This Day in Black History: October

This Day in Black History: October

WYBC celebrates Black History EVERYDAY!

Facts from


October 1:

1872 – Morgan State College was founded in Maryland

1948 – California Supreme Court voided state statue banning interracial marriages. Edward Dudley named ambassador to Liberia. Spingarn Medal Presented to Channing H. Tobias for his ‘consistent role as a defender of fundamental American liberties.

1952 – Joe Black became the first Black pitcher to win a World Series game. The Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees 4-2. Black was also the 1952 Rookie of the Year.

1951 – Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment, last of all-Black units military units authorized by Congress in 1866, deactivated in Korea.

1960 – Nigeria proclaimed independent

1962 – James Meredith became first Black student at the University of Mississippi, after 3000 federal troops quelled riots against his admission

1966 – Black Panther party founded in Oakland (Calif.)

1977 – Soccer great Pele retires.

1991 – Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, art historian, becomes a dean at New York University


October 2:

1800 – Nat Turner was born on this day.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall is sworn in, and becomes the first Black Supreme Court Justice

1986 – The U.S. Senate overrides President Ronald Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing economic sanctions in South Africa.

1986 –  President Ronald Reagan appointed Edward J. Perkins ambassador to South Africa.


October 3:

1904 – Bethune-Cookman College opened in Daytona Beach, Florida

1941 – Birthday of Singer Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans, in Philadelphia. Checker was best known for “The Twist” a hit song that soon became a style of dance.

1949 – First Black radio station, WERD, begins operating in Atlanta

1956 – Nat King Cole was the first Black performer to host his own tv show.


October 4:

1864 – National Black convention met in Syracuse, New York

1969 – Howard N. Lee and Charles Evers are elected the first African American mayors of Chapel Hill, N.C.

1988 – Bill and Camille Cosby make a $20 million gift to Spelman College.

1988 – The Martin L. King, Jr. Federal Building is dedicated in Atlanta, Ga. It is the first federal building in the nation to bear the name of the slain civil rights leader.

1996 – Congress passes a bill authorizing the creation of 500,000 Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative coins.


October 5:

1872 – educator, Booker T Washington, leaves Malden, West VA to enter Hampton Institute

1869 – First Reconstruction legislature (27 Blacks, 150 whites) met in Richmond, Virginia.

1867 – Monroe Baker, a Black businessman, named mayor of St. Martin, Louisiana.

1929 – Autherine Lucy Foster was born on this day.

1932 – Congresswoman Yvonne Braithwaite Burke was born on this day.


October 6:

1847 – National Black convention met in Troy, N.Y., with more than sixty delegates from nine states. Nathan Johnson of Massachusetts was elected president.

1895 – W.D. Davis patented an improved riding saddle.

1868 – Black state convention at Macon, Georgia, protested expulsion of Black politicians from Georgia legislature

1917 – Fannie Lou Hamer, freedom fighter, was born on this day.

1971 – John A. Wilkinson’s marriage to Lorraine Mary Turner was the first legalized interracial marriage in North Carolina. Wilkinson was black and Turner was white.


October 7:

1821 – William Sill, who was with The Underground Railroad, was born on this day.

1897 – Elijah Poole, aka The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, born

1931 – Birthday of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu.

1988 – Jazz and ballad singer Billy Daniels dies in Los Angeles

1993 – Writer Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature


October 8

1941 – Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville, SC.


October 9

1963 – Uganda becomes a republic within the British Commonwealth.

1984 – W Wilson Goode becomes the 1st African American mayor of Philadelphia

1974 – Frank Robinson named manager of the Cleveland Indians and became the first Black manager in the major leagues.


October 10

1901 – Frederick Douglass Patterson, veterinarian and founder of the United Negro College Fund, born

1961 – Otis M. Smith appointed to Michigan Supreme Court.


October 11

1887 – A. Miles patented the elevator – Patent No. 371,207

1939 – NAACP organized the Legal Defense and Education Fund

1991- Comedian and actor John Elroy Sanford, “Redd Foxx,” dies at age 68.


October 12:

1854 – Lincoln University was founded

1932 – Richard (“Dick”) Gregory was born on this day.

1946 – Rita Frazier Normandeau of NYC was born on this day in Newport News, Virginia.

1999 – Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain died on this day. He was 63.


October 13:

1901 – First Black delegate to United Nations Edith Sampson was born on this day.

1902 – Arna W Bontemps noted poet and librarian of Fisk University was born on this day.

1914 – Garrett Morgan invented and patented the gas mask

1924 – Nightclub comedian and actor Nipsey Russell born in Buffalo, NY.

1926 – First Black naval aviator Jesse Leroy Brown was born on this day.


October 14:

1834 – Harry Blair received a patent for his corn planting machine

1958 – The District of Columbia Bar Association votes to accept African Americans as members.

1964 – On this day, Martin Luther King Jr became the youngest man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize

1999 – Former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere dies at the age of 77 from leukemia. Nyerere was lauded as one of the greatest statemen of his time.


October 15:

1968 – Wyomia Tyus becomes the first person to win a gold medal in the 100 meter race in two consecutive Olympic games.

1991 – Judge Clarence Thomas is confirmed as the 106th associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, its second African American.


October 16:

1901 – Booker T. Washington dined at the White House with President Roosevelt and was criticized in the South

1968 – John Carlos and Tommie Smith staged Black Power demonstration on victory stand after winning 200-meter event at Olympics in Mexico City. Carlos and Smith said they were protesting racism in America.

