September 1: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: General Daniel Chappie James, Jr.
1891: Halle T.D. Johnson became the first woman of any race to practice medicine in Alabama.
1904: George Coleman became the first African-American athlete to win a medal in the Olympic Games, winning two bronze medals at the 1904 games in St. Louis.
1905: Elvera Sanchez Davis was born. She was a dancer and mother of Sammy Davis, Jr. She died in 2000 at age 95.
1937: Ron O’Neal was born. He was an actor, director and screenwriter most remembered for his starring role as Youngblood Priest in the blaxploitation film Super Fly. He passed away in 2004 at age 66.
1944: Archie Bell was born. He is a singer and songwriter and former lead singer of Archie Bell & the Drells. He turns 69 today.
1951: “Don’t You Know I Love You” by the Clovers was the number one song this day.
1956: The Keynotes “Now I Know” ($100) was released. Its melody turned up a year later in Dion & the Belmonts’ “I Wonder Why.”
1956: Johnny Ray’s “Just Walkin’ In the Rain” debuted, eventually reaching #2. The original version was done three years earlier by the Prisonaires, an R&B quintet who were all inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary.
1958: Two doo-wop classics, “I’m So Young” by the students (#26 R&B) and he Moonglows’ “Ten Commandments Of Love” (#22 pop, #9 R&B), were issued.
1958: The Clara Ward Singers broke up, forming two gospel groups, the Gay Charmers and the Stars of Faith.
1961: The Marcels (formerly a mixed-race group) had their first session as an all-Black group recording “Heartaches” (#7 pop, #19 &B).
1966: Tim Hardaway was born. He is a retired NBA player and one of the league’s best point guards in his prime. He turns 47 today.
1971: The Pittsburgh Pirates, the first all-Black lineup played major league baseball on this day.
1974: Jason Taylor was born. He is a former NFL player who spent the majority of his career with the Dolphins. He also participated in season 6 of Dancing with the Stars and was Runner Up. He is 39 today.
1977: Ethel Waters passed away. She was a Grammy Hall of Fame blues, jazz and gospel singer. She was 80 years old.
1980: Smokey Robinson charted with his lucky thirteenth solo outing as “Cruisin’ ” became his first Top 5 hit sans the Miracles (#4 pop and R&B).
1984: Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” reached #1 pop (#2 R&B) on the same day she was offered a part in the third of the Mad Max film series.
1975: General Daniel Chappie James, Jr. became the first black officer in the history of the United States military to attain 4-star full General rank on this day.
2005: R.L. Burnside passed away at age 78. He was a blues singer, songwriter and guitarist.
2007: Russell Ellington passed away at age 69. He was with the Harlem Globetrotters for 40 years and coached college basketball.
2007: James E. Jackson Jr. passed away at age 92. He was a civil rights activist.
2007: Shalonda Simpson died. She was the bass player of Cheetah Whores an upcoming band. She had rewritten all the bass lines for the band’s repertoire and had record a demo. She fatally shot during an apparent robbery in Rochester, NY. She was 25 years old.
2007: Xavier University art professor John T. Scott passed away. He was a New Orleans’ artist who created large-scale abstract sculptures, drawings, and prints. He was 67 years old.
2009: Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson passed away at age 47. He was a Jamaican composer and producer known as Steely who influenced over 20 years of reggae music. He died from complications of hypertension and diabetes.
2010: LeRoy A. Beavers Jr. passed away. He was a pioneering insurance executive from a prominent Los Angeles family. In 1925 Beavers’ uncle co-founded Golden State Mutual Life Insurance, a company dedicated to serving the black community of LA. In 1963 he became one of the first blacks hired by white-owned Equitable Insurance. He was promoted to agency manager, the first black to hold that position with Equitable. He was 87 years old.