Lake Land College

Laker Nation News


Posted on January 31, 2023

Researched and Compiled by Darrius Frazier



1930: Ruth Ross, a magazine editor, who helped founded the inaugural issue of “Essence” (1970), which included articles of leading African-American scholars and writers, was born.


1960: At Greensboro, North Carolina, four North Carolina A&T State University students, Ezell Blair, Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond walked a few blocks from the campus downtown to Woolworth’s Department Store for changing history of racial segregation in public accommodations.


The “Greensboro Four” late in the afternoon sat on four bar stools at the segregated lunch counter and asked for coffee. When they were refused service, they remained at their seats until closing. The next day over twenty students returned with them including some from the all-female Bennett College. The third day included over 60 persons followed by over 300 on the fourth day.


With promotion of the sit-ins in the media, the sit-in tactics spread to other cities in North Carolina and eventually throughout the southeast. This Greensboro Sit-In is credited as being the major and most influential sit-in of the civil rights era. Eventually, Woolworth’s and other stores gave in to the sit-ins due to loss of financial business and the negative public relations occurring with the publicity.  Many of those participating in the sit-ins received verbal taunting and physical abuse, but attempted to abide by the non-violent method of protest advocated by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


1965: James Brown records “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” at the Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is Brown’s first recording to feature Jimmy Nolen on guitar, who would become known for his distinctive “chicken scratch” lead guitar playing.


1965: Actress Ruby Dee became the first African American actress to play a major role in the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut.


1973: Gladys Knight & the Pips leave Motown’s Soul label for a new career at Buddah Records. In 1973 they released Top #10 singles: “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination,” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” and in 1974 “I Feel a Song (In My Heart).”


1978: Antislavery crusader and Civil War veteran Harriet Tubman becomes the first African American woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp, the first in the Post Office’s Black Heritage Series. Tubman was a singular figure of the abolition movement, an enslaved woman who escaped captivity in Maryland and made at least 19 trips back to free more enslaved peoples. Tubman is estimated to have helped several hundred enslaved people find freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad and is said to have “never lost a passenger.” During the Civil War, she freed 700 more when she led Union forces on a raid on Combahee Ferry in South Carolina.


2004: Justin Timberlake punctuates the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show at Reliant Stadium in Houston by tearing away part of Janet Jackson’s costume, revealing her right breast to a massive audience that quickly reaches for their TiVos for a replay during Timberlake’s song, “Rock Your Body.” Both artists blame it on a “wardrobe malfunction,” but while Jackson is blacklisted, Timberlake is welcomed back by the music industry and the NFL after a series of apologies.




1971: One week after toppling the regime of Ugandan leader Milton Obote, Major General Idi Amin declares himself president of Uganda and chief of the armed forces. Amin, head of the Ugandan army and air force since 1966, seized power while Obote was out of the country. Amin would later be ousted from the country in 1979 after an unsuccessful invasion attempt of Tanzania, bringing Obote back to power in Uganda. Amin’s rule was characterized by rampant human rights abuses, including political repression, ethnic persecution and extrajudicial killings, as well as nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. International observers and human rights groups estimate that between 100,000-500,000 people were killed under his rule.


1975: Stevie Wonder’s daughter Aisha (heard crying at the beginning of “Isn’t She Lovely“) is born. Aisha is Wonder’s first child, born to Yolanda Simmons. The song received so much airplay that it reached number 23 on the Adult Contemporary chart in January 1977. Since then, the song has become a jazz and pop standard, covered by many artists.


2007: The Spinners founding member Billy Henderson dies of complications from diabetes at age 67 in Daytona Beach, Florida.


2007: Joe Hunter, who played piano in the Motown house band, The Funk Brothers, dies at age 79 due to natural causes.


2014: In Super Bowl XLVIII, broadcast by FOX, Russell Wilson became the second ever African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl when Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to a 41-8 blowout victory over the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from New York City. For the game, Wilson was 18-25 passing for 206 yards and two touchdown passes. In addition, he ran the ball three times for 26 yards.


The previous African-American quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory was Doug Williams, when he rally the Washington Redskins from a 10-0 first quarter deficit, to a 42-10 rout of the Denver Broncos at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California on January 31, 1988, which was broadcast by ABC. Williams threw for a Super Bowl record, which still stands, with four touchdown passes as the Redskins scored a Super Bowl record in the quarter with 35 points, which is still a record.


2020: In Super Bowl LIV, broadcast by FOX, Patrick Mahomes became the third African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl when Mahomes rally the Kansas City Chiefs from a 20-10 deficit to defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Springs, Miami. The Chiefs scored 21 points in the fourth and final quarter for the victory. For the game, Mahomes was 26-48 passing for 286 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions. In addition, Mahomes ran the ball nine times for 29 yards with a rushing touchdown.




1989: “Wild Thing” by Tone Loc becomes the first rap single certified Platinum, with sales of over a million. The title is a reference to the phrase “doin’ the wild thing,” a euphemism for sex. According to producer Mario Caldato Jr., who engineered and mixed the song, producer Michael Ross was inspired by an utterance of Fab 5 Freddy “Come on baby let’s do the wild thing” in Spike Lee’s debut film, She’s Gotta Have It, and asked Young MC to write the lyrics. Tone Lōc’s song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1989, only behind Paula Abdul’s breakthrough hit “Straight Up.”


2001: Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me,” based on an Eddie Murphy routine about what to do when you get caught cheating, goes to #1 in America for two weeks. The song is about a guy who gets caught cheating on his girl but denies it even though he is clearly guilty. It was inspired by a comedy routine Eddie Murphy performed in his movie, Raw. Murphy said that no matter what your girl accuses you of, never admit to anything, just say “it wasn’t me.” This wasn’t supposed to be a single, but it got some heat in Hawaii when a disc jockey on the Honolulu radio station KIKI downloaded it from the internet and played it on the air. This convinced Shaggy’s record company, MCA, to issue it. The track is built on a sample of the 1975 song “Smile Happy” from the band, War. In the video, Rikrok gets caught cheating and comes running to Shaggy’s mansion, where Shaggy schools him on the art of being a true player. To show how he got caught, Rikrok shows Shaggy a video of his misdeeds on his flip phone, which in 2001 could only be done through the magic of editing.


2008: Mike Carey became the first ever African-American official to serve as the head referee in Super Bowl history, when he officiated Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, home of the Arizona Cardinals. The retractable roof stadium was in its second year of existence. Carey’s previous Super Bowl experience was when he served as the alternate official for Super Bowl XXXVI when the New England Patriots upset the St. Louis Rams, 20-17, on a game –winning field with no time remaining at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, which was also the first ever Super Bowl in February.


In among the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, 17-14, spearheaded by one of the most memorable plays ever, when Giants’ WR, David Tyree, made the “Helmet Catch” on 3rd down, a leaping one-handed catch pinning the football with his right hand to the crown of his helmet for a 32-yard first down conversion courtesy of a pass from QB, Eli Manning, with 2:39 remaining in the game and the Giants going for the lead on their final drive of the game, trailing 14-10, which they converted it into a game-winning score when Manning hit WR, Plexico Burgess with a 13-yard strike with 35 seconds remaining.


The Patriots’ Super Bowl loss was the first for beleaguered HC, Bill Belichick and QB, Tom Brady. In addition, it prevented the Patriots from being the second team ever to finish the regular season and post-season undefeated wire-to-wire since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The other two who failed to win an NFL championship after finishing the regular season unbeaten were the Chicago Bears in both 1934 and 1942.


2013: Cardiss Collins, the first African American female congressional representative from Illinois, passed away at the age of 81 in Arlington, Virginia.  Collins was elected in a special election on June 5, 1973 to replace her husband, Congressman George Collins who died in a plane crash aboard United Airlines Flight 553 on December 8, 1972. She served twelve consecutive congressional terms from 1973 to 1997 while representing the 7th district of Illinois. Collins in 1979 was elected president of the Congressional Black Congress.  She provided leadership in congress as a chair and member of several committees. She became the first African American to serve as Democratic Whip At-Large.  Collins is remembered as a champion for the rights of African Americans, women and the poor.


2015: Former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight is rushed to the hospital after pleading not guilty in his connection with fatal hit-and-run just days before. His friend Terry Carter was killed in the incident and actor, Cle Denyale Sloan, was injured during an altercation over the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Knight faces charges of murder and attempted murder, along with two counts of hit-and-run.




1913: “The First Lady of Civil Rights”, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama.  Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger on December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. When Rosa Parks kept her seat on that bus, she stood up for the dignity and civil rights of every African American in the United States. Her arrest for refusing the bus drivers demand to give up her seat on the bus to a white person helped initiate support for the cause of eliminating segregation.  Parks at the time was secretary of the Montgomery Chapter of the NAACP, but she acted that day on her own.


