For the Week of August 28-September 3
1955—The body of Emmett Till is recovered from the Tallahatchie River near Money, Miss. The 14-year-old Chicago native had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered the previous day for allegedly whistling at a White woman. Till’s savage death became a rallying cry for the early Civil Rights Movement. Justice was never done in the case, however. The two White men responsible for his death were found not guilty by an all-White Mississippi jury. But both men—Ron Bryant and J.W. Milam—a few months later would brag in an interview with Look magazine that they indeed had killed Till.
1963—The historic March on Washington for Black rights takes place. It was the largest civil rights demonstration in American history, drawing people from throughout the nation to Washington, D.C. It was at this march that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
1920—Jazz legend Charlie “Yardbird” Parker was born on this day in Kansas City, Mo. The saxophonist and composer was one of the leading and most influential figures of the Jazz Age.
1924—Dinah Washington is born in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Her powerful voice would enable her to become one of the most influential singers of the 20th Century. Sadly, she died of a drug overdose in 1963.
1958—Michael Jackson is born on this day in Gary, Ind. The “King of Pop” was the seventh of nine children. He died June 25, 2009 apparently after being given a powerful drug to enable him to sleep.
1962—Mal Goode becomes America’s first Black network news commentator when he begins broadcasting for ABC Television on this day in 1962.