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March (repeated below)

  • March 1, 1994 - Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. elected president of the National Baseball League.
     

  • March 2, 1867 - U.S. Congress enacts charter to establish Howard University.
     

  • March 3, 1865 - Freeman's Bureau established by federal government to aid newly freed slaves.
     

  • March 4, 1965 - Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics honored as NBA most valuable player for fourth time in five years.
     

  • March 5, 1770 - Crispus Attucks becomes one of the first casualties of the American Revolution.
     

  • March 6, 1857 - U.S. Supreme Court issues Dred Scott decision.
     

  • March 7, 1965 - U.S. Supreme Court upholds key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
     

  • March 8, 1977 - Henry L. Marsh III becomes first African American elected mayor of Richmond, Va.
     

  • March 9, 1941 - Amistad mutineers freed by U.S. Supreme Court.
     

  • March 10, 1913 - Harriet Tubman dies.
     

  • March 11, 1959 - Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin In the Sun" opens at Barrymore Theater, New York, the first play by a Black woman to premier on Broadway.
     

  • March 12, 1932 - Andrew Young, former U.N. ambassador and former mayor of Atlanta, born.
     

  • March 13, 1773 - Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, black pioneer and explorer, founded Chicago.
     

  • March 14, 1965 - Montgomery bus boycott ends when municipal bus service is desegregated.
     

  • March 15, 1988 - Eugene Antonio Marino, first Black archbishop, assigned to Atlanta.
     

  • March 16, 1846 - Rebecca Cole, second Black female physician in America, born.
     

  • March 17, 1885 - William F. Cosgrove patents automatic stop plug for gas and oil pipes. 1890 - Charles B. Brooks patents street sweeper.
     

  • March 18, 1822 - The Phoenix Society, a literary and educational group, founded by Blacks in New York City.
     

  • March 19, 1971 - Rev. Leon Sullivan elected to board of directors of General Motors.
     

  • March 20, 1883 - Jan. E. Matzeliger patents shoe-making machine 1912 - Carter Woodson receives doctorate from Harvard University.
     

  • March 21, 1965 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., for voting rights.
     

  • March 22, 1898 - J.W. Smith patents lawn sprinkler.
     

  • March 23, 1873 - Slavery abolished in Puerto Rico.
     

  • March 24, 1837 - Canada gives African American citizens the right to vote.
     

  • March 25, 1843 - Explorer Jacob Dodson sets out in Search of the Northwest Passage.
     

  • March 26, 1872 - Thomas J. Martin patents fire extinguisher. 1911 - William H. Lewis becomes U.S. assistant attorney general.
     

  • March 27, 1930 - Of the 116,000 African Americans in professional positions, more than two-thirds were teachers or ministers.
     

  • March 28, 1870 - Jonathan S. Wright becomes first Black state Supreme Court justice in South Carolina.
     

  • March 29, 1898 - W.J. Ballow patents combined hat rack and table.
     

  • March 30, 1870 - Fifteenth Amendment ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to African Americans.
     

  • March 31, 1988 - Toni Morrison wins Pulitzer Prize for Beloved.

July

Rwanda, Cape Verde, Comoros, Malawi, Sao Tome & Principe, and Liberia have independence days this month. Click here for the exact days.

