December 21

Josh Gibson (December 21, 1911 - January 20, 1947) was a catcher for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the Negro League. He led the league in batting 4 times, with a lifetime average over .350. He also led in home runs 4 times, and is reputed to have hit one 580 feet in an exhibition game in Yankee Stadium. He died of a stroke at the age of 37 only 3 months before Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1972, he was the second player after Satchel Paige who had played in the Negro leagues to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.


Black Ace (born Babe Turner, December 21, 1907 - November 7, 1972) learned to play guitar on one he built for himself as a child. He sang in a church choir in Hughes Springs, Texas, and at community functions during the 1920s He worked with Smokey Hogg at dances in Greenville, and in 1936 he got his own show on the Fort Worth radio station KFJZ, which lasted until 1941. He also appeared in two films, "The Blood Of Jesus" (1941), and "The Blues" (1962). He took his stage name from the 1936 recording "I am the Black Ace".

Carla Thomas (born December 21, 1942) sang with the Teen Town Singers, a group sponsored by Memphis radio station WDIA, at the age of 10, and wrote her first top 10 hit, "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)", when she was 15, although it did not appear on the charts for another four years as a duet with her father, musician Rufus Thomas. After her last Stax recording in 1971, Love Means, and an appearance in Wattstax in 1972, Thomas slipped into relative obscurity when compared to her 1960s musical heyday.

Samuel L. Jackson (born December 21, 1948) has appeared in over one hundred films, and by some counts is the highest-grossing actor of all time with a combined box-office gross of $4.7 billion. His first film appearance was in Together for Days (1972) but he worked primarily as a stage actor in New York City before returning to Hollywood and being cast in small roles in Spike Lee's School Daze (1988) and Do the Right Thing (1989). He is best known for his role as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction (1994), which was written specifically for him.

Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner (December 21, 1959 – September 21, 1998), also known as Flo-Jo, was an American track and field athlete. She is considered the "fastest woman of all time" based on the fact that the world records she set in 1988 for both the 100 meters and 200 meters still stand and have yet to be seriously challenged. She was known for the unique clothing she designed and wore, and she also designed the uniforms for the Indiana Pacers. She was married to Al Joyner, the Olympic triple jump champion of 1984, and died in her sleep as the result of an epileptic seizure in 1998 at the age of 38.

James Stewart Jr., also known as Bubba Stewart (born December 21, 1985) is an American professional motocross racer competing in supercross, currently riding the No. 7. He is known for being the first African-American to have success at the very top level of any major motorsports association.


On December 21, 1874 President Ulysses S. Grant issued a proclamation that called for ex-Confederate protesters to cease disrupting sessions of the Mississippi State Legislature, commanding "said disorderly and turbulent persons to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within five days from the date hereof, and that they refrain from forcible resistance to the laws and submit themselves peaceably to the lawful authorities of said county and State."

On December 21, 1956, African Americans in Montgomery begin riding local buses after a successful 381-day boycott to protest segregation on the buses. The City of Montgomery removed all seating restrictions the day before after receiving orders to do so from the federal government based on a November Supreme Court Decision. Shown here are Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Reverend Ralph Abernathy on one of the first desegregated buses.

On December 21, 1979, Patricia Roberts Harris was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by President Jimmy Carter, becoming the first African American woman to hold a cabinet position and the first to enter the line of succession to the Presidency. She previously served as United States Ambassador to Luxembourg under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was the first African American woman to represent the United States as an ambassador.

Photo Gallery

LULA WILSON, Ex-Slave, Dallas, Texas, December 21, 1937.

President Barack Obama pays for a dog toy as he shops with his dog Bo at a Petsmart on December 21, 2011 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)


"Pig Xmas Sham Ending" The Black Panther, December 21, 1968

In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street by Gregory S. Bell. $18.82. Publication: December 21, 2001. 256 pages. Publisher: Wiley

Black Cowboys of the Old West: True, Sensational, and Little-Known Stories from History by Tricia Martineau Wagner. Publisher: TwoDot; First edition (December 21, 2010). 200 pages.


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