1. In 1793, 218 Years ago Today, Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Law to implement the provisions in the Constitution. It stated that to reclaim an escaped slave a master needed only to go before a magistrate and provide oral or written proof of ownership. The magistrate would then issue an order for the arrest of the slave.
2. In 1865, 146 Years ago Today, Henry Highland Garnet, first Black to speak in the Capitol, delivered memorial sermon on the abolition of slavery at services in the House of Representatives. Henry Highland Garnet was born a slave in New Market, Maryland, in 1815
3. In 1867, 144 Years ago Today, H. Lee received Patent for Animal Trap
4. In 1900, 111 Years ago Today, For a Lincoln birthday celebration, James Weldon Johnson writes the lyrics for “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. With music by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, the song is first sung by 500 children in Jacksonville, Fla. It will become known as the “Negro National Anthem”.
5. In 1909, 102 Years ago Today, NAACP founded in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the nation’s largest and strongest civil rights organization. The principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice.
6. In 1915, 96 Years ago Today, Ernest Everett Just receives NAACP’s first Spingarn medal
7. In 1926, 85 Years ago Today, Carter G. Woodson Starts Negro History Week.
8. In 1930, 81 Years ago Today, In Tuskegee, Alabama, the Rosenwald Fund made grants to the Alabama State Board of Health to help meet the cost of a sutdy of syphilis in African American men living in rural Georgia and Alabama. Thus would begin a four decade long study of syphilis without treatment. Over 400 men were allowed to carry the disease without medical treatment for nearly 40 years. Several government agencies including the Federal Public Health Service and the Center for Disease Control participated in the unethical study. It became known as the Tuskegee experiment.
9. In 1939, 72 years ago Today, Augustus Nathaniel Lushington became the first African American to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), earning the doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1897; died on this day.
10. In 1948, 63 Years ago Today, First Lt. Nancy C. Leftenant became the first Black accepted in the regular army nursing corps.
11. In 1949, 62 Years ago Today, Frederick McKinley Jones received patent for removeable cooling device. this shock proof refrigeration unit fit into trucks, allowing long distance trucking of parishable foods.
12. In 1952, 59 Years ago Today, Congressional Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to Sgt. Cornelius H. Charlton for heroism in Korea. In May, 1951, Charlton’s unit pushed northwards with the Eighth Army. On June 2, near the village of Chipo-ri northeast of Seoul, his platoon encountered heavy resistance while attempting to take Hill 543. Taking command after his platoon leader was wounded, Charlton regrouped his men and led an assault against the hill. Wounded by a grenade, he refused medical attention and continued to lead the charge. He single-handedly attacked and disabled the last remaining enemy gun emplacement, suffering another grenade wound in the process. Sergeant Charlton succumbed to his wounds that day, dying at the age of 21. For his actions during the battle, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
13. In 1962, 49 Years ago Today, Bus boycott started in Macon, Georgia