1909—The NAACP is formally founded by a group of 60 progressive Blacks and Whites in New York City. The organization, originally called the National Negro Committee, was the outgrowth of the Niagara Movement, which met in Niagara, N.Y., in 1905. The NAACP would go on to become, and remains, the nation’s largest civil rights organization.
1930—The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment is funded. Over 400 Black men from rural parts of Georgia and Alabama are lured into the program with the promise that they would be treated for syphilis. But the program was actually designed to study the effects of untreated syphilis on the body. Thus, the men were given fake anti-syphilis medicines as their diseases advanced. The unethical “experiment” went on for 40 years as most of the men gradually died. A reporter exposed the study in 1972. Several government agencies, including the U.S. Public Health Service and Center for Disease Control, were involved. On behalf of the nation, President Clinton apologized to Charlie Pollard and other surviving members of the racist experiment in 1997.
1635—The nation’s first public school is established in Boston, Mass. It was called the Boston Latin School. Blacks could not attend.
1907—Wendell P. Dabney establishes the groundbreaking Black newspaper known as The Union, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The paper’s motto was “For no people can become great without being united, for in union there is strength.”