November 14

On November 14, 1960, Ruby Bridges and three other children began attending previously all-white elementary schools in New Orleans after passing a rigorous admissions test. Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost, and Gail Etienne attended  McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School, where they became the only students as white parents withdrew their children. Classroom windows were covered with brown paper, and the girls had to have recess in the school theater because the school yard was too dangerous. Bridges was also alone at William Frantz Elementary but other children began returning the next day when 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his 5-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, "I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school....". Ruby remained alone in her classrrom, however, and Barbara Henry, who had moved to New Orleans recently from Boston, was the only faculty member willing to teach her. Federal Marshals remained throughout the school year to protect the girls from protesters. By the next year more white children had returned so she was in a class with 20 others, and by 1964, 809 African Americans had entered formerly white schools.


Matilda Beasley (November 14, 1832 - December 20, 1903) was born in New Orleans to an enslaved Creole mother and Native American father. Possibly orphaned at an early age, she later moved to Savannah where she married and worked as a dressmaker. Upon the death of her husband she entered the novitiate in York, England, returning to Savannah to found the first community of African American nuns in Georgia and open an orphanage for African American children.

Mabel Fairbanks (November 14, 1915 - September 29, 2001)     worked as a domestic in a home overlooking Central Parkduring the late 1920s when she began figure skating after observing children at the park's ice rink. She performed in shows in New York until she relocated to Los Angeles and toured internationally, skating with Ice Capades in Mexico and later with Ice Follies. After retiring as a performer, she coached the children of celebrities and successful skaters such as Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tai Babilonia, and Debi Thomas. In 1997, she became the first African American inducted into the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame in October 2001.

Ellis Marsalis (born November 14, 1934) began his performing career as a pianist with fellow modernists including Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, and Al Hirt, the few New Orleans musicians who did not specialize in Dixieland or rhythm and blues. He holds a BA in music from Dillard University and is one of the leading jazz educators in the country. Through his work at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana, Ellis has influenced the careers of countless musicians, including Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton; as well as his four musician sons: Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason.

Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954)  served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush. She was the first female African American Secretary of State, as well as the second African American Secretary of State (after Colin Powell), and the second female Secretary of State (after Madeleine Albright). Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999.


On November 14, 1900, in Washington, DC, about 200 dentists met to form the Washington Society of Colored Dentists, the first society of African American dentists in the United States. The name was changed in 1907 to the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society after a merging with a similar group founded in 1901 at Howard University by Dr. Freeman. It affiliated with other local organizations around the country and became the National Dental Association in 1932, a part of the National Medical Association until it broke apart from the NMA in 1940. It still exists today to encourage dental careers among minority populations and to provide dental treatment and education to minority populations in the U.S. and abroad.

On November 14, 1934 William Levi Dawson's Symphony No. 1, Negro Folk Symphony, was presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Leopold Stokowski. It was the first symphony on black folk themes by a black composer to be performed by a major orchestra. The symphony was later revised in 1952 with greater African rhythms inspired by the composer's trip to West Africa. Dawson said that the composition was an attempt to convey the missing elements that were lost when Africans came into bondage outside their homeland.

On November 14, 2009 the African American Library at the Gregory School in Houston opened. Located in the historic Freeman’s Town, the library is housed in the Gregory School, the city's first public school for African Americans. The first library of its kind in the city and one of few in the U.S., it serves as a resource to preserve, promote, and celebrate the rich history and culture of African Americans in Houston and the surrounding area.

Photo Gallery

On November 14, 1927, Fats Waller recorded "Bye Bye Florence as a tribute to
vocalist Florence Mills who had passed away earlier that month at the age of 31.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., right, and Rep. Adam Clayton Powell at a news conference
at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, November 14, 1965. AP Photo David Pickoff

On November 14, 1984, Rosa Parks was presented the first “Eleanor
Roosevelt Woman of Courage Award” by the Wonder Woman Foundation.
November 14, 2014 "The President walks with Aung San Suu Kyi back into her residence following their
joint press conference in Yangon, Burma." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 2014: Year in Photos


Jet Magazine, November 14, 1957

Jet Magazine, November 14, 1968


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