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...

Jack Johnson Wins Heavyweight Boxing Title Dec26

Jack Johnson Wins Heavyweight Boxing Title...

  Jack Johnson Wins Heavyweight Boxing Title 1908 – Jack Johnson Wins Heavyweight Boxing Title On this date in 1908, Jack Johnson became the first Black person to win the World’s Heavyweight Boxing title belt. Johnson was awarded the belt when police entered the ring to stop the fight. Johnson was winning the fight in an extremely lopsided manner and won via a technical knockout of Tommy Burns. He defended his title successfully, including against Jim Jeffries, a former heavyweight champion who was called out of retirement as the “Great White Hope,” but was knocked out by Johnson in the 15th round of what many called “the Fight of the Century.” Johnson, who lived a very extravagant lifestyle and engaged in romantic relationships with white women, was hounded by critics as well as law enforcement throughout his career. He was eventually arrested under the Mann Act for crossing state lines with a white woman who would later become his wife. Many believed this to have been a sham trial aimed at ruining his career and removing him from the national scene. He served a year in prison and died in an automobile accident in 1046. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954. 1966 – Jimi Hendrix Writes Purple Haze Ten days after his group, “The Jimi Hendrix Experience,” released their first hit song in the United Kingdom, “Hey Joe,” Jimi Hendrix penned his biggest hit song, “Purple Haze.” It became his breakthrough hit in the United States and propelled him to stardom in the 1960s rock scene. After serving in the military int he United States, Hendrix moved to the United Kingdom where he was recruited by Chas Chandler, a former member of the group “The Animals.” After teaming with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell, Hendrix saw...

To Kill a Mockingbird Opens in Theaters...

To Kill a Mockingbird Opens in Theaters 1962 – To Kill a Mockingbird Opens in Theaters To Kill a Mockingbird, a major motion picture film based on the1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper opened in theaters on this day in 1962. The story takes place in the Great Depression era fictional southern town of  of Maycomb, Alabama. It starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a small town country lawyer assigned to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. Robinson was portrayed by Tony nominated actor Brock Peters. The film is seen through the eyes of Atticus’ young daughter Scout, an reflects her innocence in a world of racism, allowing the viewer to have compassion for Robinson’s character and to feel the bitter hatred directed towards him. The movie is noted in history as having been one of the early films focused on the plight of Blacks living in the Jim Crow south as it took aim on the injustices faced by Robinson and his family. It also prompted a whole nation of children to want to become lawyers in order to fight the good fight, as Atticus...