1. In 1795, Absalom Jones is ordained a deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
2. In 1854, Congress passed Confiscation Act, authorizing the appropriation of the property, including slaves, of rebel slaveholders.
3. In 1870, In one of the most brazenly racist incidents of the post-Civil War period, white conservatives and racists employ assassinations and widespread violence to suppress the black vote and take control of the Tennessee legislature from a coalition of blacks and progressive whites. The violence and the election effectively ended Reconstruction in the state.
4. In 1872, Elijah McCoy received Patent for Lubricator for steam engines
5. In 1925, African American lawyers organize the National Bar Association and name George H. Woodson of Des Moines, Iowa, as President, and Wendell Gree of Chicago, Illinois, as Secretary.
6. In 1934, United States troops leave Haiti, which it had occupied since 1915.
7. In 1941, Blacks started being inducted into the U.S. military in April 1941, resulting in a series of violent incidents between black soldiers and white soldiers and between black soldiers and white civilians.
The first major incident takes place on this day in August 1941. A group of black soldiers board a bus in Fayetteville, N. C., headed to Ft. Bragg. The white driver complains they are being “rowdy” and asks for help from the military police (MPs). The MPs arrive and begin hitting the blacks with nightsticks. One of the black men grabs an MP’s gun and begins shooting. Additional fighting and shooting break out. When the dust settled, one black private and one white MP were dead and two whites and three blacks had been wounded.
This is the first of a series of serious racial incidents (between African American and white soldiers and African American soldiers and white civilians) which will continue throughout the war.
8. In 1952, Satchel Paige, at age 46, becomes the oldest pitcher to complete a major-league baseball game. Paige, pitching for the Cleveland Indians, shuts out the Detroit Tigers 1-0 in a 12-inning game.
9. In 1962, Jamaica becomes independent after 300 years of British rule.
10. In 1963, Little Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips, Part 2” is the #1 Soul chart hit.
11. In 1965, The Voting Rights Act is signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the same room that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and a host of others witness the signing of the act, which suspends the use of literary tests and calls for federal examiners to ensure fair elections in the South.
12. In 1969, The Learning Tree, directed by Gordon Parks, Jr., premieres. The film is the first directed by an African American in modern times.
13. In 1973, Stevie Wonder is nearly killed in an automobile accident near Durham, North Carolina, where he was to perform in a benefit concert. Wonder suffers severe brain contusions and a fractured skull and will be in a coma for ten days as a result of his injuries.
14. In 1984, Carl Lewis wins 2nd (long jump) of 4 gold medals in the Summer Olympics.
15. In 1988, Once accused by African American artists of racism, MTV, the 24-hour cable music channel, premieres “Yo! MTV Raps.” It will become one of the station’s most popular programs.
16. In 1994, In Wedowee, Alabama, an apparent arson fire destroys Randolph County High School, which had been the focus of tensions over the principal’s stand against interracial dating.
17. In 1996, Officials announce that the Air Force had punished 16 officers in connection with the crash that killed Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and 34 others the previous April.
18. In 2009, President Barack Obama Signed The Cash For Clunkers Extention Bill