December 13

Ella Baker (December 13, 1903 - December 13, 1986) graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and moved to New York City where she worked on various publications at the end of the Harlem Renaissance and taught through the Workers' Education Project of the WPA. She became involved in the local NAACP, later serving first as a field secretary recruiting members throughout the south and then as branch director overseeing local groups. Throughout her career as an activist she stressed the need for grassroots involvement and local decision-making. She was the first staff member to be hired by the Southern Christian Leadership  Conference (SCLC) after it was formed in 1957. At her urging the SCLC sponsored a gathering of college students who had participated in sit-ins, which led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Through SNCC she was able to mentor younger activists including Bob Moses, Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, and Julian Bond. She was also a founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the Southern Conference Education Fund (SCEF), an interracial desegregation and human rights group which aimed to help black and white people work together for social justice.


Jane Edna Hunter (December 13, 1881 - January 13, 1971) founded the Phillis Wheatley Association of Cleveland in 1911, providing shelter, assistance, and education to African American women who were not eligible for programs offered through the whites-only local YWCA. By 1927 it had an eleven-story residence hall, beauty school, dining facilities, a nursery school, and the Booker T. Washington playground. Although trained as a nurse, she graduated from law school and was admitted to the Ohio bar. She served as executive director of the Phillis Wheatley Association of Cleveland until she retired in 1947.
Archie Moore (born Archibald Lee Wright, December 13, 1916 - December 9, 1998), was the longest reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion of all time (December 1952 - May 1962). He had one of the longest professional careers in the history of the sport. Nicknamed "The Mongoose", and then "The Old Mongoose" in the latter half of his career, Moore holds the record for the most career knockouts (131) in boxing history. Moore was a highly strategical and defensive boxer, with a great chin and bludgeoning power, he ranks #4 on The Ring's list of "100 greatest punchers of all time".

Larry Doby (December 13, 1923 – June 18, 2003) was signed by Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck in July 1947, entering Major League Baseball three months after Jackie Robinson and becoming the first African American player in the American League. He had previously played for the Newark Eagles in the Negro League and with the U. S. Navy. He was the first player to go directly to the majors from the Negro leagues. A seven-time All-Star center fielder, Doby and teammate Satchel Paige were the first African American players to win a World Series championship when the Indians won in 1948.  After his playing career, he managed the Chicago White Sox and was inducted into the Basehall Hall of Fame in 1998.

Larry Doby and teammate James Gromek after Game 4 of the World Series on October 9, 1948. Doby had homered and Gromek had pitched a complete game in the Indians' win over the Boston Braves.

Wiley A. Branton (December 13, 1923 - December 15, 1988) was the attorney for the Little Rock Nine. The third African American graduate of the University of Arkansas Law School (1953), he went on to serve as executive director of the Atlanta-based Voter Education Project and as executive director of the President’s Council on Equal Opportunity before being named Dean of the Howard University Law School in 1977.
Ferguson Arthur (Fergie) Jenkins, CM, (born December 13, 1942) is a Canadian former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He was a three-time All-Star and the 1971 NL Cy Young Award winner. In 1991, Jenkins was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. During a 19-year career, he pitched for four different teams, spending the majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs. He also played basketball as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) was a candidate for the 2012 U.S. Republican Party presidential nomination. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and holds an MS in Computer Science from Purdue. He has been CEO of Godfather's Pizza and the National Restaurant Association and chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Jamie Foxx (born Eric Marlon Bishop, December 13, 1967) won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the crime film Collateral. (He and Al Pacino are the only two actors to have two Oscar nominations in the same year.) He starred in the 1990-1994 sketch comedy show In Living Color and his own television show from 1996 to 2001, the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show. He is also a Grammy Award-winning musician, producing four albums which have charted in the top ten of the US Billboard 200.


On December 13, 1913, Africa’s last great emperor died. King Menelik II ruled over the East African Empire of Ethiopia. During his reign, the empire included not only present day Ethiopia but parts of Kenya, Somalia and the Sudan. European colonialism would reduce the size of the empire. Menelik ruled from 1889 to 1913. He was able to trace his ancestry to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba in the Christian Bible.

Beginning on December 13, 1944 black women were allowed to join the U.S. Navy’s office training program. The program, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), employed women as nurses and secretaries in the beginning and aviation mechanics, photographers, control tower operators, and intelligence personnel as the program progressed.

Stanley Tookie Williams III (December 29, 1953 – December 13, 2005) was a leader of the Crips, a notorious American street gang which has its roots in South Central Los Angeles in 1969. In 1979 he was convicted of four murders committed in the course of robberies, sentenced to death, and eventually executed. Once incarcerated, he authored several books, including anti-gang and anti-violence literature and children's books.

Photo Gallery

Africa and the American Negro: Addresses and Proceedings of the Congress on Africa: Held under the Auspices of the Stewart Missionary Foundation for Africa of Gammon Theological Seminary in Connection with the Cotton States and International Exposition December 13-15, 1895.

December 13, 1961 - Over 200 people are shown as they were arrested in Albany, Ga. after staging a demonstration in front of City Hall

Muhammad Ali with his winnings, Los Angeles, California - December 13, 1963

Demonstrators fill Pennsylvania Avenue as they march towards the U.S. Capitol building during the national Justice For All march against police violence in Washington December 13, 2014.


Sarah Vaughan - Jet Magazine, December 13, 1951

"December 8, 1930 -- Elegant furnishings from the late Madame C. J. Walker's Villa Lewaro mansion in New York were sold at auction for $58,500...." Jet Magazine, December 13, 1951

Opera Singing Beauty Adele Addison - Jet Magazine, December 13, 1951

Why Dorothy Dandridge Can't Kiss Her White Film Lover - Jet Magazine, December 13, 1956

The Black Panther Newspaper, December 13, 1969

Budweiser ad, in Jet Magazine. December 13, 1979.

The New Yorker's December 13, 2013 cover to honor Nelson Mandela, who died December 5, 2013 at 95.


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