1911 – The Omega Psi Phi fraternity is founded on the campus of Howard University.
1972 – Several blacks are elected to Congress, including Barbara Jordan, the first black and first woman to be elected from Texas.
1989 – Author Gloria Naylor won the Lillian Smith Award on this date for her novel, “Mama Day.”
1978 – The Jonestown Massacre occurs in Guyana. More than 900 followers of cult leader Jim Jones, most of them black, commit suicide or are murdered.
1994 – Famed jazz singer and bandleader Cab Calloway dies in Hockessin, Delaware, at 86, months after a severe stroke.
1973 – Tap dancer and actor Savion Glover is born in Newark, New Jersey.
1866 – Howard Seminary, later Howard University, is founded in Washington, D.C.
1923 – Inventor Garrett Morgan patents the three-position traffic signal.
1952 – The Academy Award given to Hattie McDaniel, the first black American to win an Oscar, is bequeathed to Howard University, though the trophy never makes it to Howard and mysteriously vanishes.
1962 – President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order 11063, which prohibits discrimination in housing.
1969 – Baseball great Ken Griffey Jr. is born in Donora, Pennsylvania.
1984 – Worldwide protests against apartheid begin, largely centralized at the South African Embassy in Washington, D.C.
1942 – Pilot Guion Bluford, the first African-American in space, is born in Philadelphia.
1986 – George Branham becomes the first African-American to win a Professional Bowling Association (PBA) title.
1989 – Frederick D. Gregory becomes the first African-American to lead a space mission.
1897 – Inventor Andrew J. Beard patents the jenny coupler, used to connect railroad cars.
1897 – Inventor John Lee Love patents a portable pencil sharpener known as the “Love Sharpener.”