Today In Black History

On This Day In Black History… June 11

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1912 : Joseph H. Dickson patents player piano.

Dickinson earned himself a number of patents for his work in the field of music. He attempted to improve sound quality by adjusting the way in which sound was produced by pianos as well as organs. In terms of developing the piano as we know it today, he created a way in which players could better control the dynamics of the music. But his real contribution came in the way of organs.

1920: Hazel Scott ( Singer ) was born

Scott was internationally known, American jazz and classical pianist and singer; she also performed as herself in several films. She was prominent as a jazz singer throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1950, she became the first woman of color to have her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show, featuring a variety of entertainment. To evade the political persecution of artists in the McCarthy era, Scott moved to Paris in the late 1950s and performed in France, not returning to the United States until 1967.

1930: Charles Rangel, ( U.S. Congressman ) was born

Rangel was born in Harlem in New York City. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he led a group of soldiers out of a deadly Chinese army encirclement during the Battle of Kunu-ri in 1950. Rangel graduated from New York University in 1957 and St. John’s University School of Law in 1960. He then worked as a private lawyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and legal counsel during the early-mid-1960’s. He served two terms in the New York State Assembly, from 1967 to 1971, and then defeated long-time incumbent Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in a primary challenge on his way to being elected to the House of Representatives.

1963: Two Black Students chanced enrollment in University Of Alabama
Two Black students, escorted by federalized National Guard troops, enrolled at University of Alabama despite the opposition of Gov. George C. Wallace. Vivian Malone and James Hood, accompanied by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach attempt to register at the University of Alabama. Governor George Wallace bodily blocks their entrance. When National Guardsmen return later in the day with Malone and Hood, Wallace steps aside.


1963: Segregation is morally wrong ( said by President Kennedy)
President Kennedy told nation in radio-TV address that segregation was morally wrong and that it was “time to act in the Congress, in your state and local legislature body, and…in all of our daily lives.”

1964: Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment
Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly attempting to sabotage the white South African government.

1967: Race Riot in Florida
Race riot, Tampa, Florida. National Guard mobilized.

Martin Chambers was 19 when he was shot in the back and killed by a Tampa police officer in 1967. The shooting, and the decision by the State Attorney’s Office, touched off three days of rioting. By the time the riots were calmed, 500 National Guardsman, 235 Florida Highway Patrol troopers and 250 local law enforcement officers had been called to duty, and seven buildings that housed dozens of businesses were completely destroyed by fire. Those that remained fled Central Avenue soon after, scared away by the community’s bleak future.

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