August 13: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Kathleen Battle
1831: Nat Turner saw a solar eclipse, which he believed wass a sign from God. Eight days later he and 70 other slaves kill approximately 55 whites in Southampton County, Virginia.
1892: The first issue of the Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper was circulated.
1911: James B. Parsons as born. He was the first African American to serve as a United States Federal Judge. He passed away in 1993.
1919: Charles E. Anderson was born. He was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Meterorology. He passed away in 1994.
1921: Jimmy McCracklin was born. He was a blues pianist, singer and songwriter. He passed away in 2012 at age 91.
1925: Benny Bailey was born. He was a bebop and hard-bop jazz trumpeter. He passed away in 2005 at age 79.
1932: Pistol Allen was born. He was a musician and most notable as a Motown session drummer with The Funk Brothers. He passed away in 2002. He was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends online Hall of Fame in 2010 as a member of the Funk Brothers.
1933: Joycelyn Elders was born. She was a pediatrician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and the first African American appointed as Surgeon General of the United States.
1935: James T. ‘Mudcat’ Grant was born. He is a former MLB pitcher who played for serveral teams. In recent years, he has dedicated himself to studying and promoting the history of blacks in baseball
1938: Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson performed at the Three Forks Roadhouse outside of Greenwood, MS. Known as a womanizer, Johnson took a swig from a bottle of moonshine whiskey which was poisoned (presumably by the husband of one of Johnson’s conquests) and fell deathly ill.
1938: Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez was born. He is a pop & R&B organist and pianist. He turns 75 today.
1948: Kathleen Battle was born. She is one of the most famous African American sopranos of all time. She turns 65 today.
1957: The 5 Royales recorded from the original version of “Dedicated to the One I Love,” which was covered two years later by the Shirelles.
1961: Dawnn Lewis was born. She is an actress of film, television and stage. She turns 52 today.
1971: Grammy Award winning King Curtis passed away. He was a saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, blues, funk and soul jazz. He was fatally stabbed outside his building. He was 37 years old.
1973: Johnny Moore rejoined the Drifters when the American group made the unprecedented move of signing directly with a British label while having no U.S. company. Moore had been with the original Drifters eighteen years earlier, in 1955.
1974: Harold Floyd ‘Tina’ Brooks passed away. He was a hard bop tenor saxophonist and composer. He died of liver failure at age 42.
1977: ‘Float On’ by the Floaters was the Number One R&B song on this day.
1982: Shani Davis was born. He became the first Black athlete (from any nation) to win a gold medal in an individual sport at the Olympic Winter Games, winning the speedskating 1000 meter event. He turns 31 today.
1982: Kalenna Harper was born. She is a singer, songwriter and a member of the hip hop group Diddy-Dirty Money. She turns 31. today.
1982: Joe Tex passed away. He was a musician who gained success in the 1960s and 1970s with his brand of Southern soul, which mixed the styles of country, gospel and rhythm and blues. He died of a heart attack five days after his 47th birthday.
1986: Demetrious Johnson was born. He is a mixed martial artist and is currently the #1 ranked Flyweight in the world by Sherdog. He turns 27 today.
1990: Curtis Mayfield was paralyzed during an outdoor concert on Wingate High School’s football field in Brooklyn, NY, when a lighting stand fell on him during a storm.
1993: Imani Hakim was born. She is an actress and was a cast member on ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ portraying Tonya Rock. She turns 20 today.
1994: Twenty-five years after the one and only Woodstock, Richie Havens returned to Bethel, NY, to perform at Woodstock ’94.
1994: The Isley Brothers and Bobby Womack performed at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
2003: Ed Townsend passed away. He was an attorney, songwriter and producer. He was 74 years old.
2005: Francine Hurd Barker passed away. She was 1/2 the duo Peaches & Herb and earned that nickname during childhood because of her genteel manner. She was 58 years old.