October 1: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Donnie Hathaway
1840: Fannie Richards was born. She was the first black teacher and the first kindergarten teacher in Detroit, became a proponent for education while working against its policies of segregation. She passed in 1922 at age 82.
1897: Virginia Powell Florence was born. She was a trailblazer in both African-American history and the history of librarianship becoming the 2nd black to be formally trained in librarianship and the first Black woman in the U.S.to earn a degree in library science.
1929: Grady Chapman was born. He was the lead singer of doo wop group The Robins. He passed away in 2011.
1939: George Carruthers was born. He is an inventor, physicist and space scientist. He turns 74 today.
1940: Dr. Charles Drew was named medical director of the plasma project in Great Britain.
1941: The South Side Community Arts Center, founded by Dr. Margaret Burroughs, opened in Chicago.
1943: Willie L. Williams was born. He was the chief of the LAPD from ’92-’97. He was the first African-American police commissioner of both the Philadelphia Police Department and the LAPD. He is 70 today.
1945: Donnie Hathaway was born. He was a musician, songwriter, signer, arranger, conductor and producer. He took his like in 1979 at age 33.
1945: Rod Carew was born. He is a MLB Hall of Famer. He turns 68 today.
1949: ‘Baby Get Lost’ by Dinah Washington was the number one R&B song on this day.
1955: The Platters’ “Only You” charted on its way to #5, starting a streak of forty Top 100 hits over a twelve-year span.
1955: Howard Hewett was born. He is a R&B and gospel singer and former lead vocalist of the R&B group Shalamar. He turns 58 today.
1958: Little Anthony & the Imperials recorded Neil Sedaka’s ”The Diary,” which was slated to be their next single.
1971: The current home of the Tom Joyner Family Reunion, Disney World, opened near Orlando, Florida on this day.
1975: Thrilla in Manila: Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila, Philippines.
1975: Drummer, producer & songwriter Al Jackson was fatally shot by intruders in his home. He was 39 years old. He was a founding member of Booker T. & the M.G.’s.
1986: Jurnee Smollett was born. She is an award winning actress of film and television. She turns 27 today.
1989: Colin Powell was the first African American appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1991: Anita Baker paid $100,000 for The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley at an auction of Haley’s works on his Knoxville, TN, farm
1992: Harry Ray passed away at age 54. He was a founding member of the Moments.
1994: Actress/singer Brandy charted with “I Wanna Be Down” (#6), her first of 18 R&B hits through 2004.
2003: Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN after racial comments he made directed at athlete Donovan McNabb.
2008: LeJuan Simon passed away at age 27 of pulmonary hypertension. He was a Trinidadian track-and-field athlete who represented Trinidad & Tobago at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
2008: Charles Wright passed away at age 76. He was an author who wrote three autobiographical novels about black street life in New York that seemed to predict the rise of an important literary talent but then vanished into alcoholism and despair and never published another book.
2012: Sahara Davenport born Antoine Ashley passed away at age 27 of a heart attack. He was a drag queen and reality TV personality and classically-trained dancer. He was best known as a contestant on the 2nd season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.