1836: Theo Wright became the 1st black person to get a Theology Degree in the U.S.
1879: William M. Bailis received a patent for a Ladder Scaffold Support.
1889: Willis Richardson was born. He was an award-winning playwright. Twice awarded the Spingarn Prize and posthumously awarded teh prestigious AUDELOCO prize. He passed in 1977.
1901: Etta Moten Barnett was born. She was an actress, contralto vocalist and created new roles for African American women on stage and screen. She passed in 2004, aged 102.
1914: Jack McVea was born. He was a swing, blues, and rhythm and blues woodwind player; he played clarinet and tenor and baritone saxophone. He passed in 2000, aged 90.
1917: Emmett J. Scott, former secretary to Booker T. Washington, was appointed special assistant to the Secretary of War.
1931: Ike Turner was born. He was a musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout and record producer in a career that last more than half a century. He passed in 2007, aged 76.
1946: Loleatta Holloway was born. She was a singer and songwriter. She passed in 2011, aged 64.
1954: Oran ‘Hot Lips’ Page passed away, aged 46. He was a jazz trumpeter, singer and bandleader.
1955: ‘Only You’ by the Platters was the #1 R&B song this day. 1955: The Heartbeats’ “Crazy For You” was released today. Though never charting nationally, it became a New York-area standard.
1956: Art Tatum passed away, aged 47 of kidney failure. He is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time.
1958: After only three singles together, including the legendary “For Your Precious Love,” Jerry Butler & the Impressions split up.
1966: Muddy waters performed at the Fillmore West in San Francisco along with rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service.
1968: Shirley Chisholm became the 1st African American woman to be elected to Congress.
1986: The governor of Arizona refused to recognize Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday as a national holiday.
1986: Bobby Nunn passed away, aged 61. He was a singer with the groups The Coasters & The Robins.
1989: Chaka Khan began a European tour in Hamburg, West Germany.
1994: Brandy’s debut single, “I Wanna Be Down,” went gold while still rising up the charts on its way to #6 pop. The fifteen-year-old beauty was already an accomplished actress having appeared in on the Tv shows Thea and Moesha.
1998: Fats Domino was honored with the National Medal of Arts, which was presented to him by President Clinton at the White House. 2002: Billy Guy passed away, aged 66. He was a singer with The Coasters and a record producer.
2002: Billy Mitchell passed away, aged 71. He was a lead singer of the doo-wop group the Clovers.
2004: Donald Jones passed away, aged 72. He was an actor & dancer born in Harlem. He went to the Netherlands in his early twenties and became the 1st Dutch black star.
2010: Shirley Verrett passed away, aged 79. She was an operatic mezzo-soprano and soprano praised for her intensity during a career that spanned 40 years.
2012: Charles Vernon Bush passed away, aged 72. He was one of the 1st black graduates of the US Air Force Academy in 1963, served in Vietnam and graduated from Harvard Business School.
2012: James R. Dumpson passed away at age 103. He was the New York commissioner of welfare in the ‘60s who defended relief payments as both necessary and moral.