January 26: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Angela Davis
1892: Bessie Coleman was born. She was the 1st African American female pilot and the 1st African-American to hold an international pilot license. She died in a plane crash in 1926, aged 34.
1899: Poet, playwright & educator May Miller was born. She passed away in 1995, aged 96.
1932: Seymour ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd was born. He was a Jamaican record producer. He passed in 2004, aged 72.
1932: Happy Birthday to Father George H. Clements who turns 82 today. He became the 1st Catholic priest to adopt a child in 1981.
1934: The Apollo Theatre re-opened in Harlem, New York City.
1934: Happy Birthday to R&B pianist Huey ‘Piano’ Smith who turns 80 today.
1936: Singer, songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Donnie Elbert suffered a massive stroke & died at age 52.
1943: Happy Birthday to Jean Knight, singer of the hit ‘Mr. Big Stuff’ who turns 71 today.
1944: Happy Birthday to activist, scholar & author Angela Davis who turns 70 today.
1946: Happy Birthday to singer & songwriter Deon Jackson who turns 68 today.
1958: Happy Birthday to 8-time Grammy Winner Anita Baker who turns 56 today.
1959: ‘Lonely Teardrops’ by Jackie Wilson was the #1 R&B song.
1962: Buffalo, New York Catholic Church Bishop Joseph A. Burke banned the Twist from being heard or danced in any area Catholic school or event.
1963: Happy Birthday to British DJ Jazzie B who turns 51 today.
1963: ‘Two Lovers’ by Mary Wells was the #1 R&B song.
1970: Happy Birthday to Gospel great Kirk Franklin who turns 44 today.
1971: Happy Birthday to actor & Soul Train host Dorian Gregory who turns 43 today.
1985: Jazz drummer & bandleader Kenny Clarke passed away, aged 71.
1990: Elaine Weddington Stewart, the 1st black woman executive in MLB was named asst. general manager of the Boston Red Sox.
1990: Happy Birthday to actor Christopher Massey who turns 24 today.
1996: Double-bassist & orchestral conductor Henry Lewis passed away, aged 63.
1997: James Brown, along with ZZ Top and the “Blues Brothers” performed at the Super Bowl XXXI halftime show in New Orleans.
2005: Musician & lead singer of the Wanderers, Ray Pollard, passed away, aged 75.
2006: Jerome Spears aka Slim Rome died in a murder-suicide. He fatally shot his girlfriend (23) and then himself (28).
2008: Lovie Yancey passed away, aged 96. She was co-founder of the popular Fatburger restaurant chain known for huge burgers and music blasting from jukeboxes. Yancey started with a hamburger stand in ’50s Los Angeles and saw it expand to more than 90 locations across the country and overseas.
2010: Paul R. Jones passed away, aged 81. He was a collector of African-American art who donated troves of works to universities in Delaware and Alabama.
2011: Gladys Horton passed away, aged 66. She was a singer, dancer & cofounder of the Marvelettes who helped to put fledgling Motown Records on the musical map with its first No. 1 hit, “Please Mr. Postman” in 1961.
2011: David Kato an outspoken Ugandan gay activist, age 43, was attacked in his home and beaten to death with a hammer by homophobes.
2013: Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner passed away, aged 69. He was the frontman for the hit-making funk music band the Ohio Players.