  • July 1, 1917 - Race riot, East St. Louis, Illinois. Estimates of the number killed ranged from forty to two hundred. Martial law was declared. A congressional investigating committee said, "It is not possible to give accurately the number of dead. At least thirty-nine Negroes and eight white people were killed outright, and hundreds of Negroes were wounded and maimed.' The bodies of the dead Negroes, 'testified can eye witness, 'were thrown into a morgue like so many dead hogs.' There were three hundred and twelve buildings and forty-four railroad freight cars and their contents destroyed by fire." (from Black Facts)
  • July 10, 1875 - Horatio Gates, George Washington's adjutant general, issued an order excluding Blacks from the Continental Army.
  • July 11, 1776 - Olaudah Equiano, who wrote one of the earliest accounts of traveling on the Middle Passage, bought his freedom from a Quaker merchant in Philadelphia. (For details see the Home Page section on Africa & the World From Those Who Were There
  • July 11, 1905 - W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter led a number Black intellectuals and White activists.  They met near Niagara Falls and the result of this meeting was the Niagara Movement. The delegates came from fourteen states, and among their demands were the abolition of all distinctions based on race.
  • July 12, 1967 - Twenty-three persons were killed in the Newark, New Jersey riots, which was called a rebellion by activists. More than 1,500 persons were injured and 1,300 were arrested in the racial uprising. It directly affected ten of the city's twenty-three square miles.  Police reported 300 fires. The Newark rebellion was the worst outbreak of racial violence since Watts, and it spread to other New Jersey communities, including New Brunswick, Englewood, Paterson, Elizabeth, Palmyra, Passaic, and Plainfield. The National Guard was mobilized to quell the disturbances.
  • July 13, 1863 - 1863 - Working class Irish in New York City, angered by the Conscription Act that allowed exemptions from military service for $300, burned a provost marshal's office and the Colored Orphan Asylum. The act triggered a three-day anti-black race riot.  Hostility to draft and fear of Blacks, "the cause" of the war and potential competitors in the labor market, led to "New York Draft Riots," one of the bloodiest race riots in American history. Mobs swept through streets, murdered Blacks and hanged them on lamp posts. (From Black Facts)
  • July 14, 1914 -On July 14, 1914 Marcus Garvey arrived in Jamaica after touring Central America and Europe. Five days later he launched the Universal Negro Improvement Association, UNIA. It was the largest independent Black organization the world has ever seen and it was meant to be the voice of Black people all over the world.
  • July 17, 1794 - Richard Allen organized Philadelphia's Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • July 19, 1941 - First U.S. Army flying school for Black cadets dedicated at Tuskegee, Alabama.
     
  • July 20, 1848 - Frederick Douglass was the only male, Black or White, to play a prominent role at the first Woman's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York. He seconded the woman's suffrage motion introduced by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
  • July 20, 1967 - More than one thousand people attended the first Black Power Conference in Newark, New Jersey.
  • July 21, 1864 - The first daily Black newspaper, The New Orleans Tribune, is published in English and French, 1864.
  • July 23, 1900 - Pan-African Congress met in London. Among the leaders of the Congress were H. Sylvester Williams, a West Indian Lawyer with a London practice, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Bishop Alexander Walters.
  • July 24, 1802 - Alexandre Dumas is born in Villiers-Cotterets to a Haitian mulatto, Thomas Alexandre Dumas, and Marie Labouret Dumas, a French woman. He will become an acclaimed author of the French classics The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Corsican Brothers. Dumas wrote hundreds of plays, novels and travel diaries. He wrote several children's stories, and a culinary dictionary. He started several magazines and wrote in them weekly. He was one of the most prolific writers ever, and did not shy away from collaborating with others or rewriting older stories. (from Black Facts)
  • July 25, 1972 - The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, wherein for 40 years Blacks were used in experiments with syphilis, was admitted to by US government officials.
  • July 28, 1915 - Ten thousand Blacks marched down Fifth Avenue, New York City, in a silent parade protesting lynching, which was commonplace in the South, and racial indignities in other places in the country, including New York City.
  • July 29, 1918 - The National Liberty Congress of Colored Americans asked Congress to make lynching a federal crime.
  • July 30, 1864 - Union troops exploded mines under rebel lines near Petersburg, however, committed three white divisions and one Black division were soundly defeated. The Black division of the Ninth Corps sustained heavy casualties in the ill-planned attack. The only success the Union army saw that day occurred when the Forty-third U.S.C.T. captured two hundred rebels. Decatur Dorsey of the Thirty-ninth U.S.C.T. won a Congressional Medal of Honor.
  • July 31, 1874 - Patrick Francis Healy, S.J., was inaugurated as president of Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic University in America, and became the first Black to head a predominantly White university.

August

Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso,  Cote d' Ivoire (The Ivory Coast), Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, and Gabon have independence days this month. Click here for the exact dates.

