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. The First Negro Baseball League
1886: The First Negro Baseball League ‘Southern League of Colored Base Ballists’ was founded on this day.
2. Jack Johnson
1903: Jack Johnson became the first African American heavyweight Champion on this day. (Photo: NewsOne)
3. Emile Griffith,
1938: Former boxing Champ, Emile Griffith, was born on this day. He was the first fighter from the U.S. Virgin Islands ever to become a world champion.
4. Dennis Edwards
1943: R&B Singer and on of The Temptation’s lead singers, Dennis Edwards, was born on this day in Birmingham, Al.
5. Charles W. David, Coast Guard
1943: Charles W. David, a Coast Guard mess attendant died on this day of exposure after plunging repeatedly in the freezing sea to rescue mostly white survivors of the Dorchester. In 1999, The Immortal Chaplains Prize for Humanity was presented in honor of Charles W. David. (Photo: AA Registry)
6. Autherine J. Lucy
1956: Autherine J. Lucy became the first African American student to attend the University of Alabama on this day. However, soon after her arrival, a mob of angry segregationists would cause uproar over her admittance, and the school would suspend Lucy on grounds that it could not provide a safe environment for her.
7. Marlon Riggs
1957: Filmmaker, artist, activist and tenured professor in the Graduate School of Journalism, Marlon Riggs, was born on this day. He was known for making insightful and controversial documentary films confronting racism and homophobia. He passed away in 1994. (Photo: Tumblr)
8. Otis Redding
1968: Otis Redding’s ‘(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay’ charted on this day, rising to #1 R&B (three weeks) and #1 Pop (four weeks). the posthumously-issued 45 sold more than a million copies and reached #3 in England. (Photo: YouTube)
9. Sam & Dave
1968: Sam & Dave charted with ‘I Thank You’ on this day and reached #4 on the R&B chart and #9 on the Pop chart. It was their seventh Top 10 hit in two years. (Photo: YouTube)
10. The Supremes
1968: The Supremes were so popular in England that a recorded performance of them in a London club the month before was aired on this day as a Britist TV Special called ‘The Supremes Live at the Talk of the Town’ (Photo: YouTube)
11. Lori McNeil
1989: Tennis pro Lori McNeil defeated Chris Evert in the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on this day. (Photo: Tumblr)
12. Tony Williams
1997: Jazz Drummer Tony Williams passed away on this day. (Photo: Tumblr)
13. Lamont Hawkins aka Fat Pat
1998: Southern Rapper Fat Pat (born Lamont Hawkins) was fatally shot on this day in Houston, Tx. (Photo: Tumblr)
14. Martin Bashir & Michael Jackson
2003: The exclusive documentary ‘Living With Michael Jackson’ (interviewed by Martin Bashir) aired on UK television on this day.
15. Emmitt Smith
2005: Emmitt Smith announced his retirement as NFL’s all-time leading rusher and called his 15-year career a tremendous ride.
16. Warren Kimbro
2009: Former Black Panther, Warren Kimbro, after serving four years in prison went on to earn a Harvard Degree and became a respected community leader passed away on this day in New Haven, CT.
17. Maya Angelou
2013: Maya Angelou’s annual special for Black History featured Oprah, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Regina Taylor & diplomat Kofi Annan as the only male guest.