October 1

JohnMercerLangston1841—Fannie M. Richards is born. She becomes one of the nation’s early civil rights advocates as well as a prominent educator.

1868—John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) organizes the nation’s first Black law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Largely forgotten today, Langston was a major Black political figure during his day. He was one of the nation’s first African-American lawyers, elected political officials and he influenced Black education throughout the country. The town of Langston, Okla., is named in his honor.

1872—Morgan State College is founded in Maryland.

1937—The NAACP awards the prestigious Spingarn Medal to Walter White for his work against lynching. The light complexioned White had “passed for White” to gather evidence against terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.

1960—Africa’s most populous nation-Nigeria-declares its independence from colonial rule.

1966—The militant Black Panther Party is founded in Oakland, Calif., by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.


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