December 4

On December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, was assassinated while sleeping at his apartment. 

On December 4, 1833, the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) was founded in Philadelphia by William Lloyd Garrison, Arthur Tappan, and sixty others. Twenty-one of those present were Quakers, and women and African Americans were well-represented. Tappan was the first president, and Garrison wrote its constitution. Frederick Douglass was also a prominent member.   By 1838, the society had 1,350 local charters with around 250,000 members. It split in 1839, with the more conservative members objecting to the nomination of a woman, Abby Kelley, to the executive council and a desire to work within the organized political system. Tappan was a member of this faction, while Garrison supported equal rights for women and denounced the U.S. Constitution as supportive of slavery.

Dennis W. Weatherby, Ph.D (December 4, 1959 – September 15, 2007) was an inventor, scientist, university administrator, and proponent of minority college students' success. He worked on "lemon scented Cascade" while at Procter & Gamble, patenting a process used in all lemon-scented cleaners. As the founding director of Auburn University's Minority Engineering Program, he made Auburn a highly-ranked university for graduating African Americans in the field of engineering. Dr. Weatherby also was an administrator at University of Notre Dame and Northern Kentucky University before his death from a cerebral embolism at age 47.

Jay Z (born Shawn Corey Carter,December 4, 1969) is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2014, Forbes estimated Carter's net worth at nearly $520 million. He is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records.

Tyra Banks (born December 4, 1973) first became famous as a model, appearing twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and working for Victoria's Secret as one of their original Angels. Banks is the creator and host of the UPN/The CW reality television show America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and host of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show.


On December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ), the first African American, inter-collegiate Greek-lettered fraternity, was founded on the campus of Cornell University by Henry Arthur Callis, Charles Henry Chapman, Eugene Kinckle Jones, George Biddle Kelley, Nathaniel Allison Murray, Robert Harold Ogle, and Vertner Woodson Tandy, known as the "Seven Jewels" of the fraternity. Chapters were chartered at Howard University and Virginia Union University the following year.

On December 4, 1909, the Amsterdam News was founded by James H. Anderson as one of only 50 black-owned newspapers in the United States at that time It was sold for 2 cents a copy from Anderson's home at 132 West 65th Street in New York City before an office was established in Harlem the following year. In October 1930, it became the second Black newspaper to be admitted to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. At its height in the 1940s, it had a circulation of 100,000 and was one of the four largest African-American newspapers in the U.S. It is currently owned by AmNews Corporation, with Elinor Tatum as publisher and editor-in-chief.

On December 4, 1915, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1915 by William Joseph Simmons on Stone Mountain in Georgia. This was the second of three Ku Klux Klan movements, and the only one that was truly a national organization. It was aggressively promoted as a fraternal organization for white American protestant men, and peaked at a membership of 6 million in the mid-1920s, primarily in metropolitan areas. Simmons was inspired by The Birth of a Nation film about the original Ku Klux Klan.

On December 4, 1950, Jesse LeRoy Brown was the first naval officer to die during the Korean war after his plane crashed due to ground fire from Chinese troops in the battle of Chosin Reservoir. ruptured a fuel line. Ensign Brown was also the first African American aviator in the U.S. Navy.

On December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and deputy chairman of the national BPP, was assassinated while sleeping at his apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State's Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He had been sedated the night before by an FBI informant, William O'Neal. Mark Clark was also killed, and seven others were wounded.  A civil lawsuit filed in 1970 resulted in 1982 in a settlement of $1.85 million, the largest civil rights settlement to date..

On December 4, 1969, Moneta Sleet won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s widow, Coretta Scott King, at Dr. King's funeral. He is the first African American man to win the Pulitzer, and the first African American to win award for journalism. Sleet held a master's degree in journalism from New York University and had worked for Ebony magazine since 1955.

Photo Gallery

December 4, 1943: ATS recruits who have arrived from the West Indies.

A line of African American students walking through a crowd of white boys into the school, Clinton, Tennessee, December 4, 1956.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta meet Ralph Bunch at the United Nations in New York City, December 4, 1964

Debbie Allen at the NAACP Image Awards on December 4, 1984 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage.

4 December 2009: US President Barack Obama holds a baby after delivering remarks on the economy at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Allentown, Pennsylvania


Brazilian Dancer Aissata Gives Paris A Thrill - Jet Magazine, December 4, 1952

Harry Belafonte and Inger Stevens - Jet Magazine, December 4, 1958

TV Guide - "Exclusive Interview Michael Jackson" December 4, 2012


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