Week of Oct. 14-20
1859—Co-founder of West Virginia State College, Byrd Prillerman, is born. He became one of the state’s most prominent educators.
1870—The first African-Americans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives came from South Carolina: Joseph H. Rainey, Robert C. Delarge, and Robert B. Elliott. Rainey was actually seated first and thus became the first African-American sworn in as a member of Congress. A portrait in his honor was finally placed in the U.S. Capitol Building in 2006.
1894—Henry Ossawa Tanner wins the Medal of Honor at the Paris Expositions for his paintings. He was the first African-American painter to gain international acclaim for his works. Tanner was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. In fact, he eventually moved to Paris because of opposition to a Black artist in the United States. His most famous painting is “The Banjo Player.”