October 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Levi Stubbs
1711: Jupiter Hammon was born. He was a black poet who in 1761 became the 1st African American writer to be published in the present-day United States.
1888: One of the 1st banks for African-Americans was organized, Capital Savings Bank of Washington D.C.
1924: The Phyllis Wheatley settlement house was founded and began operation in Minneapolis, MN.
1950: Howard Rollins was born. He was an actor of stage, film and television. He died in 1996, aged 46 of complications from lymphoma.
1953: The Orioles charted with “In the Mission of St. Augustine,” reaching #7 R&B while becoming the last of eleven hits.
1956: Mae Jemison turns 57 today. She was the 1st black woman to travel in space in 1992. She is a NASA astronaut, physician and college professor.
1960: ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ by the Drifters was the number one song this day.
1964: Martha & the Vandellas’ scintillating “Dancing in the Streets” hit #2 pop. The song was written by producer Mickey Stevenson and Marvin Gaye and was originally turned down by Motown artist Mary Wells.
1968: Ziggy Marley turns 45 today. He is a musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist and voice actor.
1969: Wyclef Jean turns 44 today. He is a 3-time Grammy winner rapper, singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and politician.
1969: Wood Harris turns 44 today. He is an actor of film, stage and television.
1970: The Jackson 5 reached #1 pop (five weeks) and R&B (six weeks) with “I’ll Be There.” It was their fourth chart topper in a row.
1972: Sharon Leal turns 41 today. She is a singer and actress of stage, film and television.
1984: Alberta Hunter passed away at age 89. She was a pioneer singer whose career spanned six decades.
1985: Black Poetry Day was celebrated for the 1st time this day.
1992: Ike Turner, Lou Rawls, Chaka Khan, Bobby Womack, Earth, Wind & Fire, Al Green, and Bill Withers performed at two concerts in Redondo Beach, CA, as benefits for the family of the deceased former Temptations member Eddie Kendricks.
2004: Julius Harris passed away at age 81. He was an actor who appeared in more than 70 films and his career spanned four decades.
2005: Donald Tucker passed away. He was a civil rights activist and the longest-serving councilman in Newark, NJ.
2008: Levi Stubbs passed away at age 72. He was the Four Tops front-man whose voice drove the Motown classics as “Reach Out” and “Baby I Need Your Loving.” They sold millions of records and performed for more than 40 years without a change in personnel.
2008: Nick Weatherspoon passed away at age 58. He was a former University of Illinois basketball star who played seven seasons in the NBA.
2010: Michael Tabor passed away at age 63. He was one of 13 Black Panther Party members acquitted in 1971 of conspiring to bomb public buildings and murder police officers in New York.
2011: Piri Thomas passed away at age 83. He was a writer and poet whose 1967 memoir, Down These Mean Streets, chronicled his tough childhood in Spanish Harlem and the outlaw years that followed and became a classic portrait of ghetto life.