1944: Florence LaRue (of The 5th Dimension) is born in Plainfield, New Jersey, but grows up in Glenside, Pennsylvania.


1956: Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” reaches its US chart peak of #17, giving him his first hit.


1976: Rapper Cam’ron is born Cameron Ezike Giles in Harlem, New York.


1999: Plainclothes officers of the New York Police Department’s Street Crime Unit (SCU) fire 41 shots at unarmed Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea, killing him on the steps of his apartment building shortly after midnight. Diallo’s killing sparked a public outcry and eventually resulted in the shuttering of the SCU, but the four officers who shot him were found not guilty of his murder.


2002: On the occasion of civil-rights activist Rosa Parks’ 89th birthday, Stevie Wonder sings his song “Happy Birthday” to her at the premiere of her TV-movie biography, The Rosa Parks Story. The song had originally been written by Wonder to help bring about a national Dr. Martin Luther King holiday.


2007: Prince wows at the Super Bowl LXI halftime show in Miami, closing with an otherworldly rendition of “Purple Rain” in the rain.


2016: Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White dies at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.




1934: One of America’s greatest baseball players, Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron, was born in Mobile, Alabama. The baseball Hall of Famer held the Major League Baseball record 33 years with 755 career home runs when he broke the record on April 8, 1974 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta amidst racial death threats. Aaron acquired the nickname, the “Hammer” or “Hammerin Hank”, due to his home run prowess. His professional career lasted from 1954 to 1976.  Aaron spent the first 21 years with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and the last two years with the Milwaukee Brewers. After his retirement, Aaron worked in the Front Office of the Atlanta Braves.  Hank Aaron died on January 22, 2021 in Atlanta.


1994: White supremacist Byron De La Beckwith is convicted in the murder of African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers, over 30 years after the crime occurred. Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his Jackson, Mississippi, home on June 12, 1963, while his wife, Myrlie, and the couple’s three small children were inside. Beckwith was convicted and given a life sentence by a racially diverse jury. He died in prison in 2001 at the age of 80.


2003: U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, gives a speech to the United Nations outlining the United States’ case that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, making the argument for the invasion that would happen the following month. However, it was eventually proven that Iraq never possessed weapons of mass destruction and Powell later called the speech a “blot” on his record.


2008: Lenny Kravitz releases his eighth studio album, It Is Time For A Love Revolution, which peaks at #4 in the US.


2008: On the day of the Super Tuesday primary elections in America, luminaries from across many genres of music (country – not so much) voice their enthusiastic support for Barack Obama, who wins big in the primaries on his way to the White House.

2019: Current U.S. Senator, Stacey Abrams (D-GA), became the first African-American woman to ever deliver a State of the Union response.




1820: The first organized immigration of freed enslaved people to Africa from the United States departs New York harbor on a journey to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa. The immigration was largely the work of the American Colonization Society, a U.S. organization founded in 1816 by Robert Finley to return formerly enslaved African people to Africa.


1945: Bob Marley, a Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter is born Nesta Robert Marley in Nine Mile, Jamaica. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley’s contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture to this day.


Over the course of his career, Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity. His famous songs are “Get Up, Stand Up,” and “I Shot the Sheriff” in 1973; “No Woman, No Cry” in 1975; “Exodus,” “Waiting In Vain,” and “Jamming” in 1977; and “Is This Love” in 1978.

1950: Natalie Cole is born in Los Angeles, California, to American singer and jazz pianist, Nat King Cole and former Duke Ellington Orchestra singer, Maria Hawkins Cole. She rose to success in the mid-1970s as an R&B singer with the hits “This Will Be“, “Inseparable” (1975), and “Our Love” (1977). She returned as a pop singer on the 1987 album, Everlasting, and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” in 1988. In the 1990s, she sang traditional pop by her father, resulting in her biggest success, “(Unforgettable)… with Love” in 1991, which sold over seven million copies and won her seven Grammy Awards. Overall, she sold over 30 million records worldwide.


1988: In the Slam Dunk Contest broadcasted by TBS, Michael Jordan defended his Slam Dunk title by beating Atlanta Hawks’ forward, Dominique Wilkins, at Chicago Stadium. Jordan finished the contest with an iconic dunk when he leaped from the free throw line to slam the ball home. That dunk was an inspiration for the Jumpman logo used by Nike to promote their Air Jordan brand of shoes. Wilkins since then would win back-to-back Slam Dunk titles the next two years.


1993: Legendary tennis player, Arthur Ashe died in New York City at age 49. He is believed to have become HIV positive from a blood transfusion during heart surgery. He worked to educate people about AIDS after publicly disclosing his illness and died of AIDS related pneumonia. Ashe became the first African American to win the US Open Tennis Championship on September 9, 1968.


He set many first on the competitive courts of tennis including being the first African American to win the singles cup at Wimbledon on July 5, 1975.   Ashe won over defending champion Jimmy Connors. He achieved the ranking of No. 1 in the world among his peers and had a singles career record of 818 wins, 260 losses and 51 titles which included wins in the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.


2003: 50 Cent drops his major-label debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, a joint release on Eminem’s Shady Records and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label. It includes two #1 hits: “In Da Club” and “21 Questions.”




1926: Dr. Carter G. Woodson began “Negro History Week” the forerunner to Black History Month during the second week of February. It was later expanded to “Black History Month” in 1976 leading up to America’s bi-centennial celebration. He was a noted, historian, journalist, author and the founder of The Association For the Study of Negro Life and History, currently known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.


1974: Barry White earns Gold certifications for “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up,” his album, Stone Gon’, and for The Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “Love’s Theme” and their album, Under the Influence of Love Unlimited.


1988: At Chicago Stadium, Michael Jordan scored an NBA All-Star Game record, 40 points, which still stands, as the East All-Stars defeated the West All-Stars, 138-133, which was broadcasted by CBS. Also in this game, Los Angeles Lakers’ Center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would become the all-time leading scorer in NBA All-Star Game history, a distinction he held for 15 years until Jordan broke it.


1989: The Georgia State Representative Billy Randall introduces a bill to make Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” the official state rock song. It doesn’t pass.


2012: Alicia Keys and Nas join Jay-Z at the second of two charity concerts he holds at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The concerts raise $3.5 million for the United Way and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.


2023: LeBron James, Forward, Los Angeles Lakers, became the NBA’s all-time regular season scoring leader when he scored 38 points to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record. However, James and the Lakers fell at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 133-130 at Arena in downtown Los Angeles.


Abdul-Jabbar previously held the NBA’s scoring record since April 5, 1984 when he had a 12-foot shot over Mark Eaton, Center, Utah Jazz, to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 31,421 points. The Lakers defeated the Jazz, 129-115 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Jazz up until the 1991-92 season, when they moved to the current home, Vivint Arena, they played a handful of games at the Mack Center since moving from New Orleans after the 1978-79 season.




1965: The Supremes release “Stop In The Name Of Love.” Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, “Stop! In the Name of Love” held the #1 position on the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States from March 27, 1965, through April 3, 1965, and reached the #2 position on the soul chart. In 2021, it was listed at No. 254 on Rolling Stone’s Magazine “Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”


1968: In what is known as the Orangeburg Massacre in Orangeburg, South Carolina, three South Carolina State students, Samuel Hammond Jr., (age 18), Delano Middleton (age 17) and Henry Smith (age 18) were shot dead by officers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol on the campus of the predominately African American South Carolina State University that evening. Twenty-seven others were injured when the State Troopers opened fire on the group of approximately 150 to 200 protesters.


It all precipitated after several nights of attempted integration of the segregated “All Star Bowling Lane” a bowling alley in Orangeburg. Injured student, civil rights activist and National Program Director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Cleveland Sellers was the only student prosecuted for events associated with the protests of that week.  He served seven months in prison and received a full pardon twenty-five years later.


Nine police officers were tried and acquitted although witnesses testified there was no gunfire prior to the police shooting (and no guns were found in the crowd).  This mass shooting of students on a college campus by law enforcement was the first of its kind in the United States.


1975: The Ohio Players’ single, “Fire,” hits #1 and stays there for two weeks.  The song was the opening track from the album of the same name. The song is considered to be the band’s signature song along with “Love Rollercoaster.”


1986: Anthony Jerome ‘Spud’ Webb, who at 5’7” was the shortest players in the history of professional basketball, wins the NBA slam dunk contest, beating his Atlanta Hawks’ teammate and 1985 dunk champ, the 6’8” Dominique Wilkins. Webb won it at Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas, where he was born.


