November 29

On November 29, 1781, the crew of the slave ship Zong began throwing a total of 142 captives overboard in the Caribbean after navigational errors caused them to run low on water and supplies, thus maintaining the profitability of the voyage since insurance claims would cover cargo jettisoned to save the ship or other cargo. The Liverpool syndicate owning the Zong won their claim in March 1783 but the decision was overturned on appeal by the insurers later that year. Although there was little in the public press about the massacre or the ensuing claims, the case came to the attention of British abolitionists Olaudah Equiano and Granville Sharp, who used the deaths of the slaves to increase public awareness about the slave trade and further the anti-slavery cause. In 2007, on the 200th anniversary of the British ban on the slave trade, a memorial stone was erected at Black River, Jamaica, near where the Zong would have landed.


Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., (November 29, 1908 – April 4, 1972) was an American politician and pastor who represented Harlem, New York City, in the United States House of Representatives (1945–71). Powell became chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, the most powerful position held by an African American in Congress. As Chairman, he supported the passage of important social legislation under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

William Thomas (Billy) Strayhorn (November 29, 1915 – May 31, 1967) is best known for his successful collaboration with bandleader and composer Duke Ellington lasting nearly three decades. Strayhorn composed the band's best known theme, "Take the 'A' Train", and a number of other pieces that became part of the band’s repertoire. In some cases Strayhorn received attribution for his work such as "Lotus Blossom", "Chelsea Bridge", and "Rain Check", while others, such as "Day Dream" and "Something to Live For", were listed as collaborations with Ellington or, in the case of "Satin Doll" and "Sugar Hill Penthouse", were credited to Ellington alone.

Pearl Primus (November 29, 1919 – October 29, 1994) was an anthropology student at Hunter College when she took a job as an understudy in a National Youth Administration dance troupe. This led to a career studying choreographing African dance, beginning with her first composition, African Ceremonial, presented along with Strange FruitRock Daniel, and Hard Time Blues, at her debut performance in 1943. In 1948 she received a Rosenwald Fellowship for an 18-month research and study tour of the Gold Coast, Angola, Cameroons, Liberia, Senegal and Belgian Congo.

Minnie Minoso (November 29, 1922 – March 1, 2015),began his baseball career in 1946 and became an All-Star third baseman with the New York Cubans and was signed by the Cleveland Indians after the 1948 season. He went on to become an All-Star left fielder with the Indians and Chicago White Sox. The first Black Cuban in the major leagues and the first black player in White Sox history, as a 1951 rookie he was the one of the first Latin Americans to play in an MLB All-Star Game. He left the major leagues following the 1964 season, but went on playing and managing in Mexico through 1973. He rejoined the White Sox as a coach, and made brief but highly publicized player appearances in 1976 and 1980.

María Elena Moyano Delgado (November 29, 1960 – February 15, 1992) was a Peruvian activist in in Villa El Salvador on the outskirts of Lima. She was president of the Federación Popular de Mujeres de Villa El Salvador (Fepomuves), a federation of women from Villa El Salvador. Under her leadership, it grew to encompass public kitchens, health committees, the Vaso de Leche program (which supplied children with milk), income-generating projects, and committees for basic education. In 1990, Moyano left her position in Fepomuves and shortly thereafter was elected deputy mayor of the municipality of Villa El Salvador. She was assassinated by the  Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) insurgent movement.

Don Cheadle (born November 29, 1964) was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina in the genocide drama film Hotel Rwanda (2004), and won an Golden Globe Award in 2013 for his work in the Showtime sitcom House of Lies. With George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub, he co-founded the Not On Our Watch Project, an organization focusing global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities. In 2010, he was named U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador.


On November 29, 1758, John Wesley baptized the first two known black converts to the Methodism movement. He wrote in his journal, "he wrote in his diary: "I rode to Wandsworth, and baptized two Negroes belonging to Mr. Gilbert, a gentleman lately from Antigua. One of these was deeply convinced of sin; the other is rejoicing in God, her savior, and is the first African Christian I have known. But shall not God, in his own time, have these heathen also for his inheritance?"

On November 29, 1887, Granville T. Woods received U.S. Patent No. 373,915 for his Synchronous Multiplex Telegraph, a variation of the induction telegraph system which allowed moving trains to talk to each other as well as talk to train stations. By allowing dispatchers to know the location of each train, it provided for greater safety and a decrease in railway accidents. Woods held a number of patents and had previously worked as a railroad engineer.

On November 29, 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked in McComb, Mississippi. They had taken a Greyhound bus from New Orleans to McComb where they were denied entrance to the station’s waiting room because of a supposed gas leak. The Freedom Riders were eventually able to integrate the waiting room, but were attacked by a gang of whites. They were able to escape the attack without help from the McComb police or the FBI.

Photo Gallery

"A contingent of 15 nurses,...arrive in the southwest Pacific area, received their first batch of home mail at their station." 268th Station Hospital, Australia. Three of the nurses are Lts. Prudence L. Burns, Inez Holmes, and Birdie E. Brown. November 29, 1943.

Angel Price stands with her daughters Brielle (R) and Cache during the Original New Orleans Ladies, Kids & Men Buckjumpers traditional ‘Second Line’ parade November 29, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The tradition sprang from when African-Americans formed brass marching bands and fraternal groups to perform elaborate ‘jazz funerals’ for their associates. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Sasha, Malia and Bo waiting for the White House Christmas tree, November 29, 2013


Josephine Baker and Her $250,000 Wardrobe - Jet Magazine, November 29, 1951

Actress Linda Darnell Criticizes Jamaica - Jet Magazine, November 29, 1951

Coleman Young on the cover of Jet Magazine.  November 29, 1973


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