July 9: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Isabel Sanford
1868: Francis L. Cardozo installed as secretary of state of South Carolina and became the first Black cabinet officer on the state level.
1893: The first successful open heart surgery without anesthesia was performed by Dr Daniel Hale Williams at Provident Hospital in Chicago.
1901: Jester Hairston was born. He was a composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor and actor. He passed away in 2000 at age 99.
1941: Donald McPherson was born and was an original member of the Main Ingredient. He passed away in 1971 from the effects of leukemia. He was 29 years old.
1947: O.J. Simpson was born this day. He turns 66 years old.
1950: Gwen Guthrie was born. She was a singer, songwriter and pianist. She passed away in 1999 at age 48 of cancer.
1954: Debbie Sledge was born. She was a member of Sister Sledge.
1955: E. Frederic Morrow appointed administrative aide to President Eisenhower and became the first Black to hold an executive position on the White House staff.
1955: The Harptones’ brilliant “Life Is But A Dream” was released. Though they were never a major chart success, the group’s incredible R&B/jazz harmonies influenced dozens of groups, including the Crests, the Marcels, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
1966: The Intruders debuted with “United” (#14 R&B). They went on to have twenty-four hits through 1975, including the #1 “Cowboys To Girls” in 1968.
1977: “Best of My Love” by the Emotions was the number one song this day.
1978: One hundred thousand march in Washington, D.C. for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment took place this day.
1983: ‘In My Life’ by Jerry Butler and Patti Austin charted this day.
1998: Statues of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Christian martyrs was unveiled in Westminster abbey in London.
1999: James Farmer passed away this day. He was the founder of the Council of Racial Equality.
2004: Isabel Sanford passed away. She was an actress of stage, film and television. In 1981, she became the first African American actress to win a Prime-time Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She was 86 years old.
2006: Milan Williams, keyboardist and founding member of the Commodores passed away. He was 58 years old.
2009: Frank Mickens passed away. He was a no-nonsense principal who brought order and significant academic improvement to what was once one of New York’s most troubled schools. In his first seven years as principal, the graduation rate rose to 40.5% from 24.4%; in 2004, the year he retired, it was 47.5%. He was 63 years old.
2010: Actress Vonetta McGee passed away. She was very popular during the blaxploitation era of the ’70s. She died after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 65 years old.