His participation surprised the media; including his teammate and defending dunk champion Dominique Wilkins, who had “never seen me dunk before”, Webb said. His dunks included the elevator two-handed double pump dunk, the off-the-backboard one-handed jam, a 360-degree helicopter one-handed dunk, a reverse double-pump slam, and finally, the reverse two-handed strawberry jam from a lob bounce off the floor. He defeated Wilkins with two perfect 50-point scores in the final round.


The only other NBA player under 6’ to win the dunk contest was Nate Robinson (5’9”) which he was trained by Webb at the Toyota Center in Houston. In Robinson’s most memorable dunk of the night, he jumped over 1986 champion Spud Webb, and received a perfect 50-point score for the dunk.


1992: During the NBA All-Star Weekend at the Orland Arena in Orlando Florida, Chicago Bulls’ reserve guard, Craig Hodges, became the second player to win three consecutive Three-Point Shooting Contests. The only other player to do so was Larry Bird, who did it from 1986-88.


2009: Ne-Yo wins the Grammy awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song for the Year of the Gentleman single “Miss Independent.”


2021: Mary Wilson, the only member of The Supremes with the group throughout their tenure, passes away at 76 due to hypertensive heart disease. She gained worldwide recognition as a founding member of The Supremes, the most successful Motown act of the 1960s and the best-charting female group in U.S. chart history, as well as one of the best-selling girl groups of all-time. The trio reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 with 12 of their singles, ten of which feature Wilson on backing vocals. Wilson later became a New York Times best-selling author in 1986 with the release of her first autobiography, Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme, which set records for sales in its genre, and later for the autobiography, Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together.




1906: Accomplished poet, novelist and playwright, Paul Laurence Dunbar, died of tuberculosis at the young age of 33 in Dayton, Ohio. He became one the first African American poets to achieve national and international notoriety.  Dunbar completed four collected volumes of short stories, four novels, three published plays, lyrics for thirteen songs, fourteen books of poetry and over 400 published poems with his writings featured in many national publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and Saturday Evening Post. He was able to create an amazing amount of literary work during his short life.


1943: Barbara Ann Lewis, an American singer and songwriter whose smooth style influenced rhythm and blues, is born in Salem, Michigan. Her signature hit was her debut single, “Hello Stranger” in 1963. Other hits were: “Baby I’m Yours” and “Make Me Your Baby” in 1965, and “Make Me Belong to You” in 1966.


1944: Alice Walker, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in regards to her novel, The Color Purple, was born in Eatonton, Georgia. Set in the early 1900s, the novel explores the female African-American experience through the life and struggles of its narrator, Celie.


1970: Sly and the Family Stone’s single, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” is certified Gold. Sly Stone wrote this song because he felt listeners were not hearing the messages in his songs even though the band was more popular than ever. Sly & the Family Stone were an integrated band and tried to spread the message of racial harmony, but Stone thought that message was getting lost. The title is a funky way of spelling “Thank you for letting me be myself again.” The lyrics include references to some of Sly & the Family Stone’s earlier 1968 hits, including “Dance To The Music” and “Everyday People.”


1971: Pitcher, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, becomes the first Negro League veteran to be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame. In August of that year, Paige, a pitching legend known for his fastball, showmanship and the longevity of his playing career, which spanned five decades, was inducted.


1974: “Love’s Theme,” a groovy instrumental composed by Barry White for his Love Unlimited Orchestra, hits #1 in the US. It was one of the few instrumental and purely orchestral singles to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The recording (with a large string orchestra, modified guitar and big rhythm) was considered an influence on the disco sound, which would increase popularity the following year.


1982: In Chicago, Andrew Wilson and his brother, Jackie Wilson, allegedly killed two white Chicago police officers, James O’Brien and William Fahey. He would later be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Wilson was eventually implicated in the murder of three other white police officers. The Supreme Court of Illinois reversed his conviction on the ground that his confession, which had been part of the evidence against him at trial, had been coerced, meaning that he was beaten and tortured by white Chicago police officers led by Jon Burge, who was the Commander of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Wilson was later retried, again convicted, and this time sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.


During the intense manhunt that followed, initial interrogation procedures allegedly included shooting pets of suspects, handcuffing subjects to stationary objects for entire days, and holding guns to the heads of minors. Jesse Jackson, Operation PUSH spokesperson; the Chicago Defender; and black Chicago Police officers were outraged. Renault Robinson, president of Chicago’s Afro-American Police League characterized the dragnet operation as “sloppy police work, a matter of racism.


Jackson complained that ‘the black community was being held under martial law (in Chicago).’ The police captured suspects for the killings on February 9 through identification by other suspects. Tyrone Sims identified Donald “Kojak” White as the shooter, and Kojak was linked to Andrew and Jackie Wilson by having committed a burglary with them earlier on the day of the killings


Andrew Wilson’s beating and subsequent torture, which took place five days later when he was arrested by Burge, included lacerations on various parts of his head, including his face, chest bruises and second-degree thigh burns. Wilson would later testified that “he (Wilson) was punched, kicked, smothered with a plastic bag, electrically shocked, and forced against a hot radiator throughout the day on February 14 [the day of his arrest], until he gave his confession.”


More than a dozen of the injuries were documented as caused while Wilson was in police custody by both the Cook County Jail and Mercy Hospital in Chicago. A medical officer who saw Andrew Wilson sent a memo to Richard M. Daley, then Cook County State’s Attorney, asking for his case to be investigated on suspicion of police brutality. However, Daley would eventually become Mayor of Chicago from 1989-2011, never followed up on the claim of police brutality.


Wilson’s attorney, Flint Taylor, of the People’s Law Office firm, represented him and received undercover reports that Wilson was not the only person subjected to beatings and tortures and was given a list of 192 people that experience of horrendous, racist treatment of the CPD. It would later be used in Wilson’s civil trial along with Burge’s criminal trial.


In Chicago, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers, captured Andrew and Jackie Wilson, after an intense manhunt as a result of the murders of two white police officers, James O’Brien and William Fahey. Jon Burge, Commander of the CPD and a friend of the 2 police officers would were murdered, was later to found to have tortured Andrew Wilson in addition to beaten him severely.


It was later discovered between 1970-91 that Burge and his subordinates – known variously as the Midnight Crew, Burge’s Ass Kickers, and the A-Team – beat their suspects (approximately 192 and counting), suffocated them, subjected them to mock executions at gunpoint, used racial slurs, raped them with sex toys, and hooked electroshock machines up to their genitals, their gums, their fingers, their earlobes, overwhelming their bodies with live voltage until they signed a confession which accused them of crimes, mostly that they did not commit. Burge’s subordinates included John Byrne, Peter Dignan, George Basile, Michael Hoke, Patrick Garrity, Daniel McWeeny, Raymond Madigan, Robert Dwyer, etc.


It was determined that Burge used the abovementioned tactics on suspected Vietcong (Vietnamese Communists) leaders and members during his tour during the Vietnam War, 1968-70. During the war, Burge won a Purple Heart and was hired as a police officer for the CPD on December 1970.


During Wilson’s civil trial against Burge on February 15, 1989, Wilson testified of Burge’s aforementioned treatment of him.


Andrew Wilson filled a civil suit against Jon Burge and the Chicago Police Department because of his beating and torture initiated by Burge and his subordinates on February 15, 1989.  The jury concluded that the CPD has tortured suspects, especially African-Americans and Latinos.


Wilson would eventually win the civil suit but was used to pay for the families of the murdered police officers on February 9, 1982. Many of the people who were tortured by Burge were let out of prison after serving long prison sentences or were on Illinois Death Row. Wilson’s case along with other cases involving Burge and his subordinates will be a part of an education curriculum involving Chicago and Illinois. The people affected by Burge would receive free tuition within the Chicago City Colleges.


On March 9, 2011, in the aftermath of subsequent litigation involving Burge and the people who were victims of him, Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, abolished the death penalty in Illinois. While Burge served 4 ½ years for perjury, there were $371 million because of payments for misconduct cases involving him along with lawyer fees.


The Chicago Torture Center was established in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago as reparations for police torture in Chicago. Survivors and their families fought for decades for access to the trauma-informed resources and politicized healing support that the Center now offers. Today, with hundreds of survivors still incarcerated and the persistence of racialized police violence, that fight continues.


1991: During the NBA All-Star Weekend, at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Chicago Bulls’ reserve guard, Craig Hodges, made 19 consecutive three-pointers to set a Three-Point Shootout Contest record, which still stands. Hodges defended his title, as he was able to hold off the challenge from Portland Trail Blazers point guard, Terry Porter.


1992: After stunning the world three months earlier with the news he had contracted the HIV virus and was immediately retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers, basketball great Magic Johnson returns to play in the 42nd NBA All-Star game at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida, where the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation. The West All-Stars blew out the East All-Stars, 153-113. Johnson was given the MVP award as he scored a game high of 25 points along with 9 assists in 29 minutes of playing time. He also took the final shot of the game, a three-pointer, and the final 14½ seconds of the game were not played. As the game ended, players from both teams came onto the court and hugged Johnson.


