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May 15

1911—Kappa Alpha Psi, one of the nation’s leading Black fraternities, is founded on this day on the campus of Indiana University by 10 young men led by Elder W. Diggs and Byron K. Armstrong.

1942—The 93rd Infantry is activated and assigned to combat in the Pacific. It thus became the first African-American division formed during World War II.

May 16



1868—The United States Senate fails by one vote in securing the two-thirds vote needed to convict President Andrew Johnson of the articles of impeachment, which had been brought against him. The failure was a major setback for Black rights in America because Johnson had become a leading opponent of voting rights and economic advancement for the recently freed slaves. While the impeachment trial did not center on Black rights, Blacks would have clearly benefited if Johnson had been expelled from office.

1929—Detroit Representative John Conyers Jr., one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus, was born on this day in 1929. He remains one of the most progressive members of the United States Congress.

1966—Janet Jackson, of the famous and talented Jackson family, is born on this day in Gary, Ind. Controversy remains as to whether Janet has a secret daughter.

1990—Sammy Davis Jr. dies in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 64. Davis, born in Harlem, N.Y., was a world class entertainer who performed well as an actor, singer and dancer. He was also a member of Hollywood’s popular and notorious “Rat Pack,” which included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

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