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African-American Facts for Week of: July 31

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Know Your History!

Up to the early 20th century, most American knowledge of Black history was limited to the African American struggle through slavery and emancipation. The significance of Black history is recognition of the advancements and accomplishments of a group of people once defined by the Constitution as three-fifths of a person. While slavery in America hosts the background of Black history, the African American impact on history reaches beyond the country’s early history, as African Americans have made significant contributions.

African-American Facts for Week of: July 31,


July 31, 1874

Patrick Francis Healy – President of Georgetown University

Patrick Francis Healy, S.J., first Black man to receive a PhD, inaugurated as President of Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic University in America, and became the first Black to head a predominantly white university


August 1, 1879

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American to graduate from a nursing school, graduates from the nursing program at the New England Hospital for Women and children.

August 1, 1920

National Convention of Marcus Garvey’s Universal

National convention of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Improvement Association opened in Liberty Hall in Harlem. The next night Garvey addressed twenty-five thousand Blacks in Madison Square Garden. Garvey’s nationalist movement reached its height in 1920-21.


August 2, 1951

First Black to Earn the Medal of Honor in the Korean conflict

While manning his machine gun during a surprise attack on his platoon on this day, private first class William Henry Thompson of Company M, Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment, became the first Black to earn the Medal of Honor in the Korean conflict.

August 2, 1966

The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical

The Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School (later Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science) is chartered in Los Angeles. It is the only African American focused medical school west of the Mississippi.


August 3, 1928

First Black Daily Newspaper In Modern Times

Founded on this day by William A. Scott, III, the Atlanta Daily World was the first Black daily newspaper in modern times.


August 4, 1897

Henry Rucker

Henry Rucker appointed collector of Internal Revenue for Georgia.

August 4, 1901 

Birth of Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971) nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz.

Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable gravelly voice, Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also skilled at scat singing.


August 5, 1892

Harriet Tubman receives a pension from Congress

Harriet Tubman receives a pension from Congress for her work as a nurse, spy, and scout during the Civil War.


August 5, 1966 

Martin Luther King Jr., Chicago March

Martin Luther King Jr. stoned during Chicago march he was participating in.


August 5, 1962

Nelson Mandela Arrested

Nelson Mandela was arrested near Howick, South Africa, and charged with incitement; he received a five-year sentence later in the year. 


August 6, 1962

Jamiaca’s Independence

Jamaica became an independent domininon within the British Commonwealth.


Too often America revels in its greatness but often fails to confront or come to grips with the darker moments of American history. Exploring African American history could allow America to lance the boil of the past and move towards healing.

To me, the omission of any group from history teachings results in a limited understanding of history’s relationship with the present and future. Know your history.

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