2005: Soul singer Tyrone Davis dies of complications from a stroke in Chicago, Illinois, at age 66. Known for his #1 R&B hits, “Can I Change My Mind” (1968), “Turn Back the Hands of Time” (1970), and “Turning Point” (1975).


2022: Snoop Dogg buys Death Row Records, the label he started with in 1992. He plans to take the label into the metaverse and issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs).




1927: Opera singer, Leontyne Price, was born in Laurel, Mississippi. She was best known for her Verdi roles, above all the title role of Aida. An African American born in the segregated South, she rose to international fame in the 1950s and 60s, and became the first black “superstar” at the once-segregated Metropolitan Opera in New York City.


1939: Roberta Flack is born in Black Mountain, North Carolina.


1940: Jimmy Merchant (of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers) is born in New York City. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 as a member of the Teenagers. He retired from The Teenagers in 2005.


1956: Little Richard records “Long Tall Sally.” The single reached number one on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart, staying at the top for six of 19 weeks, while peaking at number six on the pop chart. The song as sung by Little Richard is listed at number 55 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It also ranked at number 45 on Billboard’s year-end singles of 1956.


1964: The United States House of Representatives passed The Civil Rights Act of 1964 after 70 days of debate. The Act made discrimination illegal on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex in public accommodations, employment, and programs that are federally funded. A substitute bill of this major piece of civil rights legislation was finally approved on June 19, 1964 by the United States Senate after a 50-day filibuster organized by senators from the South.


1967: After seven years at Columbia, Aretha Franklin releases her first single on Atlantic Records, “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You).” It becomes her first big hit, clearing a path to the throne of the Queen of Soul.


1992: Former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, accused of raping 18-year-old beauty-pageant contestant, Desiree Washington, the previous July at the Miss Black America pageant in an Indianapolis hotel room, is found guilty by an Indiana jury. The following month, Tyson was given a 10-year prison sentence, with four years suspended. As a result of his conviction, Tyson is required to register as a Tier II sex offender under federal law.


1993: Michael Jackson appears on Oprah’s prime time special, where he talks about having a skin condition called vitiligo, and claims he’s had just 2 plastic surgery operations.


2004: Kanye West, known for producing tracks on Jay-Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint, releases his debut album, The College Dropout.


2008: Ne-Yo’s sophomore album, Because Of You, wins the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album. It’s the singer-songwriter’s first Grammy win.


2008: Daft Punk make their first televised live appearance at the 50th Grammy Awards, joining Kanye West in a performance of “Stronger” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.




1916: Florynce Kennedy, an American lawyer, radical feminist, civil rights advocate, lecturer and activist, was born in Kansas City, Missouri.


1968: Jackie White, a former resident of Cleveland was the first ever African American to work as a referee at a NBA game. The game, between the Chicago Bulls and the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) took place at Cleveland Arena, in Cleveland. White was hired after an expansion in the number of teams in the NBA. The Bulls would win, 112-104, in overtime.


At the time, White lived in Los Angeles, California and worked as a referee in the Pacific Coast Collegiate Conference. Previously, he had played one season with the Harlem Globetrotters and also worked as a probation officer. After being hired as an NBA referee, White commented, “The Negro has played the role of player, now we’re officiating. It’s a milestone in sports and we all know we have a job to do.


1974: R&B singer, D’Angelo, is born Michael Eugene Archer in Richmond, Virginia. His debut studio album, Brown Sugar (1995), received widespread acclaim from music critics, who have credited the album for ushering in the neo soul movement; and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Its third single “Lady”, in 1996, reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100.


1977: Motown Productions debuts its first film, Scott Joplin, based on the life of the ragtime composer. Billy Dee Williams earns accolades for his performance as the “Maple Leaf Rag” mastermind, but the film is widely criticized for being too grim.


1979: Brandy, an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and model, is born Brandy Rayana Norwood in McComb, Mississippi, but grew up in Carson, California. As of August 2020, she has sold over 40 million records worldwide, with approximately 8.62 million albums sold in the United States alone. Her work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award and an American Music Award.


1981: Kelly Rowland is born in Atlanta, Georgia. She becomes the first member of Destiny’s Child to land a hit away from the group when “Dilemma,” her 2002 duet with Nelly, goes to #1 in America.


1989: Eazy-E’s solo song “We Want Eazy” becomes his first hit to enter the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it debuts at #43.


1989: Rev. Barbara Harris became the first woman bishop in the American Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion worldwide at a service held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Sixty bishops participated in the laying on of hands. There were 1,200 dignitaries and clergy in the opening procession, and four choirs participating in the service. The service was televised live and lasted three hours. As the first woman ordained as a bishop, and as an African American, she received death threats and obscene messages.


1990: African National Congress leader and future South African President Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison after 27 years. Mandela became South Africa’s first Black president on May 10, 1994. As South Africa’s oldest elected president at age 75, President Mandela served one term in office. His administration presided over the dismantling of apartheid throughout South Africa.


2011: Ne-Yo plays a charming hitman on the “Smooth Criminal” episode of CSI: NY.


2012: Whitney Houston, one of the world’s top-selling singers from 1985-2000, is found dead in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Houston’s death was the result of accidental drowning; heart disease and cocaine, which was found in her system, were determined to be contributing factors. The 48-year-old pop diva, known for her soaring voice, won a total of six Grammy Awards and 22 American Music Awards (more than any other female), and was credited with influencing several generations of singers, from Mariah Carey to Jennifer Hudson.




1793: Congress passes the first fugitive slave law, requiring all states, including those that forbid slavery, to forcibly return enslaved people who have escaped from other states to their original owners.


1855: Frances “Fannie” Barrier Williams, an African American educator, civil rights, and women’s rights activist, and the first black woman to gain membership to the Chicago Woman’s Club, was born in Brockport, New York. She became well known for her efforts to have black people officially represented on the Board of Control of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. She was also a musician, a portraitist and studied foreign languages.


1909: America’s largest and oldest civil rights organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in response to a race riot in Springfield, Illinois the previous August. The founding members were: W. E. B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Mary White Ovington and Oswald Garrison Villard.


1961: The Miracles’ “Shop Around” is certified gold. This was the first million-seller for Motown Records. It was also the label’s first Top 10 single in the US.


1968: Jimi Hendrix’s tour stops in his hometown of Seattle, Washington, where he sees his family for the first time in seven years. His father, Al, meets him at the airport.


1972: Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” hits #1 in the US. Eleven years later, Tina Turner revitalizes her career with a hit cover of the song.


1997: Snoop Doggy Dogg and Sean “Puffy” Combs hold a press conference where they call for an end to the East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry that has claimed the life of Tupac Shakur on Friday, September 13, 1996 in Las Vegas. The detente fails to quell the violence: Less than a month later in Los Angeles, on the evening of March 9, The Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, is killed in a shooting after the Soul Train Awards after-party hosted by Vibe Magazine and Qwest Records at the Petersen Automotive Museum.


2000: D’Angelo’s Voodoo replaces Santana’s Supernatural as the #1 album in America. It stays for two weeks before Supernatural returns to #1.


2023: For the first time in Super Bowl history, in Super Bowl LVII, there will be two African-American quarterbacks facing off against each other at the State Farm Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona, current home of the Arizona Cardinals. The two quarterbacks are: Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) and Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles). The game will be televised by FOX. Rihanna will headline the halftime show.


Mahomes became the first African-American quarterback to win multiple Super Bowls as the Chiefs overcame a 24-14 halftime deficit to defeat the Eagles, 38-35, on a last second field goal. In addition, Mahomes became the first quarterback to win both the league MVP and Super Bowl MVP in the same season since Kurt Warner accomplished the feat during the 1999 season.


For the game, Mahomes was 21/27 passing for 182 yards with three touchdown passes. In addition, he ran the ball six times for 44 yards. Hurts did not disappoint in the losing effort when he was 27/38 passing for 304 yards and one passing touchdown. Additionally, he ran the ball 15 times for 70 yards with three rushing touchdowns.


While it was the first Super Bowl featuring two quarterbacks, it was not the first time that a professional football championship game featured two African-American quarterbacks. The only other time was the 1981 Grey Cup match-up on November 22nd of that year between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Ottawa Rough Riders for the right to become Canadian Football League (CFL) champions. The Eskimos, led by Warren Moon, were in the midst of a dynasty when they won four of the six consecutive Grey Cup as they edged the Rough Riders, who were led by Julius Caesar (J.C.) Watts, by the core of 26-23 on a last second field goal.




