1. In 1787, Led by Prince Hall, free Boston blacks petition the Massachusetts legislature for equal school facilities for African-American children. In addition to spreading Freemasonry among blacks, Hall became the most prominent black leader of the period.
2. In 1871, President Ulysses Grant suspends the writ of habeas corpus in nine South Carolina counties in order to combat a Ku Klux Klan terror campaign against blacks and some progressive whites. Grant’s forces crushed the Klan during this period. It would not rise again until the 1920s.
3. In 1888, The nation’s first black bank, Capital Savings, is chartered in Washington, D.C., by a group known as the Order of the True Reformers. The now little known but once influential group set up chapters throughout the South and advocated black self-help and the establishment of black-owned businesses. The founder was William Washington Browne, a Methodist minister from Richmond, Va.
4. In 1969, Dr. Clifton R. Wharton becomes the first black in the 20th century to head a major, predominantly white university when he is named president of Michigan State University.
1. In 1988, Pearl Bailey Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.