This Day in Black History: August

This Day in Black History: August

WYBC celebrates Black History EVERYDAY!

Facts from


August 1

1895 – Benjamin E. Mays, educator and former President of Morehouse College, was born on this day.

1899 – Blacks voted for the first time in a state election in the South, contributing to Republican sweep in Tennessee

1944 – Adam Clayton Powell elected first Black congressman


August 2

1924 – Writer James Baldwin was born on this day

1951 – While manning his machine gun during a surprise attack on his platoon on this day, private first class William Henry Thompson of Company M, 24th Infantry Regiment, became the first Black person to earn the Medal of Honor in the Korean conflict

1966 – The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School (later Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science) is chartered in Los Angeles. It is the only African American focused medical school west of the Mississippi


August 3

1957 – Archibald J. Carey, Chicago minister and attorney, appointed first Black chairman of President’s Committee on Government Employment Policy


August 4

1897 – Henry A Rucker appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for Georgia

1901 – Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, Louisiana

1931 – Dr. Daniel H. Williams, pioneer in surgery, died on this day.

1961 – Former President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii


August 5

1830 – James A Healy, first Black bishop in America, was born on this day.

1892 – Harriet Tubman receives a pension from Congress for her work as a nurse, spy, and scout during the Civil War

2011 –Hazel Johnson was the first African American woman to become a general in the U.S. Army


August 6

1861 –The congressional confiscation bill freed slaves who were forced to fight against the United States government, or to work in support of the rebellion

1965 –President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Bill which authorized the suspension of literacy tests and the sending of federal examiners into South


August 7

1904 –First Black winner of Nobel Peace Prize was Ralph J Bunche, diplomat, born

1954 –Charles H. Mahoney was confirmed by the Senate and became the first Black to serve as a full delegate to the United Nations


August 8

1885 – African-American inventor, William C. Carter, patented an umbrella stand (U.S. patent#323,397).

1993 – Julian Dixon, elected to Congress representing California’s 28th District in 1978, was born


August 9

1963 –Whitney Houston actress & singer Born in East Orange, New Jersey

1995 –August 9th declared International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples


August 10

1854 – James Conway Farley, the first African American to achieve prominence in the photography industry, was born

1881 –The Coca-Cola Bottling Company agreed to pump $34 million into Black businesses and the Black community, ending a national boycott called by PUSH


August 11

1921 – Author of “Roots”, Alex Haley was born

1992 –Anthony Phills received U.S. patent #5,136,787 on August 11, 1992 for a “ruler template for computer keyboard.”


August 12

1922 – Washington DC home of Frederick Douglas is declared a national shrine

1923 – Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell, founder of two African American modeling schools, was born


August 13

1881 –The first African American nursing school opens at Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga

1953 – President Eisenhower established Government Contract Compliance Committee to supervise anti-discrimination regulations in government contracts


August 14

1883 –Biologist and pioneer of cell division, Ernest E. Just was born

1968 – Birthday of Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry


August 15

1931 –Spingarn Medal awarded to Richard B. Harrison for his Portrayal of the “Lawd” in The Green Pastures

1938 –Maxine Waters was born this day. Congresswoman Waters is a Democrat from California


August 16

1890 –Alexander Clark, journalist and lawyer, named minister to Liberia

1963 –On sale this day was a stamp designed to commemorate the one-hundreth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was designed by George Olden which made him the first Black to design a U.S. postage stamp


August 17

1884 – Born in Puerto Rico of Black and Hispanic heritage, Roberto Clemente was the second baseball player to be featured on a stamp on this day

1887 – Marcus Garvey, the father of the Black Nationalist and pan African movements was born on this day in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica

1897 – WB Purvis patented the electric railway switch


August 18

1934 – Roberto Clemente born in Carolina, Puerto Rico

1963 – The first Black person admitted to the University of Mississippi, James Meredith, graduates from University of Mississippi


August 19

1791 – Benjamin Banneker published his first Almanac

1954 – Diplomat and first Black winner of Nobel Peace Prize, Ralph J Bunche, named undersecretary of the United Nations

1963 – NAACP Youth Council begins sit-ins at lunch counters

1993 –Robert C. Maynard, the first African American editor and owner of a major daily newspaper in the United States


August 20

1619 – First Black slaves were brought by the Dutch to the colony of Jamestown

1856 – Wilberforce University established in Ohio

1964 –President Johnson signed Economic Opportunity Act


August 21

1831 – Nat Turner began revolt in Southampton, VA

1904 – William Count Basie, jazz pianist, big band and orchestra leader, was born on this day in Red Bank NJ

1932 – Melvin Van Peebles, writer and dramatist, was born on this day.

1943 –Harriet M. West was the first Black woman major in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC)


August 22

1867 – Fisk University was established.

1996 – President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act which ushered in the most sweeping changes in the welfare system since its adoption as part of the Social Security Act of 1935


August 23

1900 – National Negro Business League was founded.

1954 –Inventor Philip Emeagwali was born in Akure, Nigeria (He made the world’s fastest computer)


August 24

1854 –John V. DeGrasse, prominent physician, admitted to Massachusetts Medical Society

1950 – Chicago Atty. Edith Sampson was named the first Black representative (alternate delegate) in the U.S. delegation to the United Nations


August 25

1908 – National Association of Colored Nurses was founded.

1927 –First Black Wimbledon champion, Althea Gibson, born in South Carolina

1965–James M. Nabrit Jr. named ambassador and assigned to the UN delegation


August 26

1943 –William Dawson Elected Black Democratic Party vice presidential candidate

1946 –Singer and producer, Valerie Simpson Ashford, composer was born


August 27

1963 – W.E.B. DuBoise, editor author and civil rights leader, dies in Ghana.


August 28

1963 – Martin Luther King Jr. makes “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

1968 – Rev. Channing E. Philips of Washington, D.C., became the first Black person nominated for president by a major national party. Philips was nominated as favorite son candidate by District of Columbia delegation at Democratic convention in Chicago and received 671/2 votes

1988 –Beah Richards wins an Emmy for outstanding guest performance in the comedy series Frank’s Place


August 29

1894 – Sociologist E. Franklin Fraiser was born

1958 – The “King of Pop” Michael Jackson was born

1979 – Sheridan Broadcasting Corp purchases Mutual Black Network. This was the first completely Black owned
radio network in the world.


August 30

1838 – The first African American magazine, Mirror of Freedom, begins publication in New York City

1901 – Roy Wilkins, 2nd Executive Director of the NAACP, was born on this day


August 31

1935 –in Beaumont, Texas, U.S., American professional baseball player and manager Frank Robinson was born. He was the first black manager in major league baseball

1979 – Donald McHenry named to succeed Andrew Young as UN ambassador


Facts from