July 3: This Day in Black History
FEATURED: Jackie Robinson
1904: Dr. Charles Drew was born. He discovered and patented a way to preserve blood in the form of plasma so it could be stored for long periods of time.
1920: Wade H. McCree Jr. was born. He was the first African American appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the second African-American Solicitor General in the history of the United States. He passed way in 1987, aged 67.
1936: John Hope, president of Atlanta University was honored in NYC by the NAACP for his achievements as an educational and civil Rights leader on this day.
1940: R&B soul singer Fontella Bass was born. She passed away in 2012 at age 72.
1948: Sarah Vaughn reached the Top 100 with “Nature Boy” on her way to #9 pop. It was the first of thirty-three hits through 1966 for the jazz vocalist known as “the Divine One.”
1949: Harold Robinson, the first black scholarship athlete in what would become the Big 12 Conference was born. He passed away in 2006.
1949: Johnnie Wilder was born. He was the co-founder and lead vocalist for the group Heatwave. He passed away in 2006 at age 57.
1953: Harry Belafonte, Janet Leigh & Tony Curtis graced the cover of Ebony Magazine. It was the first time a black person & two whites were ever featured together on a U.S. magazine cover.
1954: “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” by Joe Turner & His Blues Kings was the number one song on this day.
1956: Montel Williams was born. He is a television personality, radio & talk show host and actor. He turns 58 today.
1962: Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
1963: LaVern Baker performed at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. It was her first Vegas booking after fifteen years in show business and eighteen pop chart singles.
1965: Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” peaked at #21 pop, #2 R&B, becoming his first big hit. Redding wrote the song with Jerry Butler in a Buffalo, NY, hotel room.
1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience performed at New York’s the Scene with Tiny Tim. Apparently the booking agent had never seen either act; if he had, he would have been out of his mind to pair them on the same bill.
1969: The Newport Jazz Festival opened its doors to rock and R&B artists for the first time. Taking part in the performance festivities were James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, and others.
1970: Happy Birthday to Tony Award winning singer and actress Audra McDonald who turns 44 today.
1983: Olympic Gold medalist Calvin Smith became the fastest man alive on this day by beating the previous record set by Jim Hines.
1994: Zelma Watson George passed away at age 91. She was a well known philanthropist who was famous for being an alternate in the United Nations General Assembly and, as a headliner in Gian-Carlo Menotti’s opera The Medium, the first African American to play a role that was typically played by a white actress.
1997: Grammy Award winning songwriter & blues guitarist Johnny ‘Clyde’ Copeland passed away at age 60.
2005: Singer and member of the Orlons, Audrey Brickley, died of acute respiratory distress syndrome on this day.