January 10

Eldzier Cortor (January 10, 1916 - November 26, 2015) was known for his paintings of African American women. Shown here is his 1979 work, “Classical Study No. 37” 

James Varick (January 10, 1850 - 1827) founded the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination in 1820 and served as its first Superintendent before being elected the first Bishop at the next year's Annual Conference. He had been a member of New York City's John Street Methodist Episcopal Church since soon after it was founded in 1766 as the first Methodist congregation in North America.

African Americans in the congregation began meeting at a separate location known as Zion Chapel in 1799, remaining affiliated with the MEC with visiting white elders preaching and serving communion. Church leaders met at Varick's home in 1820 to pursue ordination of African American clergy, and resolved that they would neither join with the newly formed AME denomination nor return to white control. The congregation named Varick and Abraham Thompson elders, and within two years they, along with Leven Smith, were ordained by the MEC.


Dean Dixon (January 10, 1915 - November 3, 1976) was playing the violin on New York City radio stations by age nine. He graduated from the Julliard School of Music in 1936 and also earned a Master’s Degree in Music Pedagogy from Columbia University in 1939. Unable to be hired as a conductor in the U.S., he spent his career primarily in Europe and conducted most of the major symphony orchestras in Africa, Israel, and South America. During the 1968 Olympic Games, he was chosen to lead the Mexican National Symphony Orchestra.

Eldzier Cortor (January 10, 1916 – November 26, 2015) painted depression-era scenes from Chicago's Bronzeville for the W.P.A. and won fellowships to work in the Sea Islands of the Georgia coast, Haiti, and Cuba before settling permanently in New York City. His depictions of the women of the Gullah people led to a lifetime concentration on paintings that show the strength of women, and he was the first African American artist to primarily feature nudes in his work. He was also a founder of Chicago's South Side Community Art Center.
Maxwell Lemuel (Max) Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz percussionist, drummer, and composer. A pioneer of bebop, Roach went on to work in many other styles of music, and is generally considered alongside the most important drummers in history. In 1960 he composed and recorded the album We Insist!, subtitled Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite, with vocals by his then-wife Abbey Lincoln and lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.
Thelma Joyce White (January 10, 1936 - August 9, 1985) applied for admission to Texas Western College (now University of Texas at El Paso) after graduating as valedictorian from Douglass High School in Marlin, Texas. She was turned down because of her race and enrolled in New Mexico A&M College in Las Cruces, New Mexico, twenty-five miles from El Paso. The next year, lawyers acting in her behalf filed suit in federal court seeking her admission to Texas Western, and received a favorable ruling in Federal Court. The University Of Texas Board Of Regents responded by accepting African American students in July 1955.

Willie McCovey (born January 10, 1938), played 19 seasons for the San Francisco Giants, and three more for the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics, between 1959 and 1980. Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. One of the most intimidating power hitters of his era, McCovey was called "the scariest hitter in baseball" by pitcher Bob Gibson, an assessment with which Reggie Jackson concurred. McCovey's powerful swing generated 521 home runs.

Afeni Shakur (born Alice Faye Williams, January 10, 1947 - May 2, 2016) was an American political activist, Black Panther, and music businesswoman. She was the mother of American rapper and actor Tupac Shakur. After his death she founded the Georgia-based Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which provides art programs for young people, and Amaru Entertainment, the holding company for all Tupac's unreleased material.

Teresa Graves (January 10, 1948-October 10, 2002 ) became the first African American woman to star in a prime-time television show when Get Christie Love! debuted in September 1974, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the title role the following year. She had previously been a cast member of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. She was a Jehovah's Witness and retired from acting in 1984 to devote her time to the religion. She died at the age of 54 of smoke inhalation after a house fire.

George Edward Foreman (born January 10, 1949) won an Olympic gold medal in 1968, and after turning pro won the world heavyweight title with a second-round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973. Two successful title defenses were made before Foreman's first professional loss to Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. He retired in 1977 but announced a comeback 10 years later and in 1994 at age 45 he regained a portion of the heavyweight championship. He remains the oldest boxer to hold the title.

Donnie Ray Albert (born January 10,  1950) made his professional opera debut in May 1975 at the Houston Grand Opera in Scott Joplin's Treemonisha. He sang as Porgy in a Grammy Award-winning production of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess on Broadway the following year, and has appeared with a number of opera companies across the country as well as having a successful career as a concert singer.


On January 10, 1946 a radar pulse was transmitted towards the moon, and two and a half seconds later, scientists received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space. Walter S. McAfee is the mathematician and physicist credited with first calculating the speed of the moon.

On January 10, 1957, six pre-dawn bombings in Montgomery damaged four black churches and two ministers' homes, including that of Montgomery Bus Boycott leader Ralph Abernathy. The violence came on the heels of several shooting incidents in which recently desegregated city buses were fired upon.

On January 10, 1966 the home of Vernon Dahmer was firebombed by white supremacists because of his work in voter registration, including keeping a voter registration book in his grocery store in late 1965 to make it easier for African Americans to register and offering to pay poll taxes for those unable to pay. As his wife, Ellie, and their children escaped, gunshots were fired from the streets and Dahmer returned covering fire from inside the house. He was severely burned before he could escape and died the next day. Fourteen men were indicted for the attack and four convicted, none serving over four years. The case was reopened 25 years later, and Klan Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers who ordered the attack was sentenced to life in prison where he died in 2006.

On January 10 2006, Janet Emerson Bashen became the first African American woman to hold a patent for a software invention. Her software, LinkLine, is a web-based application for EEO claims intake and tracking, claims management, document management and numerous reports. Ms. Bashen was issued U.S. patent #6,985,922 for a “Method, Apparatus and System for Processing Compliance Actions over a Wide Area Network.”

Photo Gallery

Thurgood Marshall Issued: January 10, 2003 

(AFP OUT) President-elect Barack Obama greets patrons at Ben's Chili Bowl January 10, 2009 in Washington, DC. 

Tuskegee Airmen attend the Red Tails premiere on January 10, 2012 in New York City


Jet Magazine, January 10, 1952

Jet Magazine, January 10, 1957

Aftermath of the Montgomery Bus Boycott - Jet Magazine, January 10, 1957

White House Lies about U.S. Troops in Angola The Black Panther (January 10, 1976)

The Charlotte Observer, January 10, 1989


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