top of page

BLACK HISTORY
ON THIS DAY IN MAY!

MAY 1, 1997:

Alexis Margaret Herman was named the U.S. Secretary of Labor. She became the first African American appointed to the position.

 

MAY 2, 1963:

More than one thousand students skipped classes to march for Civil Rights in Birmingham, Alabama. This became known as the Children's Crusade of 1963.

 

 

MAY 3, 1948:

The Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale  of real-estate to African Americans or members of other races are legally unenforceable.

 

MAY 4, 1961:

The original group of 13 Freedom Riders - seven African Americans and six whites - left Washington D.C., on a greyhound bus.

MAY 5, 1969:

 Moneta Sleet became the first African-American man to win a Pulitzer Prize for his photo of Mrs. Coretta Scott King and her daughter at her husband's funeral.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 6, 1960:

President Eishenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 7, 1978:

Joseph Winters received a patent for a wagon-mounted fire ladder.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 8, 1865:

Union troops first arrived in Columbus, MS, effectively ending slavery in the area. This day is considered Emancipation Day in Columbus, MS.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 9, 2000:

The NBA announced that Stu Jackson, former president and general manager of the Vancouver Grizzlies, would join the NBA as Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations, effective June 1.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 10, 1930:

The National Pan-hellenic Council was founded at Howard University. The purpose of the council was to support the wellbeing of the "Divine Nine" black greek fraternities and sororities.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 11, 1968:

Caravans of people for the Poor People's Campaign arrived in Washington D.C., on or close to this day. The purpose was to demand that government officials offer equal opportunity through jobs and a fair minimum wage.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 12, 1968:

Coretta Scott King led a 12-block Mother's Day march of women fighting for Welfare Rights in Washington D.C.

 

MAY 13, 1862:

Robert Smalls, an enslaved black male, commandeered a heavily armed Confederate ship and delivered its 17 black passengers from slavery to freedom.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 14, 1961:

In Aniston, Alabama the bus carrying the Freedom Riders was bombed by angry white people. When they got off the bus, they were brutally beaten by the white mob.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

 

MAY 15, 1946:

Camilla Williams became the first African American woman to sign a contract with a major American opera company. She appeared in the title role of "Madama Butterfly" with the New York City opera.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 16, 1965:

Mary Wells gave Motown its first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Pop Chart for the song "My Guy".

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 17, 1865:

The first Kentucky Derby is won by African-American jockey Oliver Lewis. Thirteen of the fifteen jockeys in the race were Black.

MAY 18, 1896:

The Supreme Court delivered its verdict in Plessy v. Ferguson, declaring seperate-but-equal facilities were constitutional on intrastate railroads. The court ruled that the protections of the 14th amendment applied only to political and civil rights and not "social rights".

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 19, 1987:

More than one thousand students skipped classes to march for Civil Rights

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 20, 1865:

Eleven days after the Civil War, Emancipation in the state of Florida was proclaimed by General Edward McCook in Tallahassee. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 21, 1862:

The first black woman in the world to receive a college-level degree, Mary Jane Patterson graduated from Oberlin College. It happened on or around this date.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 22, 1863:

 The Bureau of Colored Troops was established by the United States War Department. it was responsible for recruiting African-American soldiers to fight.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 23, 1921:

Shuffle Along opened at the 63rd Street Music Hall in New York City. It marked the return of all-black musical shows to broadway after a decade.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 24, 1854:

Anthony Burns, a fugitive from slavery, was arrested for robbery when his former "slave owner" found out he was living free in Boston.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 25, 2002:

Paul Pierce outscored the whole New Jersey Nets 19-16 in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Boston Celtics erased a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter. This is considered one of the biggest fourth quarter comebacks in basketball history.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 26, 1991:

Willy T. Ribbs became the first black person to participate in the Indianapolis 500 racing event.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 27, 1958:

Ernest Green became the first African American to graduate from Little Rock Central High School, despite a school year of daily brutal harassment and violence from the white students.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE

 

MAY 28, 1863:

The 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the most famous African-American regiment, left Boston for combat in the South.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 29, 1851:

Sojourner Truth addressed a Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. Many say this is the day of her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech. However, it is argued that was not her original speech and she never used the phrase "Ain't I a Woman".

 

MAY 30, 1822:

George Wilson, an enslaved Black man, informed his "slave owner" of a planned revolt that involved thousands of free and enslaved Blacks in Charleston.

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

MAY 31, 1921:

During the Tulsa Race Massacre, a white mob attacked residents' homes and businesses in the predominantly Black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Greenwood District was also knows as "Black Wall Street".

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SQUARE IMAGE.

 

bottom of page