August 28

Why two featured events today? To paraphrase Charles Dickens,  "It was the best of days; it was the worst of days."

On August 28, 1955 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam after allegedly flirting with Bryant's wife. The two men were surprisingly brought to trial but acquitted after a hour's jury deliberation. They later openly admitted the crime in a Look Magazine interview. Till's mother, Mamie Till Bradley, insisted on an open casket for her son's funeral and pictures of his mutilated face were published in the African American press.

On August 28, 1963 the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom brought approximately 250,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial for the largest-ever civil rights event. It was originally proposed by Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph who had planned previous marches in the 1940's. The march is best known for Dr, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech which was televised nationally.


Roxie Albertha Roker (August 28, 1929 – December 2, 1995) was an American actress, best known for her groundbreaking role as Helen Willis on the sitcom The Jeffersons, half of the first interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time television. She is the mother of musician Lenny Kravitz, the grandmother of actress Zoë Kravitz and the cousin of NBC's Today Show's Al Roker.

Rita Frances Dove (born August 28, 1952) is a poet and author. From 1993 to 1995 she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was the first African American to be appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1886. Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her most famous work to date is Thomas and Beulah.

Quvenzhané Wallis (born August 28, 2003) is known for her role as Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), for which she became the youngest actress ever and the first person born in the 21st century to receive a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She is also starred in the 2014 Annie remake, receiving a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for her work in the movie.


August 28 is the feast day of Moses the Black (330–405) Ethiopian thief and gang leader who underwent a conversion and become one of the most revered of the Desert Fathers, founders of monasticism.

The Slavery Abolition Act was passed by the British Parliament on August 28, 1833 outlawing slavery in British territories except for those controlled by the East India Company and the islands of Ceylon and St. Helena. It went into effect on August 1 of the following year, immediately freeing all enslaved children under the age of six, with older people having their status changed to that of "apprentice" and being gradually freed over the next six year. The British government also agreed to pay twenty million pounds to former owners.

A routine traffic stop on August 28, 1964 in North Philadelphia led to a 3-day uprising with 341 people injured, 774 arrested, and 225 stores in the area damaged or destroyed. The revolt began when rumors spread that a white policeman had beaten and killed a pregnant woman, and residents retaliated by looting and burning white-owned stores along Columbia Avenue. Many never reopened,  and the event was responsible in part for the rise of Frank Rizzo to Police Commissioner in 1967 and to Mayor from 1972 to 1980.

On August 28, 2008, Barack Obama was nominated as a candidate for President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He is show here with daughters, 7-year-old Sasha and 10-year-old Malia,  and his wife Michelle. He was later elected to the presidency on November 4, 2008.

Photo Gallery

On 28 August 1846, former slave and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass visited
Exeter as part of a tour of the UK to generate support for the abolition of slavery
in the United States. His address, 'A Call for the British Nation to Testify Against
Slavery' was delivered at the Royal Subscription Rooms on Northernhay Place.

A racially-mixed group of ministers respond with raised hands in a black church in
Albany, Georgia on August 28, 1962 when the Rev. Martin Luther King,
black integration leader, asked them if they would be willing to go to jail
for the cause. A few minutes later, after marching to the city hall steps for a
prayer service, 75 of the ministers from the East and Midwest were arrested. (UPI Photo)

On August 28, 1963, 11-month-old Sharon Langley made history, becoming the first
African-American child to ride the merry-go-round at Maryland's Gwynn Oak
Amusement Park. But it took years for the park to be desegregated after countless protests.

The Washington Monument and an American flag are reflected
in the sunglasses of Austin Clinton Brown, 9, of Gainesville, Ga.,
August 28, 1963, at the Capitol where he joins others in the March on Washington.

“I am not a young woman now, friends. My life is behind me. There is not too much
 fire burning inside me. And before it goes out, I want you to use what is
left to light the fire in you.” - Josephine Baker, August 28, 1963 March on Washington

Postage stamp issued in 2013 commemorating the
50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Beah Richards wins an Emmy for outstanding guest performance
 in the comedy series Frank's Place (August 28, 1988).

Actor Tyson Beckford at the US Open at Arthur Ashe
Stadium in Queens, New York on Thursday August 28, 2014.


Jet, August 28, 1952

Jet, August 28, 1975

Elle France August 28, 1989 "La mode 89-90 des createurs"
 Model: Rosumba Williams  Photographer: Gilles Bensimon

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