October 16: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Tommie Smith & John Carlos
1903: Big Joe Williams was born. He was a Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. He passed in 1982.
1922: Leon Sullivan was born. He was a Baptist minister, civil rights leader, social activist and longtime General Motors Board Member. He passed in 2001, aged 78.
1932: Double Bassist & Orchestral conductor Henry Lewis was born. He passed in 1996, aged 64.
1940: Benjamin O. David, Sr. assumed the rank of Brigadier General of the U.S. Army this day.
1942: Ms. Barbara Lynn turns 72 today. She is a R&B, electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter.
1951: Little Richard made his recordings for RCA Camden in Atlanta. The songs from this and a 1952 session, “Get Rich Quick” and “Every our,” weren’t released until 1956.
1952: Cordell ‘Boogie’ Mosson was born. He was a bassist and member of Parliament-Funkadelic. He passed this past April, aged 60.
1957: The Chantels recorded their now legendary hit “Maybe” (#2 R&B, #15 pop) in a New York studio that was actually a refurbished church.
1962: Mary Wells and the Supremes began a two-month tour in Washington, DC, along with a slew of other Motown acts, including the Miracles, Little Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye.
1962: Manute Bol was born. He was a former Pro B-Ball player and listed as the tallest man ever to play in the NBA 7 feet, 6 3/4 inches tall (Guinness). He passed away in 2010 of kidney failure. He was 47.
1968: U.S. athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos were suspended from the Olympic Games for holding up their fists in a Black Power salute.
1968: Kingston, Jamaica was rocked by the Rodney Riots, inspired by the barring of Walter Rodney from the country.
1969: Roy Hargrove turns 44 today. He is a two-time Grammy Award winning jazz trumpeter.
1971: ‘Thin Line Between Love & Hate’ by the Persuasions was the number one song this day.
1972: Kordell Stewart turns 41 today. He is a retired NFL quarterback and soon-to-be ex husband of Porsha Stewart.
1973: Maynard H. Jackson became the 1st African American mayor of Atlanta, Ga.
1984: Bishop Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize.
1986: Chuck Berry celebrated his sixtieth birthday (two days early) by participating in an all-star concert in St. Louis that was filmed as part of the film Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll. Performers included Keith Richards, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray, Linda Ronstadt, and Eric Clapton.
1988: A benefit concert featuring Joan Armatrading called Smile Jamaica was held in London at the Dominion Theater for the victims of a hurricane in the Caribbean.
1990: Grammy Award winning jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey passed away. He was 71.
1990: Bo Diddley appeared on opening night of Guitar Legends, a concert series that was part of Expo ’92 in Seville, Spain. Bo was originally with a band called the Langley Avenue Jive Cats in Chicago and learned to play violin before he mastered the guitar.
1993: Aretha Franklin sang America’s national anthem at the Skydome in Toronto before the first game of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays.
1995: The Million Man March took place in Washington, D.C.
2010: Valmy Thomas passed away at age 84. He was the 1st Virgin Islander to play major league baseball, a catcher who played with the Giants, Phillies, and Orioles, finishing a five-year career with the Cleveland Indians in 1961.
2012: Gwendolyn Ridgley passed away at age 61. She was a teacher who became a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit over the firing of thousands of New Orleans school employees after Hurricane Katrina.