1. In 1822, James Varick, consecrated as the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
2. In 1839, Slave rebels, led by Joseph Cinque, kill the captain and take over the slave ship Amistad in the most celebrated of American slave mutinies.
3. In 1863, President Lincoln gave an order to shoot a Confederate prisoner for every African American prisoner that was shot; it became known as the “eye-for-eye” order. A rebel prisoner would also be condemned to life in prison doing hard labor, for every African American prisoner sold into slavery.
4. In 1864, Decatur Dorsey of the Thirty-ninth U.S. Colored Troops wins a Congressional Medal of Honor.
5. In 1866, Edward G. Walker, son of abolitionist David Walker, and Charles L. Mitchell are elected to the Massachusetts Assembly from Boston and become the first African Americans to sit in the legislature of an American state in the post-Civil War period.
6. In 1945, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., activist and politician, is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing Harlem.
7. In 1959, Willie McCovey steps to the plate for the first time in his major-league baseball career. McCovey, of the San Francisco Giants bats 4-for-4 in his debut against Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies. He hits two singles and two triples, driving in two runs. It is the start of an All-Star career that will land McCovey in baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
8. In 1984, Reggie Jackson hits the 494th home run of his career, passing the Yankees’ Lou Gehrig and taking over 13th place on the all-time home run list.
9. In 1988, The first National Black Arts Festival opens in Atlanta, Georgia. The biennial festival includes over 50 architectural and art exhibits including the works of Romare Bearden, Edwin Harleston, Camille Billops, David Driskell, and over 140 others.
10. In 1994, The first U.S. troops land in the Rwandan capital of Kigali to secure the airport for an expanded international aid effort.