July 15: This Week in Black History
FEATURED: Vivian Malone
1822: Alvin A. Coffey was born. He arrived in California in 1849 at the beginning of the Gold Rush and was one of the few Californians who left a written account, Book of Reminiscences, which described his journey to California and his subsequent history in the Golden State. In 1887 he was inducted into the California Society of Pioneers and was a member for more than 15 years prior to his death. He is the only African American to achieve that distinction. He passed away in 1902.
1822: Philadelphia opened its public schools for Blacks.
1864: Maggie Lena Walker was born. She was a teacher, businesswoman and the first black female bank president to charter a bank in the United States. She passed away in 1934 at age 70.
1869: A.J. Hayne, Black captain of a Northern occupying militia was assassinated in Arkansas.
1942: Vivian Malone Jones was born. She was one of the first two African Americans to enroll at the at the University of Alabama in 1963 and the university’s first African American graduate. She was made famous when Alabama Governor George Wallace blocked them from enrolling at the all-white university. She passed away in 2005 at age 63.
1944: Millie Jackson was born. She is an R&B/soul singer, songwriter and comedienne. Three of her albums have been certified gold by the RIAA. She turns 69 today.
1952: An eight-year-old girl won $2,000 and a gold cup for her rendition of “Too Young” on Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour. The child was Gladys Knight.
1957: The Five Satins entered the R&B hit list with their soon-to-be standard, “To the Aisle,” reaching #5 and #25 pop. The lead singer was emergency lead Bill Baker, drafted from the Connecticut group the Chestnuts, as the Satins’ regular front-man, Fred Parris, had received a draft notice, courtesy of Uncle Sam.
1957: A Harlem street group named the Charts charted with their sensuously smoking single “Desiree” (#88 pop). The same day, New York’s quintessential doo-woppers, the Jesters, charted pop with their first 45, “So Strange (#100 pop).
1961: Forest Whitaker was born. He is an Academy Award winning actor, producer and director. He turns 52 today.
1963: Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars began its cross-country tour with Big Dee Irwin, Barbara Lewis, the Crystals, Ruby & the Romantics, the Tymes, the Orlons, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, Gene Pitney, and the Dovells, among others.
1964: Shari Headley was born. She is an actress of film and television. She turns 49 today.
1967: ‘I Was Made to Love Her’ by Stevie Wonder was the Number One R&B song this day.
1968: Eddie Griffin was born. He is an actor and comedian. He turns 45 today.
1970: James McGhee was sworn in as the first African American mayor of Dayton, Ohio.
1972 The Main Ingredient reached the R&B charts with “Everybody Plays the Fool” (#2 R&B, #3 pop), which would become their biggest of twenty R&B charters through 1990. The group’s lead singer, Cuba Gooding, is the father of actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.
1976: Jim Jones was born. He is a rapper, actor and an original member of The Diplomats. He turns 37 today.
1978: L.T.D. jumped on the R&B charts with “Holding On (When Love is Gone),” reaching #1 R&B (#49 pop). The group’s lead singer at the time would go on to have twenty-three hits of his own. His name is Jeffrey Osborne.
1997: The first Black-owned micro-brewing company was founded. Brothers Beer Company Inc. is based in Oakland California and conducts business as Brothers Brewing Company, BBC or Brothers, BBC.
2002: Barbara Randolph passed away. She was a singer and actress. She recorded for Motown in the 60s and was a member of the Platters. She was 60 years old.
2006: Rev. Joseph Boone passed away. He was a civil rights activist and organizer who marched together with Rev. Martin Luther King. He was 84 years old.