November 1: This Day in Black History
Featured: Florence Mills
1875: Alexander P. Ashburne received a patent for the biscuit cutter.
1894: ‘Billboard Advertising’ was published for the first time. It later became known as “Billboard.”
1898: C.W. Allen received a patent for the Self Leveling Table.
1898: Sippie Wallace was born. She was a blues & jazz singer, pianist and songwriter.
1910: W.E.B. Dubois began publication of the NAACP monthly magazine ‘Crisis’.
1926: Lou Donaldson turns 87 today. He is a jazz alto saxophonist, bandleader and composer.
1927: Florence Mills passed away at age 32 from complications of TB. She was known as the “Queen of Happiness” and was a cabaret singer, dancer, and comedian known for her effervescent stage presence, delicate voice, and winsome, wide-eyed beauty.
1932: Theophilus received a patent for an Automactic Blow-off.
1942: John H. Johnson published the 1st issue of Negro Digest.
1945: The 1st issue of Ebony magazine was published by John H. Johnson.
1946: Dr. Charles S. Johnson became the 1st black president of Fisk University.
1950: Charles Cooper became the 2nd black to play in the NBA (Boston Celtics)
1951: Jet Magazine was founded this day by John H. Johnson.
1951: Ronald Bell turns 62 today. He is a saxophonist, composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer and was a founding member of Kool & the Gang.
1955: R&B group The Famous Flames, lead by singer James Brown, cut their first demo of ‘Please, Please, Please’ at a radio station in Macon, GA. It would lead to their signing with King Records.
1959: Ray Charles left his old label, Atlantic, for ABC-Paramount Records.
1970: Rapper Mac Dre was fatally shot on this day. He was 34 years old.
1981: LaTavia Robertson turns 32 today. She is a 2-time Grammy Award–winning contralto singer-songwriter. She was an original member of Girl’s Tyme which later became Destiny’s Child.
1986: Jazz & blues singer, songwriter and pianist Sippie Wallace passed away (her birthday) at age 88.
1987: The first of three shows at the Hammersmith Odeon featuring; LL Cool J, Eric B & Rankin and Public Enemy.
1991: After having a cancerous lung removed, former Temptation Eddie Kendricks was released from an Atlanta hospital.
1993: Fats Domino’s album “Christmas Is a Special Day” was released on EMI/Right Stuff. It was his first major-label album in 25 years.
1993: Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) was arrested for allegedly trying to shoot another man in a dispute over a woman.
1995: South Africans voted in their 1st all-race local government elections, completing the destruction of the apartheid system.
1999: Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton died, aged 45, from a rare liver disease.
2004: Jazz, blues and gospel musician Lady Byron passed away at age 74. Her career spanned six decades.
2004: Mark Ledford died of heart disease at age 44. He was a multi-instrumentalist and singer.
2008: Shakir Stewart fatally shot himself in the bathroom of his home in Atlanta. He worked as a music promoter and was a vice-president of Def Jam Music Group.
2008: Nathaniel Mayer passed away at age 64. He was a Detroit soul singer who enjoyed a minor hit single in 1962 with “Village of Love” but largely abandoned the recording business until 2004, when he made the album I Just Want to Be Held for Fat Possum Records.
2010: Shannon Tavarez, age 11, passed away. She was an actress who starred on Broadway in The Lion King and whose battle with leukemia won the hearts of many, including Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and 50 Cent. She played the young lion Nala. A perfect bone marrow match could not be found but had received an umbilical-cord blood transplant in August.