1. In 1776, 235 Years ago Today, Continental Congress approved Washington’s order on the enlistment of free Blacks.
2. In 1865, 146 Years ago Today, Gen. William T. Sherman issued his Field Order No. 15 setting aside “the islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the river for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. John’s River, Florida,” for exclusive settlement by Blacks. The order provided that “each family should have a plot of not more than forty (40) acres of tillable ground…in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection until such time as they can protect themselves….”Gen. Rufus Sa
3. In 1871, 140 Years ago Today, Jefferson F. Long of Georgia sworn in as the second Black Congressman.
4. In 1883, 128 Years ago Today, S. R. Scottron Received Patent for Cornice
5. In 1900, 111 Years ago Today, J. M. Mitchell Received Patent for Check row corn planter
6. In 1920, 91 Years ago Today, Zeta Phi Beta sorority, with the help of Phi Beta Sigma Robert Samuel Taylor, was founded at Howard University by Arizona Stemmons, Myrtle Faithful, Pearl A. Neal, Fannie Watts and VIola Goings.
7. In 1938, 73 Years ago Today, Benny Goodman leads a historic jazz concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Later considered one of the first serious jazz concerts, Goodman refused to perform without two African American members of his band, Teddy Wilson on piano and Lionel Hampton on vibraphone. Hall officials relented and the integrated band performs to critical praise.
8. In 1941, 70 Years ago Today, A Black scientist helped save thousands of lives during World War II. Dr. Charles Richard Drew set up and ran the pioneer blood plasma bank in Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. This bank served as one of the models for the system of banks operated later by the American Red Cross.
9. In 1941, 70 Years ago Today, The 99th Pursuit Squadron, an all African American unit is formed and the Tuskegee Training Program is established, the 99th will fly more than 500 missions and more than 3,700 sorties during one year of combat before being combined with the 332nd Fighter Group.
10. In 1962, 49 Years ago Today, Suit accusing New York City Board of Education of using “racial quotas” filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of Black and Puerto Rican children.
11. In 1966, 45 Years ago Today, Harold R. Perry became second Black Roman Catholic bishop in U.S. history.
12. In 1967, 44 Years ago Today, First Black government installed in the Bahamas.
13. In 1967, 44 Years ago Today, Lucius D. Amerson became the first black sheriff in the South since Reconstruction. sworn in at Tuskegee (Macon County), Alabama.
14. In 1974, 37 Years ago Today, Boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, named the Associated Press Athelete of the Year, 1974
15. In 1978, 33 Years ago Today, Dr. Ronald E. McNair Chosen by NASA for Shuttle Program.
16. In 1978, 33 Years ago Today, Major Frederick D. Gregory chosen by NASA for Shuttle Program.
17. In 1978, 33 Years ago Today, Major. Guion S. Bluford Jr. Chosen by NASA for Shuttle Program.
18. In 1986, 25 Years ago Today, A bronze bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. is placed in the Capitol, the first African American.
19. In 1994, 17 Years ago Today, South Africa’s Pan Africanist Congress suspended its armed struggle against the government of President F.W. de Klerk.
20. In 2003, 8 Years ago Today, Richard Parsons, chief executive, is tapped to be the next chairman of AOL Time Warner.