This Day in Black History: January 18
FEATURED: David Ruffin
1856: Daniel Hale Williams was born. He was a surgeon and the 1st African-American general surgeon. He also was the 1st to perform the 1st successful pericardium surgeries. He also founded the 1st non-segregated hospital in the U.S.
1926: Johnny Bragg was born. He was a singer, songwriter and founding member of the Prisonaires comprised of himself and 4 others who were incarcerated in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. He passed in 2004, aged 78.
1938: MLB & Golden Glove winner Curt Flood was born. He passed in 1997, age 59.
1939: Louis Armstrong and his orchestra recorded “Jeepers Creepers.”
1941: Singer & Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Ruffin was born. He died of an adverse reaction to drugs in 1991, aged 50.
1944: The 1st jazz concert was held at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The performers were Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, Roy Eldridge and Jack Teagarden.
1956: Happy Birthday to actor Michael Wright who turns 58 today.
1958: Willie O’Ree, the 1st African Canadian National Hockey League player made his debut with the Boston Bruins.
1960: Gladys Bentley passed away, aged 52. She was a blues singer during the Harlem Renaissance.
1962: Ike & Tina Turner performed their current chart 45, “Poor Fool,” on American Bandstand.
1967: Kim Perrot was born. She was a player in the WNBA. She passed away in 1999 (lung cancer), aged 32.
1969: Happy Birthday to actor & singer Jesse L. Martin who turns 45 today.
1970: Happy Birthday to rapper, DJ, producer and actor DJ Quik who turns 44 today.
1973: Happy Birthday to political analyst, civil rights activist Ben Jealous who turns 41 today.
1975: ‘The First,the Last, My Everything’ by Barry White was the #1 R&B song.
1975: The Jeffersons, a spinoff from “All in the Family” premiered on CBS.
1975: Minnie Riperton, former member of the rock R&B sextet, Rotary Connection, charted on the way to #1 with “Lovin’ You.”
1983: Happy Birthday to singer, songwriter & actress Samantha Mumba who turns 31 today.
1986: Dionne Warwick and her friends (Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder) began a four-week stay at #1 with “That’s What Friends Are For.”
1989: Stevie Wonder, aged 38, became the youngest inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
1990: D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
1991: Prince played the Rock in Rio II Festival’s opening evening at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Soccer Stadium in front of 60,000 people.
1993: Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was finally observed in all 50 states for 1st time.
1996: Singer & songwriter Curtis Hairston passed away, aged 32 of diabetes related kidney failure.
1996: Citing irreconcilable differences, Michael Jackson’s bride of eighteen months, Lisa Marie Presley, filed for divorce in Los Angeles.
1998: The Boston Celtics retired NBA great Robert Parrish’s #00 jersey.
2000: Jester Hairston passed away, aged 98. He was a composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor & actor.
2005: Actor Lamont Bentley died in an auto accident. He was 31 years old.
2006: Theodore McMillian passed away. He was the 1st African American to serve on the Missouri Court of Appeals, and the 1st African American to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
2011: George Crowe passed away, aged 89. He was a former Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball player.