1882: A great orator of the 19th century, minister, abolitionist and educator (Rev. Henry Highland Garnet) died in Monrovia, Liberia at age 66 due to malaria. As a member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, Garnet was a regular speaker at abolitionists conferences. A few years later prior to the American Civil War he became an advocate of African Americans emigrating to Liberia, Mexico or the West Indies.  His great oratorical ability was in use when he became the first African American minister to preach to the United States House of Representatives on February 12, 1865.  He spoke on ending slavery.


1905: President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a speech to the New York City Republican Club. Roosevelt had just won reelection, and in this speech, he discussed the country’s current state of race relations and his plan for improving them. Roosevelt’s solution was to proceed slowly toward social and economic equality. He cautioned against imposing radical changes in government policy and instead suggested a gradual adjustment in attitudes.


1923: The New York Renaissance, the first all-Black professional basketball team, is organized in Harlem, New York, which at that time was the epicenter of African-American culture in the era known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Renaissance, commonly called the Rens, become one of the dominant teams of the 1920s and 1930s. With Black players barred from professional basketball leagues, the Rens barnstormed throughout the country, often competing against all-white teams.


1945: Soul singer King Floyd, known for the 1970 hit “Groove Me,” is born in New Orleans. It was a crossover hit, spending four non-consecutive weeks at number-one on Billboard Soul chart and peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.


1977: Lee Jones became the first ever African-American official to referee an NBA All-Star Game at the Milwaukee Arena in Milwaukee. The match-up was broadcasted by CBS and the West All-Stars edged the East All-Stars by the slimmest of margins, 125-124. Julius Erving (Dr. J), in his first NBA All-Star Game, was awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy by league commissioner Larry O’Brien, becoming only the second player to win the award despite losing.


1983: Marvin Gaye performs a very memorable national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles, doing a sultry version with a beat. Gaye’s rendition is an early example of an artist putting his own spin on the song, which becomes commonplace in the following years. However, after this performance, this proves to be among his final television performances as he would eventually be murdered by his father following an argument on April 1, 1984.


1988: Michael Jackson buys a ranch in Santa Ynez, California, which he renames “Neverland.”


1996: Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez on Me is released. The first rap double-album on a major label, it sells over 10 million copies in the United States.


1996: The Fugees release their second album, The Score. It’s a landmark, topping the charts around the world and pushing the boundaries of hip-hop. It’s also their last album, as they disband soon after.


1997: Michael Jackson’s first child, a son named Prince, is born. The mother is his second wife, Debbie Rowe, who later relinquishes custody.


2022: Dr. Dre anchors the first hip-hop-heavy Super Bowl halftime show in Los Angeles, performing with Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent.




1817: Frederick Douglass, an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman, was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Cordova, Maryland. Born a slave, after escaping slavery Douglass became one of the world’s foremost abolitionist and human rights leaders.  Douglass was known for his brilliant and persuasive oratory which drew listeners of all races to hear him expound upon the merits of freedom for all people. He was named Minister-Resident and Consul-General to Haiti on July 1, 1889.  Douglass was the first African American to have a position that high in the United States Government.


1967: In New York City, Aretha Franklin r-e-c-o-r-d-s her famous cover of the Otis Redding song “Respect.”


1970: Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” hits #1 in America.


1991: Boyz II Men release their debut album, CooleyHighharmony, with Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe as executive producer. Bivins’ former group, New Edition, inspired the Boyz’ name with their 1988 track “Boys To Men.”


1996: Prince, 37, marries the 22-year-old model/belly dancer, Mayte Garcia, at a ceremony in Minneapolis.


1998: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds is named Entertainer of the Year at the 29th NAACP Image Awards.


2001: Prince launches the NPG Music Club, one of the first music subscription services. The club acts as a virtual hub for the Prince faithful, with a thriving community, online access to his music, VIP passes to concerts and other exclusives. It runs until 2006, when Prince shuts it down, saying it “has gone as far as it can go.”


2014: With their music in legal limbo, De La Soul give away free downloads of their first six albums to anyone who signed up on their website. Their catalog isn’t available digitally because of rights issues with the samples.


2019: Kanye West hires Kenny G to play his sultry sax in a room full of roses for his wife, Kim Kardashian, as a Valentines’ Day surprise. They end up collaborating, with Kenny G playing on Kanye’s Jesus Is King track “Use This Gospel.”




1941: Duke Ellington records “Take the A Train.” It is a jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn that was the signature tune of the Duke Ellington orchestra. This song was written by Billy Strayhorn, who played piano and wrote arrangements for Duke Ellington’s band. Strayhorn recalled that the song that became the signature opening piece for Duke Ellington and his Orchestra came to him with very little effort.


1964: Sam Cooke announces a major reduction in his touring schedule, made so that he can concentrate on the day-to-day activities of his two new record labels, Sar and Derby.


1965: Nat King Cole, an American singer, jazz pianist, and actor, dies of lung cancer at age 45. Cole’s career as a jazz and pop vocalist started in the late 1930s and spanned almost three decades where he found success and recorded over 100 songs that became hits on the pop charts. He received numerous accolades including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, a Special Achievement Golden Globe Award and a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. Despite achieving mainstream success, during his career he faced intense racial discrimination. While not a major vocal public figure in the civil rights movement, Cole was a member of his local NAACP branch and participated in the 1963 March on Washington. He regularly performed for civil rights organizations. From 1956 to 1957, he hosted the NBC variety series, The Nat King Cole Show, which became the first nationally broadcast television show hosted by an African American.


1969: Sly & the Family Stone land their first #1 hit when “Everyday People” tops the Hot 100 for the first of four weeks. The song’s message: we’re all essentially the same, no matter what we look like. Of the seven members in the group, two are white and five are black.


1975: Performing “People Gotta Move,” Gino Vannelli becomes the first white singer to perform on Soul Train, beating Elton John by a few months. The first white musician to play the show was guitarist Dennis Coffey with his instrumental hit “Scorpio” in 1972.


1979: Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” wins two Grammys: Best Female R&B Vocal and Best R&B Song. The lyrics could be viewed as a woman looking for the love of her life, but in more literal terms, it is the last song before closing time at the disco, and she is looking for someone to go home with for the evening.


2011: American poet, author, actress, filmmaker, educator and civil rights activist Maya Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Her career in the arts lasted over 50 years, but was further noted internationally when she delivered her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” during the inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1993. During her career, Angelou was involved in many movies, television shows and plays.  She published numerous books of poetry, three books of essays and seven autobiographies.   Angelou’s autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” has received international acclaim since it’s publishing in 1969.




1923: In Thebes, Egypt, English archaeologist Howard Carter enters the sealed burial chamber of the ancient Egyptian ruler King (Tut)ankhamen. Because the ancient Egyptians saw their pharaohs as gods, they carefully preserved their bodies after death, burying them in elaborate tombs containing rich treasures to accompany the rulers into the afterlife. In the 19th century, archeologists from all over the world flocked to Egypt, where they uncovered a number of these tombs. Many had long ago been broken into by robbers and stripped of their riches.


1952: James Ingram, an American singer, songwriter and record producer, was born in Akron, Ohio. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song. After beginning his career in 1973, Ingram charted eight top 40 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart from the early 1980s until the early 1990s, as well as thirteen top 40 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In addition, he charted 20 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart (including two number-ones). He had two number-one singles on the Hot 100: the first, a duet with fellow R&B artist Patti Austin, 1982’s “Baby, Come to Me” topped the U.S. pop chart in 1983; “I Don’t Have the Heart“, which became his second number-one in 1990 was his only number-one as a solo artist.


1958: Ice-T (Tracy Marrow), an American rapper, songwriter, actor, and producer, is born in Newark, New Jersey but grew up in Los Angeles. He takes his stage name in honor of a notorious poet/pimp named Iceberg Slim.


1970: At Madison Square Garden in New York City, Joe Frazier defeated WBA World Champion, Jimmy Ellis, due to a corner stoppage after the fourth round to become World Champion. Frazier knocked Ellis down twice during the fourth round.


1971: Aretha Franklin records “Spanish Harlem.” Spanish Harlem is a section of New York City with a large Latino population and a rich cultural heritage. Her version went to number one on the US Soul charts for three weeks and number two on the Pop charts for two weeks. “Spanish Harlem” was kept from the top spot by “Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond. Aretha Franklin’s version earned a gold single for sales of over one million. Dr. John played keyboards on Franklin’s version with Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums and Chuck Rainey on bass.


1990: The Weeknd, Canadian singer, songwriter and actor, is born Abel Tesfaye in Toronto. Known for his sonic versatility and dark lyricism, his music explores escapism, romance, and melancholia, and is often inspired by personal experiences. He has received numerous accolades, including four Grammy Awards, a Latin Grammy Award, 20 Billboard Music Awards, 17 Juno Awards, six American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and nominations for an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award.


