Black History Month originated in 1926, founded by Carter G. Woodson and was created to celebrate achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we lost.
1. Langston Hughes
1902: Playwright and Poet Langston Hughes was born on this day in Joplin, Missouri. He published his first poem in 1921 and his first book in 1926. He went on to write countless works of poetry, prose, plays as well as a popular column for the Chicago Defender. He passed away on May 22, 1967.
2. Garrett Morris
1937: Actor & Comedian Garrett Morris was born on this day in New Orleans, LA.
3. Sherman Hemsley
1938: Actor Sherman Hemsley was born on this day in Philadelphia, PA. He passed away on July 24, 2012 in El Paso, Tx.
4. Rick James
1948: Singer, songwriter, musician and record producer Rick James was born James Ambrose Johnson, Jr. in Buffalo, NY on this day. He died of a heart attack on August 6, 2004.
5. Woolworth’s Lunch Counter
1960: Four college students, Ezell A. Blair, Jr., Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond, sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC and politely asked for service and was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats and their passive resistance and peaceful sit-down demand helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South
6. Selma, Alabama March
1965: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (left) along with hundreds of African Americans and civil rights workers were arrested for marching without a permit in Selma, Al.
7. Ruby Dee
1965: On this day, Ruby Dee became the first African American actress to play a major role at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, CT.
8. James Brown
1965: James Brown recorded “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” in Charlotte, NC on this day.
9. Dr.& Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1966: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.and wife Coretta Scott King, joined pickets during a tour of an Atlanta slum area. The two women carrying signs were protesting the arrest of Hector Black, a volunteer who was charged with trespassing while handing out blankets at an apartment in the area.
10. Malik Sealy
1970: Malik Sealy was born on this day and was a pro basketball player from 1982 until his death in an auto accident in 2000 caused by a drunk driver. His number 2 was retired during the home opening game in November of 2000. Sealy was also an aspiring actor as well as a clothing designer.
11. Aretha Franklin sang at Mahalia Jackson’s funeral
1972: Aretha Franklin sang ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ at the funeral of her mentor and old friend Mahalia Jackson in Chicago on this day. (Photo: AP)
12. Good Times
1974: “Good Times” premiered on CBS on this day and ran for six years.
13. Walter McCarty
1974: Walter McCarty was born on this day. McCarty played ten years in the NBA and once his basketball career was over, he focused on his second love, Music.
14. Big Boi
1975: Big Boi (Antwan André Patton) was born on this day in Savannah, GA. (Photo: NewsOne)
15. Black Heritage Postal Stamps
1978: The first stamp of the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage Series honoring Harriet Tubman was released on this day. (Photo: Flickr)
16. The Bar-Kays
1982: “Bar-Kays Day” was declared in Memphis, TN on this day. (Photo: BlackAmericaweb.com, Rance Elgin)
17. Lee Thompson Young
1984: Actor Lee Thompson Young was born on this day in Columbia, SC. Sadly, on August 19, 2013, he took his own life. He was 29 years old. (Photo: Twitter)
18. Diana Ross
1986: Diana Ross married Arne Naess, a Norwegian shipping tycoon, in Geneva, Switzerland on this day. Among the 200 guests in Switzerland’s oldest church were Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and actors Gregory Peck and Marlon Brando. Diana & Arne had two sons, Ross Naess and Evan Ross. (Photo: AP)
19. Paul Robi of The Platters
1989: Paul Robi (2nd from right) was a member of one of the most romantic groups of all time, The Platters’ Robi was born in New Orleans on August 20, 1930 and passed away on this day in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)
20. Vanessa Williams
1992: Vanessa Williams Soared onto the Top 100 with ‘Save the Best for Last’ on this day. It was her biggest hit, reaching #1 on both pop and R&B charts. (Photo: AP)
1997: The first 24-hour Black Movie Channel BET Movie/Starz was launched on this day.
22. Michael P. Anderson
2003: Astronaut and Commander Michael P. Anderson perished along with his fellow astronauts on NASA’s space shuttle Columbia when it disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. (Photo: AP)
23. Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction
2004: Janet Jackson’s breast was briefly exposed by Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl half time show on this day. The number of people who tuned in was apparently the largest in Super Bowl history; 140 million in this country alone witnessed the famous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ dubbed ‘the nip slip’ (Photo: AP)
24. The Kashmere Band
2008: The Kashmere Stage Band held a (30 year) reunion (30 years later) honoring Conrad O. Johnson whom they referred to as ‘Prof’ the inspirational teacher behind the band. The Kashmere Stage Band formed at a Houston high school in the late ’60s and was the subject of a documentary ‘Thunder Soul’ . . . they traveled to Europe, Japan and other places to perform. (Photo: Youtube)
25. Don Cornelius
2012: Don Cornelius, Producer, TV host and creator of Soul Train one of the longest-running syndicated shows in TV history passed away on this day in an apparent suicide. He was 75. (Photo: AP)
26. David Peaston
2012: R&B singer David Peaston passed away on this day of complications from diabetes. He was 54. (Photo: AP)
27. Forever Stamp (Rosa Parks)
2013: U.S. Postal Service presented a new Forever Stamp in honor of the legendary civil rights activist Rosa Parks on this day during the 44th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles.