September 17: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Vanessa Williams
1858: Dred Scott passed away on this day. He was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as “the Dred Scott Decision.”
1866: Mary Burnett Talbert was born. She was an was an orator, activist, suffragist and reformer. Called “the best known Colored Woman in the United States,” Talbert was among the most prominent African Americans of her time. She died in 1923 at age 57.
1979: Rube Foster was born. He was a pitcher, manager and pioneer executive in the Negro leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. He passed away in 1930 at age 51.
1940: Lamonte McLemore was born. He was a founding member of the Grammy award winning group The Fifth Dimension. He is 73 today.
1949: ‘All She Wants to Do is Rock’ by Wynonie Harris is the number one song on this day.
1955: Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee’s album, Songs From Pete Kelly’s Blues, ascended the album hit list, leveling off at #7. It became Ella’s biggest of eleven charters through 1969.
1957: ‘Long Lonely Nights’ by Clyde McPhatter was the number one song this day.
1960: Kevin Clash was born. He is an award winning puppeteer and voice actor. He turns 53 today.
1962: BeBe Winans was born. He is a singer, songwriter and producer. He turns 51 today.
1966: Doug E. Fresh was born. He is a beatboxer, rapper and record producer. He turns 47 today.
1967: Malik Yoba was born. He is an singer and actor of film, television and stage. He turns 46 today.
1968: Lord Jamar was born. He is an actor, M.C. and member of the hip hop group Brand Nubian. He turns 45 today.
1974: Rasheed Wallace was born. He is a retired NBA player and current asst. coach for the Detroit Pistons. He turns 39 today.
1977: Diana Ross & the Supremes 20 Golden Greats compilation reached #1 in England and stayed there for seven weeks.
1983: Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” charted. It would eventually be #1 R&B for four weeks and #1 pop for seven weeks, making it Motown’s biggest hit worldwide up to that time.
1983: Vanessa Williams made history by becoming the first African-American woman in the pageant’s 63-year history to capture the Miss America title.
1990: Natalie Cole married record producer Andre Fischer, the former drummer for Rufus.
1994: Boyz II Men’s II album debuted at #1 pop, becoming the first Motown album since Stevie Wonder’s 1976 Songs in the Key of Life album to reach the top spot in its first week on the charts. By year’s end the Boyz album had sold six million copies.
1994: Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross’s remake of the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie hit “Endless Love” reached #3 in its chart debut in England. Stateside it would reach #7 R&B and #2 pop.
2001: The New York Stock Exchange reopened for trading after the Sept. 11 attacks, the longest closure since the Great Depression.
2007: Lloyd Davis passed away at age 79. He was a longtime federal housing official who worked with Rev. King’s widow to build Atlanta’s King Center and establish the holiday honoring the civil rights leader.
2008: Anna R. Langford passed away at age 90. She was the first black woman to serve on the Chicago City Council in the 70s and 80s.