1990: Ike Turner is sentenced to four years in prison on eleven separate charges, including possession and transport of cocaine. In prison when he and ex-wife Tina are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he is released after serving eighteen months.


1997: Michael Jackson sings “Elizabeth I Love You,” which he wrote for the actress Elizabeth Taylor, at her 65th birthday celebration. The event airs on ABC on February 25th.


1999: Aretha Franklin responds to a story in the Detroit Free Press claiming that 30 lawsuits have been filed against her seeking payment, calling it “malicious and vicious.” Franklin, who handles business affairs herself, refuses to use a manager.


2021: Lauryn Hill’s 1998 album, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, is certified Diamond for 10 million sales in America, making her the first female hip-hop artist to earn that certification.




1820: The Senate passes the Missouri Compromise, an attempt to deal with the dangerously divisive issue of extending slavery into the western territories on a temporary basis. In exchange for admitting Missouri without restrictions on slavery, the Compromise called for bringing in Maine as a free state. The Compromise also dictated that slavery would be prohibited in all future western states carved out of the Louisiana Territory that were higher in latitude than the northern border of Arkansas Territory.


1918: Charles Hayes, an American politician, was born in Cairo, Illinois and eventually moved to Chicago where he spent the rest of his adult. Hayes served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Illinois’s 1st congressional district, from 1983 to 1993.


Hayes was elected as a Democrat to the 98th United States Congress by a special election held on August 23, 1983, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Harold Washington, who had been elected mayor of Chicago. While a representative, Hayes was on the Committee on Education and Labor and Small Business Committee. He was most noted for pieces of legislation to encourage school dropouts to re-enter and complete their education.


1963: Michael Jeffrey “Air” Jordan also known by his initials MJ, and arguably, the greatest basketball player ever to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA), is born in Brooklyn, but later grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina. Jordan will star at University of North Carolina (UNC) for three years (1981-84) under the tutelage of the legendary coach, Dean Smith, before being drafted three overall in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He has won one college championship with UNC in 1982, when he hit the game-clinching jumper to defeat the Georgetown Hoyas; won two Olympic gold medal representing the USA Basketball team in 1984 and 1992; and won six NBA championships with the Bulls from 1991-93 and 1996-98.


Jordan’s individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, ten NBA scoring titles (both all-time records), five NBA MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, two Slam Dunk Contest championships in 1987 and 1988, three NBA steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA records for career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and career playoff scoring average (33.4 points per game).


In 1999, he was named the 20th century’s greatest North American athlete by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press’ list of athletes of the century. Jordan was twice inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, once in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as part of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team“). He became a member of the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009, a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, and an individual member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015 and a “Dream Team” member in 2017. In 2021, Jordan was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.


One of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation, Jordan is known for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1984 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred as himself in the 1996 live-action animation hybrid film, Space Jam, and is the central focus of the Emmy Award-winning documentary miniseries, The Last Dance (2020). He became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats (now named the Hornets) in 2006, and bought a controlling interest in 2010. In 2016, Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history. That year, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As of 2022, Jordan’s net worth is estimated at $1.7 billion.


Career: 1,264 games (1,072 regular season, 179 post-season, 13 All-Star)


Scored 0–1 points in 0 games

Scored 2–9 points in 15 games (13 regular season, 2 All-Star)

Scored 10+ points in 1,249 games (1,059 regular season, 179 post-season, 11 All-Star)

Scored 20+ points in 1,106 games (926 regular season, 173 post-season, 7 All-Star)

Scored 30+ points in 673 games [NBA record] (1st all time) (562 regular season, 109 post-season, 2 All-Star)

Scored 35+ points in 410 games [NBA record] (1st all time) (333 regular season, 75 post-season, 2 All-Star)

Scored 40+ points in 212 games (2nd all time) (173 regular season, 38 post-season, 1 All-Star)

Scored 50+ points in 39 games (2nd all time) (31 regular season, 8 post-season)

Scored 60+ points in 5 games (3rd all time) (4 regular season, 1 post-season)

Recorded 28 Game-winning shots (21 regular season, 7 post-season)

Recorded 31 Triple-doubles (28 regular season, 2 post-season, 1 All-Star) (13th all-time tied)

Recorded 241 Double-doubles (201 regular season, 39 post-season, 1 All-Star)

11-time regular season leader, total points (1985, ’87–’93, ’96–’98)

10-time regular season leader, scoring average (’86–’93, ’95–’98)

3-time regular season leader, steals (’88, ’90, ’93)


1982: Jazz great, Thelonious Monk, dies at age 64 due to a stroke. Monk is the second-most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington. Monk’s compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists and are consistent with his unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of switched key releases, silences, and hesitations. Monk’s distinct look included suits, hats, and sunglasses. He also had an idiosyncratic habit during performances: while other musicians continued playing, Monk would stop, stand up, and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano.


1984: The musical drama Footloose opens in theaters with a soundtrack featuring Kenny Loggins, Deniece Williams, and Sammy Hagar. Two songs from the movie – “Footloose” and “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” – go to #1 in America.




1931: Toni Morrison, an American novelist, was born in Lorain, Ohio. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987); she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.


1941: Irma Thomas, Grammy Award winning singer, was born in New Orleans. Thomas was deemed the “Soul Queen of New Orleans.” Thomas is a contemporary of Aretha Franklin and Etta James, but never experienced their level of commercial success. In 2007, she won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for After the Rain, her first Grammy in a career spanning over 50 years.


1959: Ray Charles records “What’d I Say,” a song he came up with by improvising at concerts, at Atlantic Records studios in New York City. As a single divided into two parts, it was one of the first soul songs. After his run of R&B hits, this song finally broke Charles into mainstream pop music and itself sparked a new subgenre of R&B titled soul.


1964: The Beatles meet Muhammad Ali (known at the time as Cassius Clay) when they are visiting Miami while Clay was training for his heavyweight championship bout with Sonny Liston.


1965: Dr. Dre, an American rapper and record producer, is born Andre Romelle Young in Compton, California. He becomes a member of the rap group, N.W.A., and co-founds the LA rap label, Death Row Records, which boasts Tupac Shakur as its star artist. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronic.


2006: In Turin, Italy, Shani Davis became the first African American to win a Gold medal in an individual Winter Olympics. Davis was born on August 13, 1982 in Chicago.  He was raised by his mother on the South Side of Chicago where as a small child he excelled in roller-skating.  He eventually transferred his talents to the ice and began to lay the foundation which would lead to his becoming one of the world’s top skaters.  At the early age of only seventeen he became the first American skater to earn spots on both the short track and long track Junior World Team.




1871: Lugenia Burns Hope, a social reformer whose Neighborhood Union and other community service organizations improved the quality of life for African Americans in Atlanta, and served as a model for the future Civil Rights Movement, was born in St. Louis. She was posthumously inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement in 1996.


1937: In the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Italy under the leadership of Benito Mussolini waged a war of aggression when he directed General Rodolfo Graziani to attack from Somalia. The war, which began on October 3, 1935 ended when Italy was able to gain control of the country and forced the Ethiopian leader, Haile Selassie, into exile in London, England.

Ethiopia would be under the control of Italy until June 10, 1940, in the early stages of World War II, when Italy allied itself with Nazi Germany when she declared war on both France and Great Britain. As a result, Britain incited Ethiopia to take up arms against Italy, kick starting of East African Campaign. With the British assistance, the Ethiopians expelled the Italians from East Africa, forcing them to retreat to North Africa by May 5, 1941. Afterwards, Haile Selassie entered Addis Ababa and personally addressed the Ethiopian people who greeted him warmily.


1940: Smokey Robinson, an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and former record executive director, is born William Robinson Jr. in Detroit. Nicknamed “Smokey Joe” by his uncle, he fronts the Motown group The Miracles and is a top songwriter and producer for the label. Robinson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was awarded the 2016 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his lifetime contributions to popular music. In 2022, he was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.


1942: The 100th Fighter Squadron was activated in the 332 Fighter Group which is better known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American soldiers to fly during World War II. These heroic soldiers fought valiantly in the war even when many initially doubted the flying capabilities of African Americans. The Tuskegee Airmen proved that not only could they fly, but they were as good as any of America’s pilots during the war.  The Tuskegee Airmen whose chief role was the protection of large bombers from German fighter planes participated in over 15,000 sorties from May 1943 to June 1945.  Approximately 1000 pilots were trained at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.


1948: At the Chicago Stadium on the West Side of Chicago, with then record attendance of 17,823, the Harlem Globetrotters defeated the defending NBA champion, Minneapolis Lakers, who were led by Center, George Mikan, 61-59. The Globetrotters increased their winning streak to 104 games. The match-up was between the all-Black team and the all-White team since at that time African-Americans were prohibited from competing in the NBA until the 1950-51 season.


