1. In 1877, Henry Ossian Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia, in 1856, became the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Flipper, who was never spoken to by a white cadet during his four years at West Point, was appointed a second lieutenant in the all-African American 10th Cavalry, stationed at Fort Sill in Indian Territory.
2. In 1897, C. V. Richey Received Patent for Car Coupling
3. In 1897, R.A. Butler patents Train alarm Patent #157,370
4. In 1920, Three Black men were hanged in Duluth, Minnesota. One of the worst racial incidents of the last century went unresolved because lynching was not abolished until 1924.
5. In 1921, Bessie Coleman, a 28-year-old native of Amarillo, Texas, who learned French in order to communicate with instructors, receives a pilot’s certificate from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France. She is the first African American woman to become a licensed pilot.
6. In 1943, Congress of racial Equality (CORE), founded.
7. In 1951, Joe Louis knocks out Lee Savold in a closed-circuit TV fight seen by fight fans in movie theatres in six cities.
8. In 1953, The Baton Rouge Bus boycott occurred. This was the first Black bus boycott in America. That summer, the African American community of Baton Rouge set the tone of the modern civil rights movement. Years before the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, and the significant protest in Montgomery led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks, leaders of the Baton Rouge Black community stood up for racial equality. In March of 1953, Black leaders in Baton Rouge were successful in having the City Council pass Ordinance 222, which permitted them to be seated on a first-come-first-served basis.
9. In 1971, Cheryl White, at age 17 became the first Black female jockey.
10. In 1971, The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of closing Jackson, Mississippi, swimming pools rather than integrating them. The ruling is considered by many to indicate the Court’s resistance to increased integration.
11. In 1971, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., former executive director of the United Negro College Fund, is appointed executive director of the National Urban League.
12. In 1987, Michael Spinks defeats Gerry Cooney in round five of their heavyweight boxing match in Atlantic City, New Jersey.