1. In 1770, 241 Years ago Today, Crispus Attucks, a sailor, ropemaker, was shot and killed in the cause of America’s freedom, what would later become known as the Boston Massacre.
2. In 1845, 166 Years ago Today, President John Tyler signed the joint resolution of Congress to admit Texas as a slave state. Later the Mexican/American War. President James K. Polk sent an army led by General Zachary Taylor to Corpus Christi, on the banks of the Nueces River. The troops were officially dispatched to help defend Texas from a potential Mexican attack on Texas. But they also represented a display of power as a U.S. negotiator headed to Mexico.
3. In 1858, 153 Years ago Today, Dr. John H. Rock delivered a speech at Boston’s Faneuil Hall as part of the annual Crispus Attucks Day observance organized by Boston’s black abolitionists in response to the Dred Scott decision. Dr. Rock shared the platform with William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Theodore Parker. Three years before the outbreak of the Civil War, Dr. Rock correctly predicted that African-Americans were destined to play an important role in the impending military conflict over slavery.
4. In 1875, 136 Years ago Today, Blanche Kelso Bruce became the Second black senator in US.
5. In 1897, American Negro Academy is Founded in Washington, D.C. by 78-year-old Reverend Alexander Crummell, the American Negro Academy (ANA) was an organization of black intellectuals who through their scholarship and writing were dedicated to the promotion of higher education, arts, and science for African Americans as part of the overall struggle for racial equality. The American Negro Academy brought together persons of African ancestry from around the world and was the first society of blacks that would specifically promote the “Talented Tenth” ideas later articulated by founding member W.E.B. DuBois. An all-male organization, the ANA consisted of those with backgrounds in law, medicine, literature, religion, and community activism. Their collective goal, however, was to “lead and protect their people” and to be a “weapon to secure equality and destroy racism.”
American Negro Academy members produced a number of published works discussing and analyzing the African American experience and the issue of racism. They included Disenfranchisement of The Negro, written by J.L. Lowe, Comparative Study of The Negro Problem, by Charles C. Cook, and William Pickens’s The Status of the Free Negro from 1860-1970.
Although the American Negro Academy waned during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, it experienced a rebirth of its own over forty years later as various musicians, poets, historians, and other artists again gathered to carry out the original goals of the ANA. These scholars and artists organized meetings that led to the creation of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters (BAAL), which was established to continue the ANA’s mission. A non-profit organization, the Black Academy of Arts and Letters was chartered in New York City in 1969.
6. In 1981, 30 Years ago Today, U.S. government granted Atlanta some $1 million to finance mental health and social programs in the wake of a mysterious series of abductions and slayings involving at least twenty two Black youths.
7. In 1985, 26 Years ago Today, The Mary McLeod Bethune commemorative stamp is issued by the U.S. Postal Service as the eighth stamp in its Black Heritage USA series.
8. In 1997, 14 Years ago Today, Desi Giles, a black man, receives death threats after portraying Jesus in the annual Passion play in Union City, N.J.