Hirman R. Revels of Mississippi sworn in as first Black U.S. senator and first Black representative in Congress.
"One-Man Show of Art by Negro, First of Kind Here, Opens Today," read the headline of a front-page article in 'The New York Times' on this day. The article announced the opening of Archibald J. Motley, Jr's show at the New Gallery on Madison Avenue. This was the first time in History that an artist had made the front page of 'The New York Times' and it was the second one-person show by an African-American artist (the first being Henry O. Tanner). African scenes, voodoo dances, and African-Americans at leisure were themes presented by the artist.
Martin Luther King ordained as a Baptist minister
Nat King Cole, the singer with the "Golden Voice", dies.
Cassius Clay becomes world heavyweight boxing champion.
Death of Elijah Muhammad (77), leader of the Nation of Islam, in Chicago. He was succeeded by his son, Wallace D. Muhammad.
On this day Daniel "Chappie" James, first African American four-star general, dies in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Robert E. Hayden, poet and poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, dies
Adrienne Mitchell, first African American woman to die in combat in the Persian Gulf War is killed in her military barracks in Dharan, Saudi Arabia
R. Kelly's hit single "I Believe I Can Fly" win Best Male R&B Vocal, Best Song Written for TV or a Movie and Best R&B Song Grammy Awards.