*******  Today in Black History –  July 25, 2017  *******   

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1916 - Garrett T. Morgan, inventor of the gas mask, rescues six

        persons from a gas-filled tunnel, five miles from shore

        under Lake Erie, in Cleveland, Ohio.


1918 - A race riot occurs in Chester, Pennsylvania. Three

        African Americans and 2 whites are killed.


1921 - Liberty Life Insurance Company is founded by Frank L.

        Gillespie. After a 1926 merger with Supreme Life and

        Casualty of Columbus, Ohio, and Northeastern Life of

        Newark, New Jersey, the resulting company will be called

        Supreme Life Insurance Company and be, at one time, one

        of the largest African American insurance companies in

        the nation.


1930 - Nineteen-year-old Josh Gibson is called out of the stands

        to substitute for the regular catcher for the Pittsburgh

        Homestead Grays, one of the best-known all-Negro

        professional baseball teams. Gibson will go on to play

        15 years with a variety of teams in the Negro leagues. 

        His lifetime batting average, .423, will earn him

        election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.


1941 - Nathaniel "Nate" Thurmond is born in Akron, Ohio. He will

        become an all-star college basketball player and Hall of

        Fame NBA player. Agile and deceptively strong, he will

        hone his talents at Bowling Green State University, where

        he will average 17.8 ppg and 17.0 rpg and be selected an

        All-America his senior year. In 1963, he will be drafted

        third in the NBA draft by the San Francisco Warriors and

        will play the forward position because Wilt Chamberlain

        is the Warriors' pivot man. When San Francisco trades

        Chamberlain to Philadelphia in 1965, he will return to his

        natural position and develop into one of the NBA's truly

        dominant centers. He will log 14 NBA seasons with San

        Francisco, Golden State, Chicago and Cleveland. He will be

        selected to play in seven All-Star Games and be named NBA

        All-Defensive First Team twice and Second Team three times.

        He will first make NBA history when he grabs 18 rebounds in

        one quarter against the Baltimore Bullets in 1965. Then on

        opening night in 1974, he will make history again as the

        first player to ever record a quadruple double-double

        figures in four categories in one game (22 points, 14

        rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocked shots). When he retires,

        he will have scored 14,437 points and grabbed 14,464

        rebounds (sixth all-time), both 15.0 per game averages. He

        will be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame on July 1,



1943 - The U.S. Navy launches the "Leonard Roy Harmon' in Quincy,

        Massachusetts, the nation's first warship named for an

        African American. Harmon, a messman, was posthumously

        awarded the Navy Cross for heroism.


1954 - Walter Jerry Payton is born in Columbia, Mississippi. He

        will be the Chicago Bears' first-round draft choice and the

        fourth player selected in the 1975 National Football League

        Draft and will develop into a superstar of unusual

        dimensions during his 13-season NFL tenure from 1975 to

        1987, all of which he will spend with the Chicago Bears.

        The 5-10, 200-pound running back who will rush for 3,563

        yards in four seasons at Jackson State University will go

        on to dominate the rushing section of the NFL record book

        during and long after his career will end. The records he

        will hold at the time of his retirement include 16,726

        total yards, 10 seasons with 1,000 or more yards rushing,

        275 yards rushing in one game against the Minnesota Vikings

        (1977), 77 games with more than 100 yards rushing, and 110

        rushing touchdowns. He will have 4,368 combined net

        attempts and account for 21,803 combined net yards. He will

        also score an impressive 750 points on 125 touchdowns. He

        will win the NFC rushing title five straight years from

        1976 to 1980. He will also lead the NFC with 96 points in

        1977 and win the NFL kickoff return championship in his

        rookie 1975 campaign. He will be named both All-Pro and

        All-NFC seven times and play in nine Pro Bowl games. He

        will be selected as the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1977

        and 1985, the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1977 and

        1985 and the NFC Most Valuable Player in 1977. An amazing

        runner, he will rush for more than 1,000 yards 10 of his

        13 seasons. His best season will come in 1977, when he runs

        for 1,852 yards, third best in history at that time. His

        492 career pass receptions for 4,538 yards and 15

        touchdowns will contribute to his exceptional combined net

        yard totals. Extremely durable, he will miss one game in

        his rookie campaign and then play in 186 consecutive games.

        He will be a major factor in the Chicago Bear's Super Bowl

        XX win. He will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of

        Fame on July 31, 1993. He will join the ancestors on

        November 1, 1999 after succumbing to cancer.


1964 - A racially motivated disturbance begins in Rochester, New

        York. Subsequent to this civil unrest, the major employers

        in the metropolitan area (Kodak, Xerox, Sybron, and Bausch

        & Lomb) show marked improvements in their hiring of

        African Americans.


1966 - Constance B. Motley becomes the first African American

        woman to be appointed a federal judge.


1972 - The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, where African Americans

        were used as guinea pigs in syphilis experiments for 40

        years, is admitted to by U.S. government health officials.


1981 - Walter Payton signs a contract to play with the Chicago

        Bears of the NFL on his 27th birthday. The famed running

        back will earn almost $2 million over his three years.

        'Sweetness', as he is nicknamed (because of his

        disposition), becomes the highest paid player in the

        National Football League at the time.


1990 - "Black Enterprise" publisher Earl G. Graves and Los Angeles

        Lakers star Magic Johnson become the largest minority-

        controlled franchise in the country when they sign a $ 60

        million agreement to purchase Pepsi-Cola of Washington, DC.



1991 - Dennis Hightower is promoted to president of Disney Consumer

        Products-Europe/Middle East. Hightower will have operating

        responsibility for all book and magazine publishing,

        merchandise licensing, children's records and music, film

        promotion and television sponsorship and will manage the

        company's eight subsidiaries and six offices in Europe and

        the Middle East.




The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,

"Before the Mayflower", "Black Firsts" and independent

research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, Sr.




Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - located in Harlem, New York City

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Last Updated Tuesday, July 25, 2017