lowery, Fred Shuttlesworth and C.K. Steele. Dr. King was the founding president, Abernathy president emeritus and Rep. Walter Fauntroy, D-District of Columbia, … 1938 – Willie Lee McCovey Born Baseball great Willie Lee McCovey born in Mobile, Alabama on this date in 1938. He was called “the scariest hitter in baseball” by Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson. McCovey joined the San Francisco Giants in 1953 and was named Rookie of the Year in 1959. He led the league in home runs  three times and finished with 521 homers for his career. He played for the San Francisco Giants for 14 and the before moving on to the San Diego Padres and then the Oakland Athletics. He returned to the Giants and retired with them in 1980. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. 1966 – Julian Bond Denied Seat. Julian Bond, communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 but was denied his seat by state representatives. By a vote of 184-12 they refused to seat him because of his support for the SNCC policy opposing the Vietnam war and his support of people who were “unwilling to respond to a military draft.” He took the matter all the way to the United States Supreme Court (Bond v. Floyd – 385 U.S. 116), which in 1966 found by a vote of 9-0 that he had been denied his freedom of speech and the Georgia House of Representatives was required to seat him....

Fisk University Founded Jan09

Fisk University Founded...

1866 – Fisk University Established. Fisk University, a historically Black university was founded on this day in 1866. It was the first Black institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school sits on 40 acres of land in Nashville, Tennessee and is one of four historically Black to earn a tier-one ranking on the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2011. 1906 – Paul Laurence Dunbar Dies. Paul Laurence Dunbar, a poet, novelist and playwright died on this day in 1906. His works often used Negro dialect and he became very popular and one of the first nationally renowned Black writers. The New York Times described him as “a true singer of the people — white or black.” Dunbar was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1900 and he moved to Colorado at the suggestion of his doctors. They also encouraged him to drink whiskey to treat the illness and he ended up falling into alcoholism. He succumbed to tuberculosis in 1906 age of 33.     1935 – Earl G. Graves born Earl G. Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise magazine and entrepreneur was born on this day in 1935. A graduate of Morgan State University, Graves found a void in the amount of attention given to the Black consumer. He decided to create a newsletter discussing the issues of the Black community as well as its needs for products and services. His work helped to create an interest in marketing products to the Black community. Eventually he expanded his newsletter into a full fledged high quality magazine which he called Black Enterprise which debuted in August 1970. Over the years he has served in various positions and on boards for several prominent companies. Graves has been hailed...

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