  • August 1, 1834 - Slavery was abolished in the British empire.
  • August 1, 1920 - The national convention of Marcus Garvey's Universal Improvement Association opened in Liberty Hall in Harlem. The next night Garvey addressed twenty-five thousand Blacks in Madison Square Garden.
  • August 3, 1928 - The Atlanta Daily World, the first Black daily newspaper in modern times, was founded by William A. Scott, III.
  • August 3, 1970 - Two thousand delegates and observers attended Congress of African Peoples convention in Atlanta.
  • August 4, 1964 - The bodies of three civil rights workers were discovered on a farm near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Three young men, two white and one Black, had been missing since June 21. The FBI said White segregationists murdered them the night they disappeared. Eighteen whites, including several police officers, were charged with conspiracy to deprive the victims of their civil rights. There were no convictions.
  • August 5, 1962 - Nelson Mandela was arrested near Howick, South Africa, and charged with incitement. He later received a five-year sentence.
  • August 6, 1870 - White conservatives suppressed Black vote and captured Tennessee legislative in election marred by assassinations and widespread violence. Campaign effectively ended Radical Reconstruction in North Carolina. The conservative legislature impeached Governor Holden on December 14.
  • August 6, 1962 - Jamaica proclaimed independence.
  • August 11, 1820 - Two New York City churches, The African Methodist Zion and Asbury African Methodist, started a separate African Methodist Episcopal Conference, though it was still within the Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • August 12, 1890 - The Mississippi Constitutional Convention, which ran from August 12 to November 1,  began the systematic exclusion of Blacks from political life in the South. The Mississippi Plan (Literacy and "understanding tests") was later adopted, with alterations and embellishments, by the following states: South Carolina (1895), Louisiana (1898), North Carolina (1900), Alabama (1901), Virginia (1901), Georgia (1908), Oklahoma (1910).  Southern states later used "White primaries" and other devices such as poll taxes to exclude Black voters.
  • August 12, 1977 - Stephen Biko, the leader of the Black Consciousness Movement In South Africa was arrested.
  • August 14, 1862 - The first group of blacks to confer with a United states president on public policy matters met with Abraham Lincoln. He urged Blacks to emigrate to Africa or Central America and he was severely  criticized by Northern Blacks.
  • August 17, 1877 - Marcus Garvey, the father of the Black nationalist and pan African movements was born in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica.
  • August 21, 1831 - Was the date of Nat Turner's rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. Approximately sixty Whites were killed. Turner, who was betrayed by a slave, was not captured until October 30.
  • August 22, 1791 - The Haitian Revolution began with a revolt of slaves in northern province.
  • August 27, 1963 - W.E.B. Du Bois died in Accra, Ghana.
  • August 28, 1955 - Emmett Till, fourteen years old, and visiting from Chicago, was kidnapped and lynched in Money, Mississippi. His "crime" was whistling at a White woman. No one was ever convicted for his murder.
  • August 30, 1800 - Gabriel Prossner and one thousand slaves planed to attack Richmond, Virginia. A storm, however, forced them to postpone the attack. Prossner was betrayed by two slaves, and he and fifteen followers were hanged on October 7.

____________________

May

  • May 7, 1946 William H. Hastie inaugurated as the first Black governor of the Virgin Islands.
  • May 8, 1945 - On this day the the massacre at Setif, Algeria occurred. Algeria was struggling for freedom from France and the French troops left 45,000 dead.
  • May 14, 1888 - Slavery abolished in Brazil.
  • May 15, 1820 - U.S. Congress declares the foreign slave trade to be an act of piracy, punishable by death.
  • May 17, 1954 - U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education decision.
  • May 18, 1896 - Plessy vs. Ferguson, Supreme Court upholds the doctrine of "separate but equal" education and public accommodations.
  • May 18, 1980 - Independence Day for Zimbabwe.
  • May 19, 1925 - Malcolm X born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb.
  • May 20, 1743 - Birthday of Haitian revolutionary Pierre-Dominique Touissant L'Overture. 
  • May 20, 1854 - Anthony Burns, celebrated fugitive slave, arrested by United States Deputy marshals in Boston. Two thousand United States troops escorted him through the streets of Boston when he was returned to the South.
  • May 21, 1833 - African Americans enroll for the first time at Oberlin College, Ohio.
  • May 23, 1900 - Sgt. William H. Carney becomes the first African American awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor at Fort Wagner, S.C., 1863.
  • May 24, 1854 - Lincoln University (Pa.), the first Black college, is founded.
  • May 26, 1799 - Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin was born in Moscow on May 26, 1799. He was first published in the journal The Messenger of Europe in 1814. Pushkin today is regarded as the Father of Russian Literature.
  • May 27, 1960 - Independence Day for Togo.
  • May 28, 1948 - National Party wins Whites-only election in South Africa and institutes the policy of apartheid.
  • May 29, 1901 - Granville T. Woods patents overhead conducting system for the electric railway.
  • May 30, 1822 - A house slave betrays Denmark Vesey's  conspiracy, which was one of the largest  and most most elaborate slave plots on record. It involved thousands of Blacks in Charleston, S.C., and vicinity. Thirty-seven Blacks were hanged.
  • May 30, 1965 - Vivian Malone becomes the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama.
  • May 31, 1870 - Congress passes the first Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for those who deprive others of their civil rights.

