1787: First free school for blacks opened in New York City.
1983: Bill proclaiming Martin Luther King Jr., birthday as a national holiday was signed by President Reagan.
1942: William Dawson became the first black elected to congress from Illinois.
1879: T. Elkins patented a refrigerating apparatus.
1974: George Brown became first black Lt. Governor in U.S.(Colorado).
1900: James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosmund composed 'Lift Every Voice and Sing'.
1989: David Dimkens became New York City`s first black mayor.
1966: Edward W. Brooke, of Massachusetts, became the first black U.S. Senator since Reconstruction.
1868: Howard University Medical school opened.
1960: Andrew Hatcher was named Associate Press Secretary to President John Kennedy.
1941: Madame Lillian Evanti founded the National Negro Opera Company.
1839: First Anti-slavery political party Liberty Party was organized.
1915: Booker T. Washington died of a heart attack at Tuskegee Institute.
1966: Bill Russell became the first black coach of the Boston Celtic`s team 1st black to coach in Nat. Basketball Assoc.
1981: Pam Johnson became the first black woman to head daily newspaper as publisher of the Ithica Journal in New York.
1911: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity founded at Howard University.
Klu Klux Klan member convicted of 1963 church bombing that killed four young black girls in Birmingham, Alabama.
1953: Roy Campanella was named MVP in the National Baseball League.
1989: Fredrick C. Gregory became the first black to command a space shuttle with the launch of Discovery.
1949: Baseball great Jackie Robinson was awarded the Freedom Foundation Medal.
1963: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
1897: J.L. Love patented the pencil sharpener.
1908: Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Civil Rights Activist, was born in New Haven CT.
1797: Sojourner Truth, a slave, was born Isabelle Baumfree in Ulster County, New York.
1990: Charles Johnson was awarded the National Book Award for fiction for Middle Passage.
1929: Motown recording executive Berry Gordon Jr., was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1905: The Chicago defender began publication.
1897: A.J. Sweeting patented a cigarette rolling device.