This Day in Black History: September

This Day in Black History: September

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September 1

1867 – Robert T Freeman becomes the first Black person to graduate from Harvard Dental School.

1975 – Gen. Daniel (“Chappie”) James Jr. promoted to rank of four-star general and named commander-in-chief of the North American Air Defense Command


September 2

1945 –Japanese surrendered on V-J Day, ending World War II

1975 –Joseph W. Hatchett sworn in as first Black supreme court justice in the South in the twentieth century


September 3

1838 – Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery disguised as a sailor.

1891 –John Stephens Durham, assistant editor of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, named minister to Haiti

1895 –NAACP leader, Charles Hamilton Houston was born on this day


September 4

1848 – Inventor and engineer, Louis Latimer was born

1981 – Birthday of singer, Beyonce Knowles, of Destiny’s Child


September 5

1846 –Secretary of the American Negro Academy, John W Cromwell was born

1895 – Republican George Washington Murray was elected to Congress by South Carolina


September 6

1930 –Leander Jay Shaw, Jr., justice of the Florida State Supreme Court (1983), first African American chief justice (1990) in Florida, the second African American chief justice in any state supreme court

1967 –President Lyndon B. Johnson named Walter E. Washington commissioner and “unofficial” mayor of Washington, D.C


September 7

1930 –Sonny Rollins, a powerful force in jazz, is born

1954 – The start of Integration in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD public schools.


September 8

1875 – Mississippi governor requested federal troops to protect Black voters. Attorney General Edward Pierrepont refused the request and said “the whole public are tired of these annual autumnal outbreaks in the South

1901 – Roy Wilkins, second Executive Director of the NAACP, dies on this day


September 9

1908 – Richard Wright, noted author of Native Son and  Black Boy, born on this day.

1915 – Association for the study of Negro Life and History founded by Carter G. Woodson

1957 –The first civil rights bill to pass Congress since reconstruction was passed by President Eisenhower


September 10

1884 – Congressman John R Lynch presided over the Republican National Convention

1913 –George W. Buckner, a physician from Indiana, named minister to Liberia

1973 –A commemorative stamp is issued by the U.S. Postal Service to honor Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African American artist elected to the National Academy of Design


September 11

1959 – “Duke” Ellington won the Springarn Medal for his musical achievements

1977 – Quincy Jones wins an Emmy for musical composition for the miniseries Roots. It is one of nine Emmys for the series, an unprecedented number


September 12

1947 – First Black baseball player in the major leagues, Jackie Robinson, named National League Rookie of the Year

1992 –Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space when she launched from the Kennedy Center to join Spacelab J, a joint U.S.-Japanese mission


September 13

1881 – Lewis Latimer invented and patented an electric lamp with a carbon filament

1886 – Alain L Lovke, philosopher, born on this day.

1969 –Tyler Perry is an American actor, producer and director. He was born on this day as Emmitt Perry Jr

1953 –Tavis Smiley is a well-known talk show host and media personality was born


September 14

1940 –President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Selective Service Act, allowing Blacks to enter all branches of the US Military Service

1973 –American rapper Nas was born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones in Queens, New York


September 15

1830 – The first National Negro Convention began in Philadelphia

1852 –Inventor Jan E. Matzeliger was born in Dutch Guyana and immigrated to the US in 1878. He patented a shoe lasting machine in 1880.

1964 –Rev. K.L. Buford and Dr. Stanley Smith were elected to Tuskegee City Council and became first Black elected officials in Alabama in twentieth century


September 16

1848 –The French abolish Slavery in all their territories

1889 –Birthday in Sanford, Florida of Claude A. Barnett founder of the Associated Negro Press, the first and only Black news wire services in the US. Barnet, who died in 1967, was a 1906 graduate of Tuskegee Institute


September 17

1861 – First day of school for freed men founded at Fortress Monroe, Va., with a Black teacher, Mary Peake

1861 – Hampton Institute founded


September 18

1850 – Congress passed Fugitive Slave Law as part of the Compromise of 1850

1948 – Ralph J. Bunche confirmed by United Nations Security Council as acting UN mediator in Palestine

1971– Jada Pinkett Smith, actress, born


September 19

1865 – Atlanta University founded

1956 – First international conference of Black writers and artists met at the Sorbonne in Paris

1989 –First issue of Emerge magazine goes on sale


September 20

1830 – First Negro Convention of Free Men agreed to boycott slave-produced goods

1885 – Birthday of pianist Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton in New Orleans, Louisiana

1984 –The Cosby Show premieres on NBC


September 21

1872 –John Henry Conyers of South Carolina became the first Black student at Annapolis Naval Academy.

1891 – Inventor, FW Leslie, patents the envelope seal

1905 – Atlanta Life Insurance co-founded


September 22

1863 – First Black person to serve on the DC board of education, Mary Church Terrell was born

1915 – Xavier University, first Black Catholic College in US, opened in New Orleans, LA

1952 –Daniel W. Yohannes, a businessman, philanthropist, and diplomat, was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


September 23

1863 – Mary Church Terrell, civil rights activist, born on this day

1926 –Innovative and famed jazz musician, John Coltrane was born

1954 – Playwright George C. Wolfe, born


September 24

1957 –Desegregation of Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas.

1977 –John T. Walker installed as the first Black bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington


September 25

1861 – Secretary of Navy authorized enlistment of slaves as Union sailors

1962 –Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round to become the world heavyweight boxing champion

1974–Barbara W Hancock becomes the first Black woman named a White House fellow


September 26

1867 –Business and civic leader, Maggie L Walker was born on this day

1968 –The Studio Museum of Harlem opens in NYC


September 27

1950 – Charles H. Houston awarded the Spingarn Medal posthumously for his pioneering work in developing the NAACP legal campaign

1954– School integration began in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., public schools


September 28

1986- Shirley Ajayi became the first African American given a part on a television show as a psychic. Her show lasted six months in Chicago as a seasonal show.

1991- Jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis died from complications following a stroke in California, at the age of 65.


September 29

1912 –  WC Handy published “Memphis Blues,” the first Blues Song

1940 – Booker T. Washington, the first U.S. merchant ship commanded by a Black captain (Hugh Mulzac), launched at Wilmington, Delaware

1962 – President John F. Kennedy authorized use of federal troops in integration of University of Mississippi

1975 –First Black-owned television station in the United States, WGPR-TV in Detroit, begins broadcasting


September 30

1935 –John “Johnny” Royce Mathis, singer, was born in Gilmer, Texas

1975- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali won the “Thrilla in Manilla” fight against Joe Frazier.

1991- Mike Powell broke the world long jump record when he jumped 8.95 meters at a meet in Tokyo, Japan.


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