January 31: This day in Black History
FEATURED: Jackie Robinson
1914: Jersey Joe Walcott was born. He was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He passed in 1994, aged 80.
1919: Baseball legend & Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson was born. He passed in 1972, aged 53.
1925: Benjamin Hooks was born. He was a minister, attorney, executive Director of the NAACP & civil rights advocate. He passed in 2010.
1928: R&B singer, songwriter Chuck Willis was born. He died of peritonitis, aged 30 just when his career was taking off.
1931: Happy Birthday to MLB Hall of Famer Ernie Banks who turns 83 today.
1947: Happy Birthday to actor, director & writer Glynn Turman who turns 67 today.
1960: “Handy Man” by Jimmy Jones entered the R&B charts.
1967: Eddie Tolan passed away, aged 59. He was an Olympic Gold medal track & field athlete.
1969: Billy Preston signed with Apple Records.
1970: ‘I Want You Back’ by The Jackson 5 was the #1 song.
1970: Blues musician Slim Harpo died of a heart attack at age 46.
1971: The Jackson 5 were given the key to their hometown of Gary, IN, by Mayor Robert Patrick .
1972: Mahalia Jackson’s funeral was held and over 40,000 mourners attended. Aretha Franklin sang ‘Precious Lord, Take My hand’.
1976: “Love Rollercoaster” by The Ohio Players went to #1
1977: Happy Birthday to award winning actress Kerry Washington who turns 37 today.
1979: Bo Diddley opened up for punk band The Clash at the beginning of their first US tour.
1984: Happy Birthday to NFL tight end Vernon Davis who turns 30 today.
1985: Happy Birthday to NFL linebacker Mario Williams who turns 29 today.
1988: Chubby Checker performed during the halftime show at Superbowl XXII in San Diego.
1993: Michael Jackson performed with 3,500 local children at the Superbowl XXVII in Pasadena, CA.
1999: Stevie Wonder performed during halftime at Superbowl XXXIII in Miami, Fl.
2009: Eddie Logan passed away, aged 98. He was a former boxer and Negro League baseball player who shined shoes at Santa Anita since the racetrack opened on Christmas Day 1934. He appeared in Santa Anita’s winner’s circle to present the trophy for the Eddie Logan Stakes on Dec. 27, 2008.
2010: Avatar starring Zoe Saldana became the 1st film to gross over $2 billion worldwide.
2012: King Stitt passed away, aged 72. He was a pioneer in rap reggae. Stitt was credited as one of the earliest performers of “toasting,” a vibrant form of Jamaican deejaying that directly inspired hip-hop music.