December 10

James Armistead (December 10, 1760 – August 9, 1830) was a double agent for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette. Armistead posed as an escaped slave and gained the trust of General Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold, providing information that allowed American forces to prevail at the Battle of Yorktown. He gave false information about the Continental troops to the British, and served as a guide for Arnold.  After the Revolution, Lafayette praised Armistead for his dedication and instrumental role in the surrender at Yorktown.  Armistead returned to William Armistead after the war to continue his life as a slave, as he was not eligible for emancipation under the Act of 1783 for slave-soldiers (he was considered a slave-spy). In 1784, Lafayette found Armistead in Virginia and was disappointed to find he was still a slave.  Lafayette wrote a testimonial on Armistead's behalf and two years later the Virginia General Assembly emancipated him. It was at this time that Armistead made "Lafayette" his last name, in honor of the General.


Clarence Matthew (Matt) Baker (December 10, 1921 – August 11, 1959) was an American comic book artist who drew the costumed crimefighter Phantom Lady, among many other characters. Active in the 1940s and 1950s Golden Age of comic books, he is the first known African-American artist to find success in the comic-book industry. He also penciled an early form of graphic novel, St. John Publications' digest-sized "picture novel" It Rhymes with Lust (1950).

Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012) was best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. He is also recognized for his appearances in motion pictures such as Armageddon, The Whole Nine Yards, Brother Bear, Planet of the Apes, and Daredevil. Duncan was a celebrity bodyguard before turning to acting at the age of 30.

Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi (born December 10, 1984) is a British novelist, born in Nigeria and moved to London when she was four. She wrote her first novel, The Isacrus Girl, while still at school studying for her A levels at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. Oyeyemi studied Social and Political Science graduating in 2006. In 2007, Bloomsbury published her second novel, The Opposite House. Her third novel, White is for Witching, was a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist.


On December 10,1796, José Leonardo Chirino was executed for leading a slave rebellion in Santa Ana de Coro, Venezuela the preceding year. The Coro rebellion grew out of and contributed to this revolutionary conjuncture, especially under the leadership of Chirino, who had recently traveled to Saint-Domingue and heard news of the rebellion there as well as the more-distant French Revolution, and also the leadership of José Caridad González, a Congolese man who had studied the philosophy, strategy, and tactics of the unfolding French Revolution.

On December 10, 1967, Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash near Lake Monona, Wisconsin, while flying from Cleveland to Madison. He had recorded "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" three days before, and it became the first posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.

Photo Gallery

On December 10, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King received the Nobel Peace Prize,Oslo, Norway

Legendary singer Diana Ross and her two sons Evan Ross Naess(L) and Ross Arne Naess (R) attended the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s Banquet at the Grand Hotel in Oslo on December 10, 2008.


Lois Towles on the cover of Jet Magazine, December 10, 1953

Lena Horne has a little fun with then “starlet" Rita Moreno in 1953 after her performance at Hollywood’s famous Cocoanut Grove nightclub,  Ms. Moreno, the legendary Puerto Rican actress and singer is 81 and still completely awesome (and working!) today. She is also one of the few performers who has won Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy Awards. This photo appeared in the December 10, 1953 edition of JET magazine.

Popular Chicago model Cordie King (center) is featured in this December 10, 1955 Chicago Defender article on a benefit she presented (showcasing Parisian-influenced hairstyles) at the Morrison Hotel's Terrace Casino "in her debut as a song stylist." The models showing off looks from the show are (clockwise) Loretta Conley, Edwina Baltazar, Vivian Pryor and Francis Wilson.

Ravi Perry and Paris Prince Although the publication has now moved entirely to digital, Jet Magazine made history by featuring this black gay couple in their decades long wedding series in the December 10 2012 issue.

Free Radical: Ernest Chambers, Black Power, and the Politics of Race (Plains Histories) by Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson. $24.80. Series - Plains Histories. Publication: December 10, 2012. Publisher: Texas Tech University Press; 1 edition (December 10, 2012).


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