January 29: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Oprah Winfrey
1850: Sarah L. Fraser was born. She was one of the 1st black doctors in the U.S. She passed away in 1933, aged 83.
1911: Frances Mary McHie Raines was born. She was a trailblazer, a nurse, educator, businesswoman and community worker. She passed in 2006, aged 95.
1912: The Lafayette Theatre is celebrated on this date. It was the 1st NY theater to desegregate.
1913: Black Americans celebrated the 50th anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation. Major celebrations were held at Jackson, MS, New Orleans and Nashville. Three states–Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey–appropriated money for official celebrations of the event.
1920: Violette Neatley Anderson became the 1st African American woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1927: Richard ‘Night Train’ Lane was a defensive back in the NFL. Lane established the record for most interceptions in an NFL season (14), a record that has stood for over 60 years. His nickname came about due to his fear of flying and he took the train to away games. He passed in 2002, aged 74.
1936: Bass player (Motown) and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer James Jamerson was born. He died of heart failure in 1983, aged 47.
1940: Happy Birthday to poet, educator, editor & critic Sterling Plumpp who turns 74 today.
1944: Happy Birthday to Jamaican politician and the recipient of numerous awards Patrick L. Robinson. He turns 70 today.
1946: Happy Birthday to singer & songwriter Betty LaVette who turns 68 today.
1946: Singer & songwriter Vernon ‘Geater’ Davis was born. He is described as one of the South’s great lost soul singers. He died of a heart attack in 1984, aged 38.
1953: Happy Birthday to Uncle Charlie Wilson who turns 61 today.
1954: Happy Birthday to Oprah Winfrey who turns 60 today.
1966: ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright)’ by Stevie Wonder was the #1 song.
1975: Happy Birthday to actor Sharif Atkins who turns 39 today.
1992: Grammy Award winning musician, songwriter & singer Willie Dixon passed away, aged 76.
2006: Singer Kairuba Brown aka Ruda Real was struck & killed by a car. He was 28 years old.
2006: Singer & member of The Melodians Brenton Dowe died of a heart attack, aged 60.
2009: Hank Crawford passed away, aged 74. He was a jazz saxophonist whose solos as a sideman for Ray Charles led to a long career as a leader of jazz and soul bands and a lengthy discography.
2012: Camilla Williams passed away, aged 92. She was an opera singer whose debut with the NYC Opera on May 15, 1946 was thought to make her the 1st black woman to appear with a major US opera company.
2013: George Higgs passed away, aged 82. He was a North Carolina-born and award-winning blues musician.
2013: Butch Morris passed away, aged 65. He was a jazz musician who created a distinctive form of large-ensemble music built on collective improvisation that he single-handedly directed and shaped.
2013: Earl Williams passed away, aged 64. He was a National League Rookie of the Year in 1971 who hit 61 home runs and drove in 174 runs playing for the Atlanta Braves in his 1st two seasons.