This Day in Black History: January 13
FEATURED: Teddy Pendergrass
1850: Charlotte E. Ray was born. She was the 1st African-American female lawyer in the United States. She graduated from Howard University School of Law in 1872 and became the first female admitted to the District of Columbia Bar. She died of acute bronchitis in 1911, aged 60.
1869: The Colored National Labor Union, the 1st Black labor convention met in Washington, DC.
1909: Danny Barker was born. He was a jazz banjoist, singer, guitarist, songwriter, ukulele player and author from New Orleans. He passed in 1994, aged 85.
1912: Horace Rains was born. He was a physician and activist. He was very active during the Civil Rights movement and was president of the Long Beach NAACP, chairman of the United Civil Rights Committee, and was “Man of the Year” of the Long Beach American Legion in 1965. He passed away in 1998.
1913: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded when 22 collegiate women at Howard University created the organization.
1925: Actor, dancer and director Billie Allen was born and turns 89 today. She is a founding member of Frank Silvera Writers Workshop and League of Professional Theatre Women, in NYC.
1926: Melba Liston was born. She was a jazz musician (trombone, compositions, musical arrangements). Her collaborations with pianist/composer Randy Weston, beginning in the early 1960s, are widely acknowledged as jazz classics. She passed away in 1999.
1938: Singer, songwriter, musician and record producer C.P. Spencer was born. He was also a member of the Motown quartet The Originals. He passed away in 1956: Happy Birthday to actress Janet Hubert who turns 58 today!
1951: ‘Teardrops From Your Eyes’ by Roy Brown was the #1 R&B song.
1951: Almost two and a half years after his 1st hit, Muddy Waters charted again, this time with “Louisiana Blues,” reaching #10 R&B.
1962: Wilt Chamberlain of the Warriors sets an NBA record 73 pts vs Chicago.
1962: Chubby Checker & the Dreamlovers’ recording of “The Twist” charted for the second time in two years and went on to reach #1 pop, the first and only time in rock ‘n’ roll history.
1966: Robert C. Weaver became the 1st African American Cabinet member when he was appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
1968: Happy Birthday to actress, model, and television personality Traci Bingham who turns 46 today.
1970: Happy Birthday to screenwriter, director and producer Shonda Rhimes who turns 44 today.
1979: Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, musician and arranger Donny Hathaway passed away. His death was ruled a suicide. He was 33 years old.
1981: Happy Birthday to NFL wide receiver Reggie Brown who turns 33 today.
1982: Hank Aaron & Frank Robinson were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1989: Professor and author Sterling A. Brown passed away, aged 88.
1990: Douglas Wilder became the 1st elected African American governor when he took office in Richmond, Virginia.
1998: “Patti LaBelle On Broadway,” opened at St James Theater NYC.
1999: Michael Jordan announced his retirement only to return in 2001.
2006: Former Pro Bowl wide receiver Ron Jessie died of a heart attack. He was 57 years old.
2007: Dora E. McDonald, who served as secretary and confidante to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the most turbulent years of the civil rights movement, passed away. She was 81 years old.
2010: Ed Thigpen passed away, aged 79. He was a jazz drummer often described as “Mr. Taste” for his sensitive accompaniment of instrumentalists and singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, and Billy Taylor.
2010: Mary Thomas passed away, aged 86. She was the mother of Hall of Fame basketball star and coach Isiah Thomas.
2010: R&B singer, songwriter and composer Teddy Pendergrass passed away. He was 59 years old.
2011: Ellen Stewart passed away, aged 91. She was founder in 1961 and director of the off-off-Broadway pioneering group La MaMa Experimental Theater Club.
2013: David Gibbs passed away, aged 76. He was a Mississippi state representative recalled by colleagues as a common-sense lawmaker who preferred to keep a low profile and make things happen behind the scenes.