1963: Seal (real name: Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) is born in Paddington, England. He has sold over 20 million records worldwide. These include hit songs “Crazy” and “Killer“, the latter of which went to number one in the UK, and his most celebrated song, “Kiss from a Rose“, which was released in 1994 and was part of the Batman Forever soundtrack the following year.


1972: Sammy Davis Jr. appears on the TV show, All In The Family, in an episode where he famously plants a kiss on the bigoted character, Archie Bunker.


1976: Donna Summer’s lascivious “Love To Love You Baby” is certified Gold. It became one of the first disco hits to be released in an extended form. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Summer’s only selection on this list.


1977: Natalie Cole wins the Best R&B Female Vocal Performance Grammy for “Sophisticated Lady.” It spent one week at #1 on the Hot Soul Singles charts in 1976, and was Cole’s third consecutive #1 soul hit. “Sophisticated Lady…” would not be one of Cole’s biggest US Pop hits, rising no higher than #25 on the Billboard Hot 100


1983: The Patti Austin and James Ingram duet “Baby, Come To Me” hits #1 in America. The song is written by Michael Jackson hitmaker, Rod Temperton, composer of “Thriller” and “Off The Wall.”


2020: In a promotion for Buffalo Wild Wings, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony announce they have changed their name to Boneless Thugs-N-Harmony because they love the restaurant’s boneless wings.




1895: One of America’s greatest orators, Frederick Douglass died in Washington, DC at age 77. He was born (Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey) and celebrated February 14, 1818 as the date of his birth. Douglass was born in Talbot County, Maryland.  Born a slave, after escaping slavery, Douglass became one of the world’s foremost abolitionist and human rights leaders.


1981: Rick James releases “Give It To Me Baby,” a #1 R&B hit filled with that funk, that sweet, that funky stuff. James explained: “I wrote it because I had come home one night and my old lady was in bed and I wanted to mess around, but I was too drunk. So I sat at the piano and wrote the song.”


1993: Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” from the soundtrack to The Bodyguard tops Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for the 13th week.


1996: Snoop Doggy Dogg is acquitted of murder, ending an ordeal that started in 1993 when his bodyguard shot and killed a rival gang member from the Jeep Snoop was driving.




1933: Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known professionally as Nina Simone, is born in Tryon, North Carolina. She would go on to become a world renowned pianist, writer, and vocalist whose music straddled jazz, blues, R&B, folk and gospel. She was also an outspoken advocate during the civil rights movement, writing songs about the scars and daily experience of racism.


1936: Congresswoman Barbara Jordan was born in Houston, Texas. Jordan on July 12, 1976, became the first African American to deliver a Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention. She also gave a keynote address at the 1992 Democratic Convention. Jordan was the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from the South in 1972.


1965: In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. He was 39.


1970: The Jackson 5 perform their #1 hit “I Want You Back” and their new single, “ABC,” on American Bandstand. It’s their first appearance on the show; front man Michael tells host Dick Clark he likes the weather in Los Angeles (it’s much warmer than their hometown of Gary, Indiana) and digs The Beatles.


1974: Kool and the Gang’s single, “Jungle Boogie,” is certified Gold. With the million-selling success of “Jungle Boogie” and the success of other singles, “Funky Stuff” and “Hollywood Swinging,” the album was quickly certified gold by the RIAA, the band’s first certified gold album. “Jungle Boogie” hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 after receiving extensive play in dance clubs and discos, leading to the single being certified gold as well


1987: Twenty-six years after becoming a hit in America, Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” goes to #1 in the UK following its release in the movie of the same name.


2003: Michael Jordan, Guard, Washington Wizards, became the first NBA player at the age of 40 to score 40+ points in a single game when he scored 43 points as the Wizards defeated the New Jersey Nets, 89-86, at home in the MCI Center, now known as the Capital One Arena, in downtown Washington, D.C.


2013: Cleotha Staples of The Staple Singers dies at age 78.




1911: A great African American poet, author, abolitionist and suffragist, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper died at age 85. Harper along with many great abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Highland Garnet and Susan B. Anthony and others were members of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  She was also one of the founders of the National Association of Colored Women Clubs (NACWC) along with Harriet Tubman, Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Margaret Murray Washington and Mary Church Terrell on July 21, 1886 in Washington, DC.


1950: Julius (Dr. J) Erving, a former professional basketball player, was born in Roosevelt, New York. After starring collegiately for the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Minutemen from 1969-71, he played for the Virginia Squires from 1971-73 and the New York Nets from 1973-76 for the American Basketball Association (ABA). From 1976-87, he played for the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA.


Dr. J helped popularize the Slam Dunk Contest while starring in the ABA and NBA. In 1983, at the All-Star Game in Houston, Dr. J won the first ever contest hosted by the NBA when he jumped from the free throw line to slam the ball down the basketball. Erving won championships in 1974, 1976 and 1983 and was voted to the NBA 50th Anniversary in 1996.


1976: Shortly after emerging from poverty and alcoholism to make a musical comeback, Florence Ballard (of The Supremes) dies at age 32 of a cardiac arrest caused by a blood clot.


1980: In Fort Worth, Texas, Rick James launches his first headlining tour, with Prince as opening act. Both released their debut albums in 1978, but James is the more popular artist at this point.


1989: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (Will Smith) win the first-ever rap Grammy (Best Rap Performance) for “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” their comic tune built from the I Dream of Jeannie theme song.


1990: A jury rules that Stevie Wonder didn’t not infringe on a song written in 1976 called “I Just Called To Say” on his hit “I Just Called To Say I Love You.” The lawsuit was filed in 1985 by “I Just Called To Say” writers Lee Garrett and Lloyd Chiate, but in 1986, Garrett, a childhood friend of Wonder’s, pulls out of the case.


1993: Lenny Kravitz releases “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” a song about God.


1994: Prince is granted the trademark on the symbol he has been using as his name. Prince controls its use for sound recordings, and later trademarks it for entertainment services, posters, publications, bumper stickers and stickers, clothing, sound recordings and videotapes featuring music and entertainment.


2000: The recently departed soul legend Curtis Mayfield is honored at a First African Methodist Episcopal Church service in Los Angeles, featuring performances from Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, and, spontaneously, Lauryn Hill.


2008: After much controversy and debate over whether or not to honor recently deceased musician and Mississippi native Ike Turner, the state legislature compromises and passes a resolution that honors his musical achievements only.




1868: William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois is born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Du Bois was a historian, civil rights activist, sociologist, author, editor and Pan-Africanist.  In 1909 he was also one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Du Bois became the first African American member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters on June 22, 1943.  He died on August 27, 1963 at age 95 in Accra, Ghana.


1974: Aretha Franklin becomes the first artist to have songs peak at each of the first 10 spots on the Hot 100 when “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” fills in the gap at #3.


1977: A federal jury rules that The Isley Brothers recorded “It’s Your Thing” in 1969 after leaving Motown Records and the label is not entitled to royalties.


1983: After 18 nominations, Lionel Richie finally wins a Grammy when his solo debut single “Truly” takes the award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.


1987: Jody Watley releases her self-titled debut album, which earns her the Grammy award for Best New Artist thanks to hits like “Don’t You Want Me” and “Looking For A New Love.”


1993: Little Richard receives a Lifetime Achievement Grammy award.


1995: Melvin “Blue” Franklin (bass singer for The Temptations) dies at age 52. Franklin had long suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and developed diabetes in the ’80s.


1997: After declaring a truce in an effort to end violence between East Coast and West Coast rappers, Puff Daddy and Snoop Doggy Dogg appear on The Steve Harvey Show in the episode “I Do, I Don’t.”


2020: Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, is shot dead by a white father and son while out for a jog in a suburb of Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault. William Bryan, who filmed the shooting on his phone, was also arrested and charged with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. All three men were later found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. In a separate trial, a jury found all three men were found guilty of federal hate crime charges, as well.




1811: One of the most important figures in the African Methodist Episcopal Church during the nineteenth century in America, Bishop Daniel A. Payne was born a free man in Charleston, South Carolina. Serving for over four decades as a bishop in the church, Payne is remembered for being a major influence in the early growth of the church. He was also one of the founders in 1856 of Wilberforce University in Ohio which is America’s first African American owned and operated college. Bishop Payne served as the first president of Wilberforce.


1841: Former President John Quincy Adams begins to argue the Amistad case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court resulting from the rebellion of Africans on board the Spanish schooner, La Amistad, in 1839. It was an unusual freedom suit that involved international diplomacy as well as United States law. The historian Samuel Eliot Morison described it in 1969 as the most important court case involving slavery before being eclipsed by that of Dred Scott in 1857. Adams argued the Amistad case in 1841, saying the Mende were free and should be returned to their homeland. He challenged the United States to live up to its ideals. The Supreme Court sided with Adams, and the abolitionists raised money to help send the long-suffering Africans home.


