1887—Alexander Miles patents a major safety improvement to the elevator. Miles did not invent the elevator. But he made it safer with an automatically closing door which prevented people from accidentally falling down elevator shafts.
1890—Black inventor Charles Orren Bailiff patents the shampoo headrest.
1939—The NAACP organizes the NAACP Education and Legal Defense Fund, which goes on to win many important legal battles guaranteeing civil and educational rights for Blacks.
1991—Comedian and actor Redd Foxx dies at age 68. He was born John Elroy Sanford in St. Louis, Mo. An IRS raid on his Las Vegas home to collect back taxes is thought to have hastened his death.
1854—Lincoln University is founded in Pennsylvania.
1932—Richard “Dick” Gregory is born in St Louis, Mo. Gregory advanced from comedian to political activist.
1945—The lynching of Jesse James Payne takes place in Madison County, Fla. The lynching came to typify the lies that prompted many a lynching. Payne got into an argument with his White boss and threatened to expose some of his boss’ illegal dealings. But the boss then spread a rumor that Payne had molested his daughter and Payne was lynched.
1972—Nearly 50 Black and White sailors were injured in a race riot aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War.
1999—Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain dies at age 63. The 7’1”, 280 pound great included among his records the scoring of 100 points in one game when the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169 to 147 on March 2, 1962.