September 28: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Althea Gibson
1796: David Walker was born. He was an outspoken abolitionist and anti-slavery activist. In 1829, while living in Boston, he published An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, a call for black unity and self-help in the fight against oppression and injustice.
1910: Houston Stackhouse was born. He was a blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He passed in 1980 at age 69.
1918: Corporal Freddie Stowers was killed in action during WWI. He was 22 years old. Over 70 years later, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
1938: Ben E. King was born. He is a singer, songwriter and record producer. He turns 75 today.
1939: Rudolph Walker was born. He is a British character actor, best known for his roles on television. He was the first black actor to appear in a major British TV series. He is 74 today.
1939: Elbridge Bryant was born. He was a singer and one of the founding members of Motown singing group The Temptations. He died in 1975, aged 36 of cirrhosis of the liver.
1941: Charley Taylor was born. He is a former wide receiver in the NFL for the Washington Redskins. Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. He turns 72 today.
1942: Little Buster was born. He was a blues musician. He was born sighted, but developed glaucoma at age of three. By the time his vision was completely gone, he was fluent on six instruments, including the guitar. He passed in 2006 at age 64.
1946: The Ink Spots charted with “To Each His Own,” reaching #3 R&B and #1 pop. The song was written for the film of the same name but never used in it.
1953: Keni Burke was born. He is a R&B, soul, funk, and jazz singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist who began his career as a member of the 1970s soul group, the Five Stairsteps. He turns 60 today.
1955: Kenny Kirkland was born. He was a pianist & keyboardist. He passed in 1998 at age 43 of congestive heart failure.
1956: Hollywood’s Shrine Auditorium hosted a rock ‘n’ roll show featuring West Coast groups the Coasters, the Six Teens, the Turks, the Gassers, and the Dots.
1963: San Francisco’s Cow Palace hosted a Surf Party featuring the Coasters, Bobby Freeman, Dionne Warwick, the Drifters, Dee Dee Sharp, the Righteous Brothers, and the Beach Boys.
1963: ‘Heat Wave’ by Martha & the Vandellas was the number one R&B song this day.
1966: Lucky Millinder passed away. He was a rhythm & blues and swing bandleader. He is a 1986 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
1973: Mantan Moreland passed away at age 71. He was a actor and comedian most popular in the 30s & 40s.
1975: The Spaghetti House siege: Three gunmen claiming to represent the Black Liberation Army attempted an armed robbery of the restaurant didn’t pan out, they took 9 staff members hostage. After six days, everyone emerged unharmed.
1984: Melody Thornton was born. She is a singer-songwriter and dancer. She rose to stardom as a member of the successful pop group the Pussycat Dolls. She turns 29 today.
1987: Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight guested for a week on the TV show $10,000 Pyramid.
1988: Anita Baker and Luther Vandross performed in Washington, DC, at the start of their The Heat tour.
1991: Jazz legend Miles Davis passed away. He was a jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He was 65.
1996: Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Brandy, and Tamia sang together on the hit “Missing You” from the film Set It Off. The record reached #10 R&B and #25 pop today.
2003: Tennis legend Althea Gibson passed away at age 76. She was the first black athlete of either gender to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956 she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title.
2005: Constance Baker Motley passed away at age 84. She was a civil rights activist, lawyer, judge, state senator, and Manhattan Borough President, New York City.
2009: Best Ogedegbe passed away at age 55 from surgery complications. He was a Nigerian international football (soccer) goalkeeper and assistant coach who played with the Shooting Stars senior football club during most of his career.
2011: Leonard Dillon passed away at age 68. He was a Jamaican singer and songwriter who founded the pioneering vocal group the Ethiopians.