July 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Billie Holiday
1794: Richard Allen organized Philadelphia’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church on this day.
1911: Frank Snowden, Jr. was born. He was a professor emeritus of classics at Howard University, best known for his study of blacks in classical antiquity. He passed away in 2007 at age 95.
1920: Lionel Ngakane was born. He was an award winning filmmaker. He passed away in 2003 at age 83.
1935: Diahann Carroll was born. She is a television, film and stage actress and singer. Her career spanned nearly six decades. She turns 78 today.
1954: The first major league game where the majority of team was black played (Dodgers).
1959: Billie Holiday passed away at age 44. She was a legendary singer, songwriter and actress. She died from liver and heart disease.
1961: Keith Edward Elam aka Guru was born. He was a rapper, producer and actor. He passed away in 2010. He was 48 years old.
1963: Regina Belle was born. She is a singer and songwriter. Her duet with Peabo Byson ‘A Whole New World’ garnered her a Grammy Award. She is 50 today.
1967: Jimi Hendrix was the opening act for The Monkees at Forest Hills NY venue.
1967: The Cairo race riot took place with the alleged jailhouse suicide of Pvt. Robert Hunt, a young soldier on leave in his hometown of Cairo, Illinois. Police said Hunt hanged himself with his t-shirt, but Cairo’s African-American residents challenged that story. The death touched off 3 days of riots and protests, followed by a 7-year renewal of civil rights activities in the city.
1967: Jazz great John Coltrane passed away. He was a saxophonist, composer and bandleader who remains one of the most significant saxophonists in Jazz history. He died of liver cancer at age 40.
1978: Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin (NY Yank manager) got into a fight in the dug out.
1988: Around four Billion folks tuned in to watch Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute on television.
1988: Florence Griffith Joyner set the 100m woman’s record (10.49).
1990: NY Yankee Deion Sanders hit an inside park home-run.
1997: Dr. Robert C. Weaver passed away. He served as the first United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1966 to 1968. He was the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position in the United States. He was 89.
2005: Tiger Woods won his 10th major winning The British Open Championship by 5 strokes.
2010: Denise Jefferson passed away. She was a dance educator who served as the director of the Ailey School of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1984 until her death. She was 66 years old.
2011: Joe Lee Wilson passed away. He was a jazz vocalist who performed with saxophonists Sonny Rollins and Archie Shepp and trumpeters Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard and hosted a thriving loft club in New York in the ‘70s. He was 75 years old.