September 1

Henry Edwin Baker, Jr. (September 1, 1857 - April 27,
1928) wrote three books chronicling inventions by African Americans during his career at the U. S. Patent Office, one reason we know so much about these inventions today. He was also the third African American appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, although he and the several other appointed during Reconstruction did not graduate due to harassment by classmates, and no more were appointed until Wesley Brown in 1945. Baker later graduated from Ben-Hyde Benton School of Technology in Washington, D.C. and the Howard University School of Law, as well as completing post-graduate work at Howard.


Anita Bush (September 1, 1883–February 16, 1974) was involved in the theater from an early age, first assisting her father, a costumer at Harlem's Bijou Theater and from age 17 appearing as an actress and dancer.  She founded the Anita Bush All-Colored Dramatic Stock Company in 1915, a pioneering black repertory theater company that helped launch the careers of Charles Gilpin, Dooley Wilson, Evelyn Preer and others.
Rosa Cuthbert Guy (September 1, 1922 - June 3, 2012) was a Trinidad-born American writer who immigrated to the US with her family as a child and grew up in the New York metropolitan area. Orphaned at a young age and raised in foster homes, she was acclaimed for her books of fiction for adults and young people that stressed supportive relationships. She lived and worked in New York City, where she was among the founders of the Harlem Writers Guild in 1950, which was highly influential in encouraging African-American writers to gain publication with successful books. She is best known for her trilogy The Friends, Ruby, and Edith Jackson.

Ron O'Neal (September 1, 1937 - January 14, 2004) was an actor best known for his role as Youngblood Priest, a New York cocaine dealer in the blaxploitation film Super Fly (1972) and its sequel Super Fly T.N.T. (1973), which he also directed. He won an Obie Award in 1970 for his appearance in Charles Gordone's No Place to be Somebody. His television appearances include the 1981 miniseries The Sophistacated Gents and the recurring role as Mercer Gilbert, Whitley's father on A Different World.

Webster Lewis (September 1, 1943 - October 20, 2002) graduated from Morgan State College and earned a Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he also was an associate dean from 1972 to 1978. During these years, he recorded with Epic Records performing music that was popular with soul and jazz fans alike. His career in music consisted of conducting and arranging for many musicians including Michael Jackson, The Jacksons, Barry White, Tom Jones, Lola Falana and Thelma Houston.


On September 1, 1869, Robert Tanner Freeman (1846-1873) became the first African American graduate of Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He was born to formerly enslaved parents in Washington DC and was an apprentice to Henry Bliss Noble, a local white dentist. After graduation Dr Freeman returned to DC where he mentored African American youth pursuing medical careers before his untimely death four years later from "a water-borne disease".

On September 1, 1873 Cetshwayo kaMpande (1826 - 1884) was crowned at kwaNodwengu, 150 miles north of Durban, as the last independent King of the Zulu nation. He was deposed in 1879 after the battle of Ulundi in the Anglo-Zulu war and exiled to England until 1883.

On September 1,1896, George Washington Carver began his career as head of the Agricultural Department at Tuskegee Institute, a position he held for 47 years.To recruit Carver to Tuskegee, Booker T. Washington gave him an above average salary and two rooms for his personal use, although both concessions were resented by some other faculty. Because he had earned a master's in a scientific field from a "white" institution, some faculty perceived him as arrogant when a young man. Unmarried faculty members normally had to share rooms, with two to a room, in the spartan early days of the institute.  (Painting by Betsy Graves Reneau.)

On September 1, 1904, University of Wisconsin graduate George Poage (1880-1962) became the first African American to win Olympic medals with a bronze in the 200 and 400-meter hurdles at the third modern Olympic Games in St; Louis. Many prominent African-American leaders had called for a boycott of the games to protest racial segregation of the events in St. Louis. An integrated audience was not allowed at either the Olympics or the World's Fair as the organizers had built segregated facilities for the spectators.

On September 1, 1948, William T. Coleman was appointed by Justice Frankfurter as a clerk to the U.S. Supreme Court, the first African American to hold the position. A Harvard Law School graduate and Army Air Corps veteran, Coleman later served as president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and, in 1975, as Secretary of Transportation under President Gerald Ford.

On September 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates fielded the first all-minority starting lineup,  There were usually five Black or Latino position players starting for the Pirates, but for this game against the Phillies manager Danny Murtaugh's lineup included Rennie Stennett (2B), Gene Clines (CF), Roberto Clemente (RF), Willie Stargell (LF) (pictured here), Manny Sanguillen (C), Dave Cash(3B), Al Oliver (1B), Jackie Hernandez (SS), and Dock Ellis (P).

On September 1, 1975, Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., a former Tuskegee Airman and fighter pilot in Korea and Vietnam, was promoted to the rank of four-star general in the Air Force. He was the first African American to be hold that rank in any of the U.S. military branches.

On September 1, 1977, Bobby C. Wilks became the first African American in the Coast Guard to reach the rank of captain. He was also the first African American Coast Guard aviator. He later became the first African American to command a Coast Guard air station.

On September 1, 1979, Hazel Johnson became the first African American woman in U.S. military history to be promoted to the rank of general. She had also been the first African American director of the Army Nurse Corps.

Photo Gallery

On September 1,1984 New York Met’s Dwight Gooden
became the second MLB pitcher to strike
out 32 batters over 2 consecutive games.
Lena Horne in Paris viewing a fashion show by Pierre
Balmain with her husband, the conductor and arranger,
 Lennie Hayton, on September 1, 1960.
Photo Michel Lipchitz/AP.


Jet, September 1, 1955

Jet, September 1, 1955
Jet, September 1, 1955
Jet, September 1, 1955

Jet, September 1, 1977

Time, September 1, 2014

Louis Armstrong and the Jazz Age (Cornerstones of Freedom: Second)
 by Dan Elish. $5.95. Author: Dan Elish. Publisher: Children's Press(CT);
Reading level: Agesand up. Publication: September 1, 2008

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