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African-American Facts for Week of: February 28

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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: February 28


February 28, 1943

Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway

Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway with Anne Brown and Todd Duncan in starring roles.


February 28, 1932 –


Richard Spikes – Automatic Gear Shift

Richard Spikes invented/patented automatic gear shift.

February 29, 1940 –


Hattie McDaniel –

On this day, Hattie McDaniel known for her supporting roles became the first African American to win the Oscar Award for her role as ‘Mammy’ in the movie ‘Gone With The Wind’. Not only was she the first African American to receive this award, but the was the only woman to have received it until Whoopi Goldberg received the same award for her role in the movie ‘Ghost’


March 1, 1960 –

San Antonio, Texas – Lunch Counters Integrated

San Antonio, Texas, became first major Southern city to integrate lunch counters.


March 1, 1963 –

Air Force Captain Edward J. Dwight Jr.

Air Force Captain Edward J. Dwight Jr. named to fourth class of aerospace research pilots at Edwards Air Base and became the first Black astronaut candidate. He was dropped from the program in 1965.


March 2, 1956 –

Morocco Independence

Morocco becomes Independent. Morocco as an independent state has been in existence since 788 AD, when Idris I was proclaimed King at Volubilis. Today, Morocco is a constitutional monarchy. King Hassan II came to the throne in 1961. A descendant of the Prophet, he is also the commander of the Believers, or in other words, Morocco’s religious leader.


March 2, 1962 –

Wilt The Stilt

On this day in 1962, “Wilt the Stilt” Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single basketball game-a professional record that still stands today. He sunk 36 field goals and 28 foul shots. Chamberlain, who played for the Philadelphia Warriors and 76ers and then the Los Angeles Lakers, was the best scorer and rebounder in the history of the sport, and the first player to score 30,000 points. At seven-feet-one-inch tall, Chamberlain was the first professional player over seven feet, changing basketball into a tall man’s game. Chamberlain retired from basketball in October 1974 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979.


March 3, 1962 –


Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee, TracK Legend Born

Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee TRACK & FIELD Birthplace: East St. Louis, Illinois March 3, 1962 – Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee is part of a the Joyner family of American track-and-field stars. Jackie first gained national attention by winning 4 consecutive National Junior Pentathlon Championships. She set the heptathlon world record (7,291 points) at the 1988 Olympics. In 1988, she was the first woman selected Athlete of the Year by the Sporting News. This impressive female athlete earned the U.S. record and won the World Championship for the long jump twice (1987 and 1991). In 1992, she became the first winner of back-to-back gold. medals in the heptathlon event. Jackie retired from track and field, and joined one of the new women’s professional basketball leagues.


March 3, 1991 –


Rodney King – Beaten

Rodney King is beaten by a group of white policemen in Los Angeles, California. Rodney Glen King III (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012) was an American taxi driver who became nationally known after being beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991. A local witness, George Holliday, videotaped much of it from his balcony, and sent the footage to local news station KTLA. The footage shows four officers surrounding King, several of them striking him repeatedly, while other officers stood by. Parts of the footage were aired around the world, inflaming outrage in cities where racial tensions were high, and raising public concern about police treatment of minorities.

March 4, 1877 –


Scientist/Inventor Garrett A. Morgan Born

Scientist Garrett A. Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky. Inventor of a belt fastener for sewing machines, the gas mask, and the automatic traffic signal, he sold rights to General Electric for $40,000.


March 4, 1968 –


Poor People’s Campaign

Martin Luther King, Jr. announced plans for Poor People’s Campaign in Washington. He said he would lead a massive civil disobedience campaign in the capital to pressure the government to provide jobs and income for all Americans. He told a press conference that an army of poor white, poor Blacks and Hispanics would converge on Washington on April 20 and would demonstrate until their demands were met.

March 5, 1897 –

American Negro Academy Founded

American Negro Academy founded. Founded on March 5, 1897 in Washington, D.C. by 78-year-old Reverend Alexander Crummell, the American Negro Academy (ANA) was an organization of black intellectuals who through their scholarship and writing were dedicated to the promotion of higher education, arts, and science for African Americans as part of the overall struggle for racial equality.


March 5, 1985 –

Mary McLeod Bethune Commemorative Stamp

The Mary McLeod Bethune commemorative stamp is issued by the U.S. Postal Service as the eighth stamp in its Black Heritage USA series





Being familiar with past events gives us the ability not only to learn from past mistakes but also from the successes.

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.

Comments, I can be reached at:


Twitter: @Annette92J

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