June

  • June 1, 1835 - The 5th National Negro Convention met in Philadelphia. This convention  urged Blacks to ceae using the terms "African" and "colored" and use the term "Negro  when referring to "Negro" institutions, organizations, and themselves.
  • June 2, 1854 - Fugitive slave Anthony Burns was returned to the South from Boston. It cost the federal government $100,000 to return Burns, who was later sold to a group of Bostonians who freed him.
  • June 5, 1872 - Republican National Convention met in Philadelphia with substantial Black representation from Southern States. For the first time in American History, three Blacks addressed a major national political body.
  • June 6, 1790 - Jean Baptist Pointe Desable, a French speaking Santo Domingo native, becomes the first permanent resident and thus founder of Chicago.
  • June 7, 1930 - Respecting Negro demands, the "New York Times" announced that the "N" in the word "Negro" would be henceforth capitalized in its pages.
  • June 19, 1865 - On this day, two years after the emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Texas discovered they were free. This day became known as "Juneteenth" (see Short Facts for details).
  • June 20, 1871 - Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi. (see Short Facts for details).
  • June 20, 1960 - Independence day for Mali.
  • June 20, 1960 - Independence day for Senegal.
  • June 25, 1773 - Massachusetts slaves petitioned the state legislature for freedom. (see Short Facts for details).
  • June 25, 1975 - Independence day for Mozambique.
  • June 26, 1960 - Independence day for Madagascar.
  • June 26, 1960 - Independence day for Somalia.
  • June 27, 1977 - Independence day for Djibouti.
  • June 29, 1820 - On Thursday, June 29, 1820, at 3:00 P.M., nineteen years before the "Amistad" incident, 283 African slaves (two dead and 281 were in chains) were recaptured off the Florida coast. (see Short Facts for details).

  • June 29, 1976 - Independence day for Seychelles.

  • June 30, 1960 - Independence day for Zaire.
    (Some of the data this month courtesy of Black Facts)

____________________ 

March

  • March 1827 Benjamin Banneker commissioned to layout Washington D.C.
  •  March 1827, Freedom's Journal - 1st Black newspaper published by John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish.
  •  March 1837, Canada give Blacks the right to vote.

  •  March 1870, 15th amendment gives Blacks in the United States the right to vote.
  •  March 2 - 1956 Morocco gains independence.
  •  March 6 - 1957 Ghana gains independence.
  •  March 12 - 1968, Mauritius gains independence.
  •  March 20 - 1956, Tunisia gains independence.
     
  • March 1, 1994 - Leonard S. Coleman, Jr. elected president of the National Baseball League.
     

  • March 2, 1867 - U.S. Congress enacts charter to establish Howard University.
     

  • March 3, 1865 - Freeman's Bureau established by federal government to aid newly freed slaves.
     

  • March 4, 1965 - Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics honored as NBA most valuable player for fourth time in five years.
     

  • March 5, 1770 - Crispus Attucks becomes one of the first casualties of the American Revolution.
     

  • March 6, 1857 - U.S. Supreme Court issues Dred Scott decision.
     

  • March 7, 1965 - U.S. Supreme Court upholds key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
     

  • March 8, 1977 - Henry L. Marsh III becomes first African American elected mayor of Richmond, Va.
     

  • March 9, 1941 - Amistad mutineers freed by U.S. Supreme Court.
     

  • March 10, 1913 - Harriet Tubman dies.
     

  • March 11, 1959 - Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin In the Sun" opens at Barrymore Theater, New York, the first play by a Black woman to premier on Broadway.
     

  • March 12, 1932 - Andrew Young, former U.N. ambassador and former mayor of Atlanta, born.
     

  • March 13, 1773 - Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, black pioneer and explorer, founded Chicago.
     

  • March 14, 1965 - Montgomery bus boycott ends when municipal bus service is desegregated.
     

  • March 15, 1988 - Eugene Antonio Marino, first Black archbishop, assigned to Atlanta.
     

  • March 16, 1846 - Rebecca Cole, second Black female physician in America, born.
     

  • March 17, 1885 - William F. Cosgrove patents automatic stop plug for gas and oil pipes. 1890 - Charles B. Brooks patents street sweeper.
     

  • March 18, 1822 - The Phoenix Society, a literary and educational group, founded by Blacks in New York City.
     

  • March 19, 1971 - Rev. Leon Sullivan elected to board of directors of General Motors.
     

