January 21

On Monday, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama was publicly inaugurated after being elected to his second term in office the previous November. 

Willa Beatrice Brown (January 22, 1906 – July 18, 1992) was the first African American woman to earn her pilot's license in the United States, the first African American woman to run for the United States Congress, the first African American officer in the US Civil Air Patrol, and the first woman in the United States to have both a pilot's license and a mechanic's license.  A lifelong advocate for gender and racial equality in flight and in the military, Brown not only lobbied the U.S. government to integrate the U.S. Army Air Corp and include African Americans in the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP), but also co-founded the Cornelius Coffey School of Aeronautics with Cornelius Coffey, which was the first private flight training academy in the United States owned and operated by African Americans. She trained hundreds of pilots, several of whom would go on to become Tuskegee Airmen.


John Charles Frémont or Fremont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890) was a surveyor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and military governor of California, serving as a U.S. Senator after statehood. During the Civil War he was promoted to Major General and assigned as Commander of the Department of the West on July 1, 1861 but relieved of his duties on November 2 of that year after putting Missouri under martial law. freeing all enslaved people within the state, without the knowledge of President Lincoln. Frémont, the son-in-law of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, was the first presidential candidate for the newly-formed Republican Party.

Leonard Harmon (January 21, 1917 - November 12, 1942) was a Mess Attendant First Class serving aboard the USS San Francisco. During the Battle of Guadacanal he was assisting pharmacist's mate Lyndford Bondsteel in caring for the wounded and was killed when he deliberately interposed himself between Bondsteel and enemy gunfire. He was awarded the Navy Cross and two ships were named in his honor. The HMS Aylmer had been provisionally named USS Harmon but was transferred to the Royal Navy prior to completion. The USS Harmonserved from 1943 to 1947 and remained in the Reserve Fleet until 1967 It was the first US warship to be named after an African American.
Lincoln Alexander (January 21, 1922 – October 19, 2012) was a Canadian lawyer who became the first black Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, the first black federal Cabinet Minister serving as federal Minister of Labour, the first black Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Board, and the 24th Lieutenant-Governor serving Ontario from 1985 to 1991, and the first person to serve five terms as Chancellor of the University of Guelph, from 1991 to 2007. He was also a governor of the Canadian Unity Council.

Richie Havens (born Richard Pierce Havens, January 21, 1941 - April 22, 2013) had recorded five albums with limited success before appearing at Woodstock in 1969 where he was the opening performer and played for almost three hours because other acts were caught in traffic delays caused by the massive crowds. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child" that became "Freedom" and the subsequent Woodstock movie release helped Havens reach a worldwide audience. He continued to record and perform as well as educating young people about ecological issues.

Edwin Starr ( born Charles Edwin Hatcher, January 21, 1942 – April 2, 2003) is best known for his Norman Whitfield-produced Motown singles of the 1970s, most notably the number one hit "War". Besides "War", Starr's songs "25 Miles" and "Stop the War Now" were also major successes in the 1960s. Starr's career shifted to the United Kingdom in the 1970s, where he continued to produce music, living there until his death.

Eric Holder (born January 21, 1951) became the first African American Attorney General of the United States when he was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama in 2009. His father and materal grandparents are from Barbados and he holds a BA in history (1973) and JD (1976) from Columbia University. He has served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Deputy Attorney General, and senior legal advisor to Obama's presidential campaign.


On Monday, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama was publicly inaugurated after being elected to his second term in office the previous November. A private swearing-in ceremony took place on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in the Blue Room of the White House. A public inauguration ceremony took place the following day at the United States Capitol building. The inauguration theme was "Faith in America's Future", a phrase that draws upon the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the completion of the Capitol dome in 1863.

Photo Gallery

Marcus Garvey to James Weldon Johnson concerning the NAACP’s alleged interference with the Universal Negro Improvement Association, January 21, 1922. Typed letter. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (055.00.00) Courtesy of Dr. Juilus W. Garvey [Digital ID # na0055]

Black Panthers press conference, January 21, 1969

Actress Cicely Tyson at the National Society Film Critics Awards, January 21 1973.

Capt. John Rogers, Sr., a member of the 99th Pursuit Squadron during World War II, better known as the "Red Tails." Capt. Rogers died on January 21, 2014 at the age of 95.


Are the Prettiest Girls in Washington, DC Like Patricia Adams - Jet Magazine, January 21, 1954

The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations by Ira Berlin. $12.26. 320 pages. Author: Ira Berlin. Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 21, 2010)

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