1784—First African-American Masonic lodge is established by Prince Hall. Hall headed lodge number 459 and was referred to as the “Worshipful Master.” He would also become a leading figure in the struggle for African-Americans rights during this early period in U.S. history.
1940—The first U.S. merchant ship commanded by a Black captain—Hugh Mulzac—is launched in Wilmington, Del. The ship is named the “Booker T. Washington.”
1962—President John F. Kennedy finally sends federal troops to force the integration of the University of Mississippi.
1975—The nation’s first Black-owned television station—WGPR—begins broadcasting in Detroit.
1979—William Arthur Lewis, economics professor at Princeton University, becomes the first Black to receive a Nobel Prize in Economics.
2001—Mabel Fairbanks dies at 85. She was the first Black woman to be inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She coached Olympic greats Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner.
1962—White students riot as federal marshals escort James Meredith into the University of Mississippi to force integration.
1975—Boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fight “The Thrila In Manila.” Ali won.