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...

The First Black Player Drafted In The NBA Apr25

The First Black Player Drafted In The NBA...

 The Boston Celtics selected Chuck Cooper in the second round of the 1950 NBA Draft, making him the first African American drafted in the NBA. Celtics owner Walter Brown famously said he didn’t care whether Cooper was “striped, plaid or polka dot,” after he was chosen. Cooper had played at Duquesne University and he joined Hall of Famers Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton and Earl Lloyd as the first blacks to enter the NBA when the 1950-51 season...

Hank Aaron Hit First Home Run Apr23

Hank Aaron Hit First Home Run...

 On this day in day in 1954, Henry “Hank” Aaron hit his first home run agains the St. Louis Cardinals. Aaron would be elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame after breaking Babe Ruth home run record in 1974. He retired with the all time home run record of 755 which lasted until...

Wilt Chamberlain Scores 100 Points Mar02

Wilt Chamberlain Scores 100 Points...

1807 – Congress bans the slave trade Congress banned the slave trade, prohibiting “the importation of slaves into the United States or the territories thereof” after January 1, 1808. 1867 – Universities and Colleges established Howard University established. Also founded or chartered in 1867 were Talladege College, Morgan State University, Johnson C. Smith College, and St. Augustine’s College. 1943 – Jazz artist George Benson born George Benson, jazz guitarist, protege and student of guitarist extraordinaire Chet Atkins, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Among Benson’s hits are “Breezin,” “Masquerade,” “The Greatest Love of All,” and “Love X...

Cassius Clay Becomes World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Feb25

Cassius Clay Becomes World Heavyweight Boxing Champion...

1964 – Cassius Clay becomes world heavyweight boxing champion. Cassius Clay becomes world heavyweight boxing champion. 1870 – Hirman R. Revels Hirman R. Revels of Mississippi sworn in as first Black U.S. senator and first Black representative in Congress. 1975 – Death of Elijah Muhammad Death of Elijah Muhammad (77), leader of the Nation of Islam, in Chicago. He was succeeded by his son, Wallace D. Muhammad. 1978 – Death of Daniel (“Chappie”) James Jr Death of Daniel (“Chappie”) James Jr. (58), retired Air Force general and the first Black promoted to four-star rank, at the Air Force Academy,...

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