August 25: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Aaliyah Haughton
1866: Nora A. Gordon was born. She was a teacher and missionary. She was the first Spelman student to go to the motherland. She passed away in 1901 at age 34.
1904: William Hall passed away. He was the first black person, first Nova Scotian, and third Canadian to receive the Victoria Cross. He received the medal for his actions in the Siege of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion. He was 83 years old.
1925: The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was organized. A. Philip Randolph was named as president.
1927: Althea Gibson was born. she was a pro tennis player and professional golfer, and the first African-American athlete of either gender to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956 she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title (the French Open). She passed in 2003 at age 76.
1933: Wayne Shorter was born. He is a jazz saxophonist and composer. He turns 80 today.
1939: Chris Dickerson aka Mr. Olympia was born.
1956: The Five Keys’ “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” (#23 pop, #12 R&B), the Channels’ “The Closer You Are,” and the Duponts’ “Must Be Falling In Love” were released. The Duponts featured sixteen-year-old lead Little Anthony two years before he recorded with the Imperials.
1958: “Come Back, My Love” (#29 R&B, $20), Jerry Butler & the Impressions’ follow-up to their first hit, “For Your Precious Love,” was issued.
1962: The Crystals’ “He’s A Rebel” was released, eventually climbing to #1 pop and #2 R&B.
1962: Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ “Copy Cat” charted (#92 pop), becoming his last Top 100 for almost twenty years. His career in the ’60s would likely have been extended had he not turned down the opportunity to record “If You Wanna Be Happy,” a song his labelmate Jimmy Soul took to #1.
1962: ‘The Locomotion’ by Little Eva was the Number One R&B song on this day.
1964: Blair Underwood was born. He is an actor of film, television and stage and a director. He turns 49 today.
1968: Arthur Ashe became the first Black male to win the U.S. Open Singles Professional Tennis Championship.
1987: Scott Sterling aka Scott LaRock passed away. He was a disc jockey and producer. He died in surgery one hour after being shot in a drive-by. He was 25 years old.
1990: Public Enemy performed at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, but they didn’t get to complete their set because a massive fight broke out in the audience.
1993: Snoopy Dog was arrested as an accessory to the murder of a gang member who was shot from Snoopy Dog’s jeep by his bodyguard. The rapper paid $1 million bail for his freedom.
1995: Stevie Wonder received a Braille-inscribed brass plaque from former Motown backup singer Elisheva Bat-Israel in the town of Dimona, Israel, along with a humanitarian award from the African community of Hebrew Israelites, the Falashas.
2001: Aaliyah (born Aaliyah Haughton) died when the plane she was in crashed in the Caribbean. The young singer/actress had already had sixteen pop chart singles including her #1, “Try Again,” in 2000. She was only twenty-two.
2008: Marpessa Dawn passed away at age 74. She was a Pittsburgh-born actress who played the doomed Eurydice in the classic 1959 Brazilian movie Black Orpheus.
2008: Kevin Duckworth passed away. He was a former Portland Trail Blazers center, a two-time All-Star. As part of a Trail Blazers good-will tour, Duckworth was scheduled to hold a basketball clinic on the Oregon coast when he died unexpectedly at age 44.