1969: Jimi Hendrix’s Experience play their final UK concert, at London’s Royal Albert Hall.


1987: Fats Domino, Ray Charles and B.B. King win Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy Awards.


1999: Lenny Kravitz wins his first Grammy when “Fly Away” is named Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. It’s his first of four-consecutive wins in the category, followed by “American Woman,” “Again” and “Dig In.”


2013: Janet Jackson reveals that she and Wissam Al Mana, a billionaire investor from Qatar, got married in a quiet, secret ceremony sometime in 2012. It is Jackson’s third marriage; her first two husbands were the singer, James DeBarge, and the director, René Elizondo, Jr.




1870: Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, is sworn into the U.S. Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in Congress. Although African Americans Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and some 15 other African American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and hundreds of African Americans held local offices.


1964: 22-year-old Cassius Clay shocks the odds-makers by dethroning world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston in a seventh-round technical knockout in Miami.


1976: Rashida Leah Jones, an American actress, writer, producer, and director, was born in Los Angeles, to actress, Peggy Lipton and musician/record producer, Quincy Jones. Jones appeared as Louisa Fenn on the Fox drama series, Boston Public (2000–2002), as Karen Filippelli on the NBC comedy series, The Office (2006–2009; 2011), and as Ann Perkins on the NBC comedy series, Parks and Recreation (2009–2015). From 2016 to 2019, Jones starred as the lead eponymous role in the TBS comedy series, Angie Tribeca, and in 2020, Jones starred as Joya Barris in the Netflix series, #blackAF.


1992: TLC release their debut album, Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip. Their first single, “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” hits the Top 10 on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts.


1992: James Brown receives a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.


1995: Madonna’s “Take A Bow” hits #1 on the Hot 100 and stays for seven weeks. The song is produced by Kenneth Babyface Edmonds.


1997: At Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party, DMC of Run-DMC meets Sarah McLachlan, whose music he credits with keeping him alive as he fights off depression. Years later, after DMC learns he was adopted, he collaborates with McLachlan on the song “Just Like Me” and learns that she was also adopted.


1998: Bo Diddley and Roy Orbison receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys.


1999: Prince, who is now using an unpronounceable symbol for his moniker, sues nine websites to prevent unauthorized downloads. He takes another stand in 2007 when he sues other sites to remove images of him.




1926: Louis Armstrong introduces scat singing when he records “Heebie Jeebies.” As Armstrong tells it, he improvised his vocals when his lyric sheet fell off the stand.


1928: Fats Domino is born Antoine Domino in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of nine children, he quickly masters the piano, taking the name Fats from piano great Fats Waller (and also, he’s 5’5″ and well over 200 pounds).


1954: Responding to the rising popularity of black music, the United States congress proposes a bill forbidding distribution of “obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy publication, picture, disc, transcription, or other article capable of producing sound.” The bill fails.


1971: Erykah Badu is born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas.


1972: Joe Tex’s “I Gotcha” hits #1 on the R&B chart. This was Joe Tex’s highest-charting career single as far as the Billboard Hot 100 was concerned. It is all original Joe Tex, in his own absolutely inimitable style – he’s known as one of the precursors of rap music.


1985: “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner wins Song of the Year and Record of the Year.


2012: Trayvon Martin, an African American teen walking home from a trip to a convenience store, is fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer patrolling the townhouse community of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman later claimed to have shot the unarmed 17-year-old out of self-defense during a physical altercation. Following a high-profile trial that riveted America, he was acquitted of the charges against him. The term “Black lives matter” was then used for the first time by organizer Alicia Garza in a July 13, 2013 Facebook post in response to Zimmerman’s acquittal. The phrase spread widely and became a rallying cry against racial injustice.




1897: Marian Anderson, an American contralto, world renowned opera singer and the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955, was born in Philadelphia. She performed a wide range of music, from opera to spirituals. Anderson performed with renowned orchestras in major concert and recital venues throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965.


Anderson was an important figure in the struggle for African-American artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939 during the era of racial segregation, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The incident placed Anderson in the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the Lincoln Memorial steps in the capital. She sang before an integrated crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions.


In addition, she worked as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the first Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.


1960: The Miracles make their first TV appearance when they perform on American Bandstand.


1961: Chubby Checker’s “Pony Time” hits #1 in America for the first of five weeks.


1964: One of America’s most prominent African American scholars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Anna Julia Haywood Cooper died in Washington, DC at the elderly age of 105. Cooper made contributions to social science fields, particularly in sociology. Her first book, A Voice from the South: By a Black Woman of the South, is widely acknowledged as one of the first articulations of Black feminism, giving Cooper the often-used title of “the Mother of Black Feminism


1966: The Supremes appear on the TV show, What’s My Line.


1980: Michael Jackson wins his first Grammy: Best R&B Performance for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Other winners include Donna Summer (Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for “Hot Stuff“), Earth, Wind & Fire (Best R&B Group Vocal Performance for “After the Love Has Gone“), and The Doobie Brothers (Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “What A Fool Believes“).


1984: The Jacksons’ Pepsi commercial premieres on MTV.


1991: James Brown is released on parole from a South Carolina prison after serving two years of a six-year sentence on drug and assault charges.


1993: Whitney Houston’s single “I Will Always Love You” reaches its 14th week at #1, a new record. In 1995, this record is broken by “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men.


2005: Jamie Foxx wins a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the movie, Ray.




1943: Soul singer-songwriter Barbara Acklin is born in Oakland, California, but is raised in Chicago, Illinois, where she plays the nightclub circuit as a teenager. She co-writes the Jackie Wilson hit “Whispers (Gettin’ Louder)” and lands a recording contract with Brunswick Records.


1949: In the second ever match-up, at Chicago Stadium, the Harlem Globetrotters defeated the Minneapolis Lakers, 49-45, with record attendance of 20,046. The United Center (UC) has since replaced the Chicago Stadium across the street, and the site of the Chicago Stadium is currently the parking lot of the UC. The Trotters built a large enough lead in the fourth quarter to feel comfortable in performing some of their crowd-pleasing antics, including a fabulous dribbling routine by Haynes. Nevertheless, this would also be the last time the Globetrotters would ever beat the Lakers as the Lakers would win the last six meetings with the last meeting on January 3, 1958 at the Chicago Stadium.


1967: The first African American U.S. Marine to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. died during an unconscionable act of heroism during the Vietnam War by sacrificing his life for his fellow soldiers by grasping a grenade and shielding the explosion with his body to protect their lives.


1968: Frankie Lymon dies of a heroin overdose at age 25 at his grandmother’s bathroom with a syringe by his side.


1984: Michael Jackson is the big winner at the Grammy Awards, winning eight trophies, including Album of the Year for Thriller and Record of the Year for “Beat It.” He makes the ceremony despite being injured the previous day when his hair caught fire shooting a Pepsi commercial.


2004: Usher’s club anthem “Yeah!,” featuring Ludacris and Lil Jon, hits #1 in America. It stays at the top for 12 weeks to become the biggest hit of 2004.


2009: Flo Rida’s “Right Round” hits #1 on the Hot 100 for the first of six weeks. An unknown singer named Kesha Sebert provides the hook. She soon becomes a star under the moniker Ke$ha, with the $ in her name included for ironic purposes as she claims money isn’t very important to her (which explains why she isn’t too upset about getting paid very little for her contribution to this song).




1896: In the First Italo-Ethiopian War, at the Battle of Adwa, the Ethiopian troops, supported by Russia and France, decisively defeated the invading Italian forces, who were looking to colonized Ethiopia. Ethiopia inflicted twice as many casualties on Italy. Because of the battle, Ethiopia and Liberia were the only two African countries not conquered by any European countries.


1940: Gone with the Wind is honored with eight Oscars by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. An epic Southern romance set during the hard times of the Civil War, the movie swept the prestigious Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, and Actress categories. However, the most momentous award that night undoubtedly went to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of “Mammy,” a housemaid and former enslaved woman. McDaniel, who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, was the first African American actress or actor ever to be honored with an Oscar.


1968: At the Grammy Awards, the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category is given for the first time, and Aretha Franklin wins it for “Respect.” She wins the award again each of the next seven years.


1984: Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones was born in New York City.  After almost drowning at age five, Jones learned to swim. This near catastrophic incident propelled his life into becoming one of the world’s best swimmers.  Jones would go on to win his first gold medal in the 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China with teammates Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak and Garrett Weber-Gale. Jones won the gold medal in the 4 x 100-meter medley and silver medals in the 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay and the 50-meter freestyle at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.


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