1973 – Maynard Jackson elected mayor of Atlanta.

1984 – Bishop Desmond Tutu was awarded Nobel Peace Prize

1995 – The Nation of Islam organizes The Million Man March on Washington


October 17:

1787 – Boston Blacks, led by Prince Hall, petitioned legislature for equal school facilities.

1888 – Capital Savings Bank of Washigton, D.C., the first Black bank, opened in Washington, D.C.

1969 – Dr. Clifton R. Wharton Jr. elected president of Michigan State University and became the first Black to head a major, predominantly white university in the twentieth century.


October 18:

1926 – Rock and roll innovator Charles “Chuck” Edward Berry born in San Jose, California, and later taken to St. Louis Missouri, where he grew up. Berry regarded as one of the founders of Rock and Roll and is responsible for such hits as “Johnny B. Good” and “Roll Over Beethoven.”

1945 – Paul Robeson won Spingarn Medal for his singing and acting achievements

1951 – Novelist, editor, and educator Terry McMillan was born on this day. Ms. McMillan will reach acclaim for her books “Mama”, “Disappearing Acts,” “Waiting to Exhale”, and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”, the later two books being made into screenplays.

1968 – World long jump was beat by Bob Beamon, record at 29 ft, 2.5 in at the Mexico City Olympics


October 19

1859 – Byrd Prillerman, co-founder of West Virginia State College, was born on this day.

1870 – First Blacks elected to the House of Representatives. Black Republicans won three of the four congressional seats in South Carolina: Joseph H. Rainey, Robert C. Delarge and Robert B. Elliott. Rainey was elected to an unexpired term in the Forty-first Congress and was the first Black seated in the House.

1900 – Henry O Tanner, painter, won Medal of Honor at Paris Exposition

1944 – US Navy accepted Black women

1960 – John F. Kennedy, Democratic presidential candidate, called Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. and expressed his concern about the imprisonment of Dr. King.


October 20

1898 – John Merrick starts the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

1942 – Sixty leading Southern Blacks issued “Durham Manifesto” calling for fundamental changes in race relations after a Durham, North Carolina, meeting.


October 21

1950 – The first NBA Black Assistant Coach and first Black chief scout, Earl Lloyd, becomes the first Black person to play in an NBA game (beating out Charles Cooper and Nat Clifton by a day)

1980 – Valerie Thomas invented the illusion transmitter

1994 – Charles Edward Anderson the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Meteorology; died.


October 22

1936 – Birthday of Bobby Seale in Dallas, TX, co-founder and former chairman of the Black Panther Party.

1950 – Charles Cooper joins the NBA and becomes one of the first Blacks to play in an NBA game

1955 – The first black post office open, Atlanta GA


October 23

1940 – On this day in Tres Coracoes, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, generally known as Pelé, is born.

1947 – The NAACP petitions the United Nations about racial injustices


October 24

1923 – Department of Labor said some 500,000 Blacks had left the South in the preceding twelve months.

1964 – Zambia proclaimed independent.

1972 – Death of Jack Roosevelt (“Jackie”) Robinson (53) in Stamford, CT. Jackie was the first Black baseball player in major leagues in the twentieth century.


October 25

1940 – Benjamin O Davis becomes the first Black general in US Army

1958 – Ten thousand students, led by Jackie Robinson, Harry Belfonte and A. Phillip Randolph, participated in the Youth March for Integrated Schools in Washington.

1990 – Evander Holyfield knocks out James “Buster” Douglas in the third round to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion.


October 26

1872 – Inventor T. Marshall patented the fire extinguisher.

1911 –  Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer, was born on this day.

1934 – At a New York City conference, representatives of the NAACP and the American Fund for Public Service planned a coordinated legal campaign against segregation and discrimination. Charles H. Houston, Vice-dean of the Howard University Law School, was named director of the NAACP legal campaign.


October 27

1891 – Inventor, DB Downing, patents his street letter box

1927 – Ruby Dee was born on this day

1978 – President Carter signed Hawkins-Humphrey full employment bill.

1981 – Andrew Young, Former UN Ambassador, elected mayor of Atlanta.


October 28

1798 – Founder of The Underground Railroad, Levi Coffin, born on this day.

1914 – Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, founded at Howard University, incorporated.


October 29

1929 – Collapse of stock market and the beginning of the Great Depression. By 1937, 26 per cent of Black males were unemployed.

1969 – U.S. Supreme Court said school systems must end segregation “at once” and “operate now and hereafter only unitary schools.” In Mississippi case, Alexander V. Holmes, the Court abandoned the principle of “all deliberate speed.

1974 – Muhammad Ali regains world heavyweight boxing title.


October 30

1954 – Defense Department announced elimination of all segregated regiments in the armed forces.

1966 – Huey Newton and Bobby Seale students at a California college create the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

1974 – Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman for heavyweight boxing title in Zaire.

1991 – BET Holdings, Inc. the parent company of Black Entertainment Television sells 4.2 million shares of stock in an initial public offering on the NYSE, BET is the first African American company listed on the “Big Board”.


October 31

1893 – Football player, William Henry Lewis, named All-American

1899 – Burr,W.F. patents Switching device Oct.31,1899 Patent # 636,197

1945 – Educator, Booker T Washington, inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans


Facts from