1. John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie, was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed “the sound of surprise”.
Together with Charlie Parker, he was a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Jon Faddis and Chuck Mangione
2. Ronald Erwin McNair, a physicist and NASA astronaut. McNair died January 28, 1986 during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L.
1. Jupiter Hammon, the first black American poet, is born in slavery. He was a Calvinist and a self-educated writer. He was the first African American to publish his writings. One of his poems appeared in print in 1760 and is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.
2. Cozy Cole (William R. Cole), jazz drummer who scored a #1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record “Topsy Part 2”. “Topsy” peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the R&B chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at #29 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. The recording contained a lengthy drum solo, and was one of the few drum solo recordings that ever made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was issued on the tiny Brooklyn-based Love Records label.
3. Lerone Bennett, Jr. Historian, scholar, author and Ebony magazine editor. His best- known book is Before the Mayflower. Bennett graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He has noted this time was integral to his intellectual development. Mr. Bennett is also a distinguished member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
4. Howard Ellsworth Rollins, television, film, and stage actor. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in the film Ragtime, and as Virgil Tibbs on the NBC/CBS television series In the Heat of the Night. He also starred as Captain Davenport in the 1984 drama A Soldier’s Story which also starred Adolph Caesar, David Alan Grier, Denzel Washington and Robert Townsend.
5. Mae Jamison, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.
6. David “Ziggy” Marley, musician and leader of the band Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. He is the oldest son of famed reggae musician Bob Marley.
7. Wyclef Jean, musician, record producer, and politician. He first received fame as a member of the acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group the Fugees. Along with being a world famous and highly respected performing artist, he is now a visiting fellow at Brown University in the Department of African Studies.
1. Nat Turner, Slave Revolt Leader/Abolistionist was an slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 56 white deaths and over 55 black deaths,the largest number of fatalities to occur in one uprising prior to the American Civil War in the southern United States. He gathered supporters in Southampton County, Virginia. White backlash resulted in the state executing 56 blacks accused of being part of Turner’s slave rebellion. Two hundred blacks were also beaten and killed by white militia mobs and thugs. As if that wasn’t enough retribution, Virginia and other southern state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers to be present at black worship services.
2. Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., was born. He became an astronaut and pilot. He was the first African American selected for space travel.
3. Johnny L. Cochran, Jr. lawyer best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the alleged murder of his former wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Cochran also represented Sean Combs (during his trial on gun and bribery charges), Michael Jackson, rapper Tupac Shakur, actor Todd Bridges, football player Jim Brown, rapper Snoop Dogg, former heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe, 1992 Los Angeles riot beating victim Reginald Oliver Denny, and Rosa Parks.
He also represented athlete Marion Jones when she faced charges of doping during her high school track career. Cochran was known for his skill in the courtroom and his prominence as an early advocate for victims of police brutality.
4. Avery Brooks, is an American actor, jazz musician, opera singer and college professor. Brooks is perhaps best known for his television roles as Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and as Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff A Man Called Hawk, and in the Academy Award-nominated film American History X.
5. Ernest Riles, is a former shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1985 through 1993, Riles played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1985–1988), San Francisco Giants (1988–1990), Oakland Athletics (1991), Houston Astros (1992) and Boston Red Sox (1993). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
6 Melissa Victoria Harris-Perry ( Melissa Harris-Lacewell) is an American author and political commentator with a focus on African-American politics.
She is a professor of political science at Tulane University. Prior to that, she was an associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University from 2006 to 2010, and taught political science at the University of Chicago from 1999 to 2005. She is also an award winning author and appears regularly on MSNBC and other media venues.
1. In 1992, Dr. Mae C. Jemison Physician and Astronaut, became the first Black woman in space on this day. As a mission specialist, Jemison researched bio-feedback, a process which uses relaxation and mental exercises to control body functions. During her eight days in space aboard the space Shuttle Endeavor, she conducted experiments on physiological conditions encountered in space. The Alabama born, Chicago-raised prodigy earned her chemical engineering and African Studies degrees from Stanford University in 1977 at age 16. She completed her doctoral studies at New York’s Cornell University Medical College in 1981. Before she joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), she served as a doctor for the Peace Corps. She left NASA in 1993 to supervise her Texas-based technology firm and started a company which aims to improve health care in Africa. In addition to her native English, Jemison speaks Russian, Japanese and the East African language of Swahili.
2. In 1993, S. R. Scottron received Patent for Supporting bracket
3. In 2011, Leila Lopes, 25 from Angola, wins Miss Universe.
1. William Horace Marshall, an American actor, director, and opera singer. He is best known for his title role in the 1972 classic Blacula and its sequel Scream Blacula Scream (1973), and as the “King of Cartoons” on the 1980s television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse beginning with its second season, and an appearance on the original Star Trek television series. He had a commanding height of 6 ft 5 in as well as a deep bass voice.
2. Earl Gaines, an American soul blues and electric blues singer. Born in Decatur, Alabama, he sang lead vocals on the hit single “It’s Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)”, accredited to Louis Brooks and his Hi-Toppers,before undertaking a low-key solo career. In the latter capacity he had minor success with “The Best of Luck to You” (1966) and “Hymn Number 5” (1973). Noted as the best R&B singer from Nashville, Gaines was also known for his lengthy career.
3. Johnny Nash, is an American pop singer-songwriter, best known in the US for his 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”. He was also the first non-Jamaican to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica. Born John Lester Nash, Jr. in Houston, Texas, He began as a pop singer in the 1950s. He also enjoyed success as an actor early in his career appearing in the screen version ofplaywright Louis S. Peterson’s Take a Giant Step. Nash won a Silver Sail Award for his performance from the Locarno International Film Festival.
4. Charles F. Bolden, is the current Administrator of NASA, a retired United States Marine Corps major general, and former NASA astronaut.
A 1968 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he became a Marine Aviator and test pilot. After his service as an astronaut, he became Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy. On May 23, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Bolden as NASA Administrator, and Lori Garver as Deputy NASA Administrator. Bolden was confirmed by the Senate on July 15, 2009. He is the first African American to head the agency on a permanent basis.
Bolden is also the virtual host of the Shuttle Launch Experience attraction at Kennedy Space Center and serves on the board of directors for the Military Child Education Coalition.
5. Ricky Pierce, A retired American National Basketball Association (NBA) player. He graduated from Garland High School and from Rice University. He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 1st round (18th pick) of the 1982 NBA Draft. However, he found his most career success after he was traded by the San Diego Clippers before the 1984-85 season along with Terry Cummings to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Pierce won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award for 1986–87 by averaging his 19.5 points in his third season with the Bucks. He earned the same award again three seasons later, averaging 23.0 points without starting a single game (an NBA record) in 1989–90. In the week preceding the 1991 trade deadline, the Bucks traded Pierce to the Seattle SuperSonics for Dale Ellis.
Pierce became a regular starter in 1991–92, his first full season with the Sonics. He made 75 consecutive free throws through several games in November–December of 1991, the second-longest such streak at that time. In 1993, Pierce and teammates Gary Payton andShawn Kemp led the Sonics to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
He retired after the 1997–98 season in his second stint with the Bucks. He also once had a playing stint in the Greek league with AEK Athens in the beginning of his last active season as a player.