October 30

Frank Minis Johnson, Jr. (October 30, 1918 – July 23, 1999) was a U.S. Federal Judge first appointed in 1955 by President Eisenhower, serving until 1999 at the District and Appeals Court levels.  He made landmark civil rights rulings that helped end segregation and disenfranchisement of African Americans in the South, including Browder v Gayle which led to the successful end of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1956), and in Williams v. Wallace he ruled in favor of voting rights protesters in their planned march from Selma to Montgomery (1965). In 1977 he was nominated by President Carter to become Director of the FBI but the nomination had to be withdrawn because of health reasons. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. Journalist and historian Bill Moyers said that Judge Johnson "altered forever the face of the South", and his former University of Alabama law school classmate, George Wallace, called him an "integrating, scallawagging, carpetbagging liar."


Ossian Sweet (October 30, 1895 – March 20, 1960) was a American physician. He is most notable for his self-defense in 1925 of his newly purchased home in a white neighborhood against a mob attempting to force him out of the neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, and the subsequent acquittal by an all-white jury of murder charges against him, his family, and friends who helped defend his home, in what came to be known as the Sweet Trials.

Actress Jane White (October 30, 1922 - July 24, 2011) graduated from Smith College in 1944 and began her career on Broadway the next year when Paul Robeson helped her get her first role as the lead in Lillian Smith’s Strange Fruit, a story about a doomed interracial love affair. In 1959, she opened the acclaimed musical Once Upon a Mattress, originating the role of Queen Aggravain alongside Carol Burnett and Joseph Bova, and won an Obie Award in 1971 for sustained achievement. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt praised her work for its “restraint and beauty.” White, shown here in a 1941 photograph by Carl Van Vechten, was the daughter of Civil Rights icon Walter White.

Marie Van Brittan Brown (October 30, 1922 - February 2, 1999) invented the home security system (patent number 3,482,03Albert Brown) The patent was granted in 1969. Brown's system had a set of 4 peep holes and a camera that could slide up and down to look at each one. Anything and everything the camera picked up would appear on a monitor, and a resident could unlatch the door by remote control.

Augustus Alexander "Gus" Savage (October 30, 1925 – October 31, 2015) served in the U.S. Army before working as a journalist from 1954 to 1979, owning a chain of weekly community newspapers in the Chicago area. He was a member of the U.S.  House of Representatives from the 2nd District on Chicago's South Side for 6 terms, from January 1981 to January 1993. In one of his final acts as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds, excavation and construction at the site of the African Burial Ground in New York City was temporarily halted in 1992, pending further evaluation by the GSA after Savage was able to leverage his reputation as a national political figure to bring attention to the more controversial aspects of the project.

Dr. Samuel L. Kountz (October 30, 1930 - December 23, 1981) performed the first kidney transplant with a donor and recipient who were not identical twins (1961) while still a resident at Stanford. He also developed apparatus for maintaining organs for transplant up to 50 hours and pioneered anti-rejection medication. He was a graduate of Arkansas AM&N (now UAPB) and was encouraged by Senator Fulbright to attend the University of Arkansas Medical School, where he was the first African American student admitted and graduated in 1958. A tireless proponent of organ donation, he once performed a kidney transplant on live television, The Today Show, in 1976, inspiring some 20,000 viewers to offer their kidneys to patients who needed them. While on a lecture tour in South Africa in 1977, Dr. Kountz contracted a crippling brain disease that left him neurologically impaired and confined to his bed, unable to communicate, or care for himself, for the rest of his life. His illness was never diagnosed, and he died at the age of 51.

Clifford Brown (October 30, 1930 – June 26, 1956), aka "Brownie," was an influential and highly rated American jazz trumpeter. He died aged 25, leaving behind only four years' worth of recordings. Nonetheless, he had a considerable influence on later jazz trumpet players, including Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Valery Ponomarev, Wynton Marsalis, and many others. He was part of Max Roach's all-star bebop quintet which also included tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins.

Otis Williams (born Otis Miles, Jr.; October 30, 1941) is one of the original members of the Motown group The Temptations, and the only one still living. With the group he rarely sang lead, focusing instead on his role as the group's leader and organizer, and as the background "baritone in the middle", although he did on the tracks "Don't Send Me Away", "Check Yourself", and "I Ain't Got Nothing". He provided non-singing (spoken word) contributions to some Temptation songs, including "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me", a hit duet with Diana Ross and Eddie Kendricks sharing the lead vocals), and during the opening verse of "Masterpiece" (1973).


On October 30, 1831, about 2 months after the bloodiest slave rebellion in the US, revolt leader Nat Turner was finally arrested in Southampton County, VA. Turner's rebellion massacred between 55 and 65 whites until the revolt was halted at the Belmont Plantation. In the aftermath, 100 - 200 blacks were killed and Turner himself was hanged on November 5 in Jerusalem, VA. His body was flayed, beheaded and quartered.

On October 30,1991 BET Holdings, Inc. the parent company of Black Entertainment Television sold 4.2 million shares of stock in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, becoming the first African American company listed on the "Big Board".

Photo Gallery

Nina Simone October 30, 1969   Photographs by Jack Robinson

In its day, Zaire ’74 was in the same league as concerts like Woodstock, Monterrey Pop, and Altamont. Planned by renowned South African musician Hugh Masekela and producer Stewart Levine to accompany the legendary Ali-Foreman boxing match, “Rumble in the Jungle,” was a three-day concert that aimed to feature performances by James Brown, BB King, and the King Pins of Soul on 30 October 1974, in the Mai 20 Stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire

Ernie Barnes (1938-2009) ~ He bequeathed books and artwork to his Alma Mater, NCCU. A tribute
and dedication took place at NCCU's Art Museum on October 30, 2009 honoring his powerful legacy.

October 30, 2013 -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama joins with Sesame Street's Elmo and Rosalita for an announcement on a new initiative aimed at promoting healthier nutrition for school children in Washington. (Win McNamee, Getty Images)


Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr Seeks Post on School Board - Jet Magazine, October 30, 1952

Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors became the first African American basketball player to be featured on SI's cover. He shared it with his coach, Frank McGuire, who was the first coach to make the cover. October 30, 1961.


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