September 24: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Patrick Kelly
1878: W.R. Davis, Jr. received a patent for the library table.
1886: The founding of Ebenezer Baptist Church is celebrated on this date. It is a unique landmark of Black civil rights in the African American community.
1893: Blind Lemon Jefferson was born this day. He was was a blues singer and guitarist from Texas. He was one of the most popular blues singers of the 1920s, and has been titled “Father of the Texas Blues”. He passed in 1929 at age 36.
1923: Fats Navarro was born. He was a jazz trumpet player and a pioneer of the bebop style of jazz improvisation in the 1940s. He died in 1950 at age 26 after a week in the hospital.
1924: Theresa Merritt was born. She was a singer and actress of film, television and stage. She passed in 1998 at age 75.
1935: Boxer Joe Louis became the first Black boxer to draw a million dollar gate.
1939: Wayne Henderson was born. He is a soul-jazz and hard bop trombonist, record producer and co-founder of The Jazz Crusaders. He turns 74 today.
1946: Joe Greene was born. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a four-time Super Bowl Champion. He is also well known for his appearance in the “Hey Kid, Catch!” Coca-Cola commercial in 1979, widely considered to be one of the best television commercials of all time.
1954: Fashion Designer Patrick Kelly was born. He became both the first American and the first person of color to be admitted as a member of the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode. He died in 1990 at age 35 of an AIDS related illness.
1955: The Eldorados’ doo-wop classic “At My Front Door” (#1 R&G, #17 pop) was released.
1956: The Five Satins, the Channels, the Clovers, and the Valentines headlined Dr. Jive’s week-long party at the Apollo.
1957: President Eisenhower ordered federal troops to Little Rock, Ark., to prevent interference with school integration at Central High School.
1966: The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in London and included drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding. Jimi, who was influenced by B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Elmore James, and Eddie Cochran, started performing when he bought a guitar from his father’s friend for five bucks.
1966: ‘Beauty is Only Skin Deep’ by the Temptations was the number one song this day.
1973: Eddie George was born. He is a former NFL player and College Football Hall of Famer. He turns 40 today.
1992: Luther Vandross entertained at an AIDS Research benefit in Los Angeles called the Jean Paul Gaultier in L.A. fashion benefit.
1998: Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, and Boyz II men performed at the Mentoring Big Night at the Garden benefit at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
1999: The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, PA, held its second annual induction ceremonies with hosts Mary Wilson of the Supremes and publisher/author Jay Warner overseeing the proceedings. Among the fourteen acts enshrined were the Coasters, the Delta Rhythm Boys, the Four Tops, Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, the Jackson 5, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Moonglows, the Spinners, the Temptations, and the Ink Spots.
2010: Richard Griffey passed away at age 71. He was the founder of the Los Angeles-based rhythm-and-blues record label Solar, once touted as “the Motown of the ‘80s.” He died of complications from quadruple-bypass heart surgery that he underwent in 2009.
2012: Charles White passed away at age 83. He was a retired assistant vice chancellor for employee relations at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who stepped down after 50 years with the school.