*******   Today in Black History –  January 18, 2021  *******   

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1856 - Dr. Daniel Nathan Hale Williams is born in Hollidaysburg,

        Pennsylvania. He will graduate from Chicago Medical

        College in 1883 and begin his practice on Chicago's South

        Side. After 8 years of frustration, not being able to use

        the facilities at the white hospitals in Chicago, he will

        found Provident Hospital in 1891 and open it to patients of

        all races. He will make his mark in medical history on

        July 10, 1893, when he becomes the first African American

        surgeon to perform a successful open heart surgery. He will

        join the ancestors on August 4, 1931 after succumbing to a



1896 - British troops occupy Kumasi, West Africa. The Ashanti turned

        down an unofficial offer to become a British protectorate in

        1891, extending to 1894. The British also wanted to establish

        a British resident in Kumasi. The Ashanti King Prempeh refused

        to surrender his sovereignty. Because the British wanted to

        keep French and German forces out of Ashanti territory (and its

        gold), the British were anxious to conquer the Ashanti once and

        for all. The Ashanti sent a delegation to London offering

        concessions on its gold, cocoa and rubber trade as well as

        submission to the crown. The British however had already made

        its mind up on a military solution.


1944 - The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City hosts a jazz

        concert for the first time. The performers will include Louis

        Armstrong and Lionel Hampton.


1948 - The first courses begin at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.


1949 - Congressman William Dawson is elected chairman of the House

        Expenditure Committee. He is the first African American to

        head a standing committee of Congress.


1958 - Willie Eldon O'Ree becomes the first person of African descent to

        play in the National Hockey League, when he debuts with the

        Boston Bruins in a 3-0 win over Montreal in the Forum. 


1961 - Zanzibar's Afro-Shirazi party wins 1 seat by a single vote and

        control Parliament by a single seat.


1962 - Southern University is closed because of demonstrations

        protesting the expulsion of student sit-in activists.


1966 - Robert C. Weaver takes the oath of office as Secretary of the

        Department of Housing and Urban Development. Appointed by

        President Lyndon B. Johnson, Weaver becomes the first

        African American to serve in a U.S. President's Cabinet.


1972 - Garfield Todd, former Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia and

        his daughter Judith, supporters of black majority rule in the

        country, are arrested.


1973 - The Boston Red Sox sign Orlando Cepeda. He will become the first

        player to sign a contract to exclusively play as a designated



1975 - "The Jeffersons," one of the first TV shows about an African

        American family, is seen for the first time. The Jeffersons,

        who move to Manhattan's posh East Side, are the former

        neighbors of the Bunkers in the sitcom "All in the Family."

        The Jeffersons will be the first show to introduce the

        subject of mixed marriages humorously and tastefully in

        prime time TV. Sherman Hemsley plays George Jefferson and

        Isabelle Sanford the role of Louise, his wife.


1989 - Otis Redding, The Temptations, and Stevie Wonder are inducted

        into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


1990 - The South African government announces that it is reconsidering a

        ban on the African National Congress.


1990 - Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry is arrested for allegedly

        purchasing and using crack cocaine in a Washington, DC hotel room.

        The circumstances surrounding his arrest, trial, and subsequent

        conviction on one count of misdemeanor cocaine possession will be

        hotly debated by African American and white citizens of the

        District and elsewhere.


1993 - The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is observed in all 50 states

        for the first time.


1995 - South African President Nelson Mandela's cabinet denies amnesty

        sought by 3,500 police officers in apartheid's waning days.


1998 - The Boston Celtics retire Robert Parrish's jersey #00.


2000 - Jester Hairston, who appeared on radio and TV's "Amos 'n' Andy," but

        who was better known to younger fans as the wise old church member

        Rolly on the sitcom "Amen," joins the ancestors in Los Angeles,

        California at the age of 98.


2002 - The Sierra Leone Civil War is finally declared over.





The source for these facts are "Encyclopedia Britannica,

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

research by Mr. Rene’ A. Perry, I.




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

Black History - Black History Links from the Information Man

Black History - Afro-American Newspapers

National Civil Rights Museum - located in Memphis, Tennessee

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History  - located in Detroit, Michigan

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture - located in Baltimore, Maryland

National Museum of African American History and Culture - located in Washington, DC



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Last Updated Monday, January 18, 2021