  • March 20, 1883 - Jan. E. Matzeliger patents shoe-making machine 1912 - Carter Woodson receives doctorate from Harvard University.
     

  • March 21, 1965 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. leads march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., for voting rights.
     

  • March 22, 1898 - J.W. Smith patents lawn sprinkler.
     

  • March 23, 1873 - Slavery abolished in Puerto Rico.
     

  • March 24, 1837 - Canada gives African American citizens the right to vote.
     

  • March 25, 1843 - Explorer Jacob Dodson sets out in Search of the Northwest Passage.
     

  • March 26, 1872 - Thomas J. Martin patents fire extinguisher. 1911 - William H. Lewis becomes U.S. assistant attorney general.
     

  • March 27, 1930 - Of the 116,000 African Americans in professional positions, more than two-thirds were teachers or ministers.
     

  • March 28, 1870 - Jonathan S. Wright becomes first Black state Supreme Court justice in South Carolina.
     

  • March 29, 1898 - W.J. Ballow patents combined hat rack and table.
     

  • March 30, 1870 - Fifteenth Amendment ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to African Americans
     

  • March 31, 1988 - Toni Morrison wins Pulitzer Prize for Beloved.

     

April

  • April 5 - 1839, birthday of Robert Smalls (see Short Facts for details)

  • April 5 - 1856, birthday of Booker T. Washington,

  • April 6 - Matthew Henson, an explorer with Commander Mathew E. Peary's expedition to the North Pole, places the United States flag on the North Pole. Although most history books state Peary was the first man to the North Pole, it was actually Henson.

  • April 9 - 1898, birthday of Paul Robeson

 ____________________ 

 January
  • January 1 - 1804, Haiti proclaims independence.
  • January 1 - 1808, the international slave trade was abolished.
  • January 1 - 1854, Ashum University, which later became Lincoln University, was founded in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
  • January 1 - 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which freed slaves only in the south. The Proclamation did not affect slaves in the border states.
  • January 1 - 1956, independence day for Sudan.
  • January 1 - 1960, independence day for Cameroon.
  • January 2 - 1969, independence day for Libya.
  • January 17 - 1917, the United States purchased the Virgin Islands from Denmark.
  • January 23 - Minister Lott Cary and a number of freed slaves left the United States to colonize a part of Africa that became Liberia in 1847.
  • January 26 - 1863, the all Black 54th regiment was formed in Massachusetts. Frederick Douglass had two sons that belonged to the unit.
  • January 28 - 1787, the Free African Society, an independent Black mutual aid organization was formed in Philadelphia by Richard Allen and Absalom Jones.

February

  • February 2 - 1862, Washington, D.C. abolishes slavery.
  • February 4 - 1969, the MPLA, the Peoples Front for the Liberation of Angola, began armed struggle against Portugal who had colonized the nation. The MPLA eventually won their struggle for freedom and became independent in 1975.
  • February 6 - 1820, saw the first emigration of Blacks from the United States to Africa. They went from New York to Sierra Leone.
  • February 8 - 1925, Marcus Garvey entered Federal prison in Atlanta. convicted of mail fraud he served two and one half years. He was deported back to Jamaica and died in London in 1940.
  • February 11 - 1992, Nelson Mandela freed from prison after 27 years of confinement.
  • February 12 - 1793, the Fugitive Slave Law was passed which made it a crime to harbor of or aid an escaped slave, even if the slave was in a state where there was no slavery.
  • February 12 - 1909, the National Association for the advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, was founded by forty-seven Whites and six Blacks.
  • February 12 - 1930, the Rosenwald Fund provided grant money to the Alabama State Board of Health which helped enable the Board of Health to conduct the infamous Tuskegee Experiment. In the experiment over 400 Black males who had syphilis were led to believe they were being treated when in fact they were not. The experiment lasted lasted 40 years.
  • February 14 - 1760, Richard Allen was born into slavery in Philadelphia. Later, as a free man,  he founded the AME Church and the Free Africa Society.
  • February 15 - 1804, New Jersey abolished slavery and was the last northern state to do so.
  • February 18 - 1965, independence day for Gambia.
  • February 19 - 1919, the first Pan African Congress, organized by W.E. B. Dubois, met in Paris.
  • February 23, 1868, W.E.B. Dubois born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
  • February 27, 1968, The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Report, stated that the United States was "moving toward two societies, one Black one White, separate and unequal." The Commission also stated that the cause of the many riots in the United States was "pervasive white racism." President Lyndon B. Johnson rejected that particular finding.