Sunday, October 2, 2011

Today In Black History

Nat Turner, leader of major slave rebellion, born in Southampton County, Virginia.

North Carolina amends constitution forbidding slavery.

Otis J. Rene (born) and his brother Leon will establish Exclusive and Excelsior Records in the 1930's. By the mid-1940's the brothers will be leading independent record producers whose artists will include Nat "King" Cole, Herb Jeffries, and Johnny Otis.

Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., was born. He became an astronaut and pilot. He was the first African American selected for space travel. Lawrence was killed in a conspiracy-filled training accident in December of 1967. In 1989, a memorial foundation was erected in honor of those astronauts who gave their lives for the space program. Lawrence's name was not included, until after much advocacy by historian, James Oberg, in February of 1997.

On October 2, 1937,Johnny L. Cochran, Jr. was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He became the noted controversial lawyer, who defended pro football star and actor, O.J. Simpson, in the infamous trial, for which Simpson was accused of killing wife and her friend. A member of the "Dream Team."

On October 2, 1942, Bernice Johnson Reagon was born in Albany, Georgia. She became a vocalist, composer and historian. As an historian, she founded "Sweet Honey in the Rock."

Thurgood Marshall is sworn in, and becomes the first Black Supreme Court Justice

On this date, President Ronald Reagan appointed Edward J. Perkins ambassador to South Africa.

The U.S. Senate overrides President Ronald Reagan's veto of legislation imposing economic sanctions in South Africa.

Jump Start premieres in 40 newspapers in the U.S. It is created by 26 year old Robb Armstrong, the youngest African American to have a syndicated comic strip. He follows in the footsteps of Morrie Turner, the creator of Wee Pals, the first African American syndicated comic strip.

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