May 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Donna Summer
1875: The 1st Kentucky Derby is won by Oliver Lewis, an African American jockey riding the horse Aristides.
1893: Inventor Frederick McKinley Jones was born. He was an entrepreneur, winner of the National Medal of Technology, inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and granted over 40 Patents. (Died: 1961)
1903: James Thomas “Cool Papa” Bell was born. He is considered by many to have been one of the fastest men ever to play the game. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. (Died: 1991)
1937: Hazel O’Leary was born. she is the first and only woman and first and only African American to hold the position as the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
1938: Pervis Jackson of The Spinners was born. (Died: 2008)
1942: Grammy Award winning Blues singer & Musician Taj Mahal was born.
1947: #1 R&B song – ‘I Want to Be Loved’ by Savannah Churchill & the Sentimentals.
1954: U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education the landmark decision which declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
1955: Guitarist, R&B group Surface David Townsend was born. (Died: 2005)
1956: Former boxing champ and actor Sugar Ray Leonard was born.
1963: Author James Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
1966: Actor, activist & author Hill Harper was born.
1976: Kandi Burruss, R&B singer-songwriter, actress, record producer, and Reality star, was born.
1979: Donyale Luna, the 1st African American model to appear on the cover of British Vogue, passed away.
1982: NBA player Tony Parker was born.
1983: NFL player Chris Henry was born. He died in 2009 at age 26 from injuries suffered in an auto accident.
1986: Actor Tahj Mowry was born.
1988: Dr. Patricia Bath became the 1st African American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention, a laser device for the removal of cataracts.
1996: Blues/Funk singer Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson passed away.
2006: Johnnie Wilder, Jr. co-founder & lead vocalist of the R&B/funk group Heatwave passed away.
2012: Award winning singer & songwriter Donna Summer passed away.