1. In 1865, 145 Years ago Today, South Carolina issues one of the first set of black codes “to regulate the relations of persons of color”. Among the codes included those of illegal interracial marriages, master apprentice relations and service contracts.
2. In 1921, 89 Years ago Today, Fifty-nine Blacks were reported lynched in 1921.
3. In 1921, 89 Years ago Today, Spingarn Medal awarded to actor Charles S. Gilpin for his performance in the title role of Emperor Jones.
4. In 1921, 89 Years ago Today, The Negro Renaissance, a period of extraordinary activity on the part of Black artists and extraordinary receptivity on the part of the white public, reached a peak in the twenties. Among the writers who contributed to the movement were Claude Mckay, “Harlem Shadows”, 1922; Jean Toomer, “Cane”, 1923; Alain Locke.
5. In 1956, 54 Years ago Today, Montgomery buses are integrated, boycott ended on this say, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. were national heros, and the Supreme Court had ruled that segregation on city buses was unconstitutional.
6. In 1959, 51 Years ago Today, Spingarn Medal was presented to Edward Kennedy (“Duke”) Ellington, composer, pianist and jazz pioneer, for his contributions to the arts.
7. In 1959, 51 Years ago Today, Citizens of Deerfield, Ill., authorized a plan which blocked building of interracial housing development.
8. In 1959, 51 Years ago Today, Motown Records established by Berry Gordy Jr.
9. In 1972, 38 Years ago Today, Spingarn Medal awarded to Gordon B. Parks “in recognition of his unique creativity, as exemplified by his outstanding achievements as photographer, writer, film-maker and composer.”
10. In 1976, 34 Years ago Today, Patricia R. Harris named secretary of housing and urban development by President-elect Carter.
11. In 1976, 34 Years ago Today, Spingarn Medal presented to Alvin Ailey “in recognition of his international pre-eminence in the field of dance.”
12. In 1986, 24 Years ago Today, Michael Griffith is struck by an automobile and killed while escaping from a mob of whites who were beating him, in Howard Beach (Queens), NY.
13. In 1988, 22 Years ago Today, African-American term is coined, Jesse Jackson urges the use of the term “African-American”