October 3: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: James Earl Jones
1856: T. Thomas Fortune was born. He was an orator, civil rights leader, journalist, writer, editor and publisher. He was the highly influential editor of the nation’s leading black newspaper The New York Age. He passed in 1928, age 72.
1879: Jesse Stahl was born. He is probably the most famous cowboy and rodeo star of color and the greatest bronco rider of all.
1881: Dudley Woodard was born. He was a highly respected Mathematician and established the Mathematics Library at Howard.
1941: Chubby Checker was born. He is a singer-songwriter and turns 72 today.
1950: The Beulah Show was broadcast for the 1st time. It was the 1st American TV situation comedy to star an African American.
1951: Keb’ Mo’ was born. He is a Grammy Award-winning blues musician, singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is 62 today.
1956: Nat King Cole became the first Black performer to host his own TV show. The first show aired on November 5th.
1958: The Coasters began touring on the Biggest Show of Stars for 1958 tour with Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Clyde McPhatter, Bobby Darin, Bobby Freeman, and Dion. The nineteen performances were done in sixteen days.
1968: The Play, The Great White Hope, starring James Earl Jones debuted on Broadway
1970: ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Diana Ross was the number one R&B song this day.
1970: Nia Long was born. She is an actress of film and television. She turns 43 today.
1970: The Intern’l Asso. of Black Professional Fire Fighters was founded in Hartford CT.
1971: Tariq Trotter aka Black Thought of the group The Roots was born. He turns 42 today.
1975: India Arie was born. She is a Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, record producer and guitarist. She is 38 today.
1976: Victoria Spivey passed away at age 69. She was a blues singer and songwriter. Her career span 40 years.
1977: Michael Jackson began rehearsing for his part in the film The Wiz, based on the Wizard of Oz, in New York. The frenzy Michael created had become legendary, such as when he had to escape across the rooftop of a Woolco store in Memphis a few months earlier as more than 10,000 fans clamored for autographs.
1979: Frank Robinson became the manager of the Cleveland Indians and the 1st Black manager in MLB.
1989: Art Shell became the first African American NFL Head Coach (LA Raiders)
1990: Whitney Houston celebrated National Children’s Day by performing at the White House.
1990: Bobby Womack played the Town & Country Club in London.
1994: Whitney Houston returned to the White House, this time for a performance in the Rose Garden celebrating the visit of Nelson Mandela.
1995: O. J. Simpson was acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
1997: John Lee Hooker’s club, the Boom Boom Room, opened in Redwood City, CA.
2006: Patrice Holloway passed away at age 55 of a heart attack. She was a soul and pop singer.
2009: Laura Mae (Mama) Gross passed away at age 89. She was a Mississippi woman who moved to the West Coast and founded a club that became a staple of the Los Angeles blues scene. Also known as “Mama,” Gross opened Babe’s & Ricky’s Inn on Central Avenue in 1964 and hosted blues legends such as Bobby (“Blue”) Bland and John Lee Hooker while serving cold beer and soda to an integrated crowd.
2012: Danny Sims passed away at age 75. He was a music producer, publisher, and promoter who signed future reggae superstar Bob Marley to his first recording contract in 1968.