Football Player Jack Trice Dies Oct08

Football Player Jack Trice Dies...

Jack Trice, an offensive lineman playing in his second game for what is now known as Iowa State University, died the following day, October 8, 1923, from injuries sustained during the game against the University of Minnesota. Trice was alleged to have been targeted by the Minnesota team for rough play and suffered a broken collarbone on the second player of the game. Continuing to play through the pain, he was  trampled later in the game by three Minnesota players and taken to the hospital where he died the following day. Iowa State University refused to play football against the University of Minnesota for 65 years. The death of Trice was made even more poignant by the discovery of a letter he worte before the game in which he offered his hopes for his performance. “My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life: The honor of my race, family & self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped, I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break through the opponents’ line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of mass interference. Fight low, with your eyes open and toward the play. Watch out for crossbucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good. Jack.”   In 1997, after persistent efforts by student groups, faculty and alumni as well as high profile public figures (including Paul Newman, Hubert Humphrey, and Nikki Giovanni) Iowa State University renamed Cyclone Stadium as Jack Trice Stadium, the first and currently the only Division 1 stadium or...

Charlie Sifford Breaks the PGA Color Barrier Jun11

Charlie Sifford Breaks the PGA Color Barrier...

On June 11, 1959, Charlie Sifford became the first Black player to take part in a a Pro Golfers Association event at the U.S. Open. Two years later, the PGA remove a provision in its bylaw which prevented Black from being members of the PGA. Sifford would become its first member and won two events over the course of his career. For a broader profile on Charlie Sifford, look at his profile at the Great Black Heroes...

Wendell Scott Inducted into NASCAR Hall Jan30

Wendell Scott Inducted into NASCAR Hall...

Wendell Scott was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 30, 2015. In addition to being the first Black driver inducted to the Hall of Fame, he was also the first Black driver to compete on the NASCAR Grand National Series and was also the only Black driver to win on NASCAR’s highest...

Mary J. Blige Born

1971 – Mary J. Blige Born. Mary J. Blige was born on this date in 1971. She is an award winning musician, the recipient of nine Grammy awards. Mary was born in Savannah, Georgia and moved at an early age with her mother and sister to Yonkers, New York. She dropped out of high school in her junior year and ventured into music by recording herself singing Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture,” into a karaoke machine. Her stepfather took the initiative to contact record executive Andre Harrell and he signed her as a backup singer. In 1991, she began working with Sean “Puffy” Combs and he produced her debut album  “What’s the 411?” The album was a huge success success, selling over three million albums. She is the only artist to win Grammys in the R&B, Rap, Pop, and Gospel fields. 1965 – Black AFL Payers Boycott All-Star Game. On this date in 1965, Black pro football players boycotted the American Football League All-Star game being held in New Orleans. The boycott was held over conditions for Black players and their families, with many being denied access to hotels and restaurants which were deemed “white-only.” Players also had trouble getting taxi service. Eventually, the league acquiesced by moving the game to Houston, Texas. Buffalo Bills star “Cookie” Gilchrist was one of the more outspoken leaders of the boycott. This was the first boycott of a city by any professional sporting event in sports history and helped to change the mindset of league officials when selecting event locations in the future. Many of the Black players complained that they were punished later by being cut and unable to catch on with new teams in the league. After the 1964 American Football League season,...

Roberto Clemente Dies in Plane Crash Dec31

Roberto Clemente Dies in Plane Crash...

  1972 – Roberto Clemente Dies in Plane Crash Roberto Clemente, a 15-time Major League Baseball All-Star died at the age of 38 in a plane crash bringing aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. A member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Clemente earned 12 Golden Gloves and four National League batting titles and his Major League career and posted a career batting average of .317. Clemente learned that much of the cargo being sent to the relief victims in Nicaragua was not being received. He decided to accompany the cargo in order to ensure that it would arrive as planned. The plane carrying him crashed shortly after takeoff off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. The plane has had a history of mechanical problems and was overloaded by more than 4,000 lbs. Clemente was survived by his wife Vera and three children and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame the year after his...

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