Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County NAACP (Branch 7092)
P.O. Box 6044
Christiansburg, Virginia 24068
(540)382-6751


Black Facts for February










1
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN BEFORE US SUPREME COURT
February 1, 1865, the same day congress approved the 13th Amendment ending slavery, Charles Sumner introduced a motion that made Boston attorney John Rock the first black attorney to be admitted to argue in the Supreme Court of the United States. John Rock was credited with coning the phrase "black is beautiful."
 








2
ALFRED L. CRALLE PATENTS THE ICE CREAM SCOOP
While working in Pittsburgh as a porter Alfred L. Cralle noticed that the popular treat ice cream, was difficult to dispense. It stuck to spoons and ladles and usually required two hands and at least two implements to serve.  Cralle invented a mechanical device now known as the ice cream scoop and applied for a patent. On February 2, 1897, the 30-year old was granted U.S. Patent #576395.
 







3
R&B SINGER DENNIS EDWARDS BORN
February 3, 1943 (74)
R&B singer Dennis Edwards most noted for being one of the lead singers on the Temptations born in Birmingham, Alabama. Edwards replaced David Ruffin in the group on July 9th, 1968 and appeared on the songs "Cloud Nine" and "Papa Was a Rollin Stone." He scored his greatest hit as a solo artist with "Don't Look Any Further" in 1984.
 







4
ROSA PARKS BORN ON THIS DAY
February 4, 1913 - October 24, 2005 (92)
Rosa Louise McCauley an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement" was born on this day in Tuskegee, Alabama. She became famous for refusing to obey bus driver James Blake to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger.
 










5
1ST U.S. BLACK FOREIGN MINISTER TO EUROPE
During a distinguished career that spanned nearly four decades, Clifton R. Wharton, Sr. (1899-1990) was the first black Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State. While he was not the nation’s first black ambassador, Wharton was the first black diplomat to become ambassador by rising through the ranks of the Foreign Service rather than by political appointment and the first black diplomat to lead a U.S. delegation to a European country.
 After a series of postings that included Liberia, the Canary Islands, Spain and Madagascar, Wharton became consul general in Portugal in 1949. In 1953 he became consul general in Marseilles, France.
 






6
ARTHUR ASHE, FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALE TO WIN A GRAND SLAM EVENT DIES
Ashe remains the only African American player ever to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, or Australian Open. Ashe died from complications from AIDS on February 6, 1993.
 









7
CHRIS ROCK BORN
February 7, 1967 (50)
Christoper Julius Rock III, better known as Chris Rock was born on this day in Andrews, South Carolina. Rock would become a leading standup comedian, actor often tackling subjects most would shy away from.
 





8
BIRTHDAY OF JAZZ GUITAR PIONEER
February 8, 1899 - June 16, 1970 (71)
Alonzo "Lonnie" Johnson, jazz singer/guitarist who pioneered the role of jazz guitar and is recognized as the first to play single-string guitar solos was born on this day in New Orleans.
 









9
ALICE WALKER, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR BORN
February 9, 1944 (73)
Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Author of the Color Purple born in Eatonton, Georgia.
 In 1983, The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, making Walker the first African-American woman to win, as well as the National Book Award.
 










10
RON BROWN BECOMES FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO LEAD A MAJOR AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTY
Ron Brown is elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee becoming the first African American to lead a major American political party.
 








11
SINGER D'ANGELO BORN
February 11, 1974 (43)
Singer D'Angelo born Michael Eugene Archer in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. D'Angelo is known for his production and songwriting talents as much as for his vocal abilities. He has a series of hits including "Brown Sugar", "Left & Right" (with Method Man and Redman), "Untitled (How Does It Feel?)".

 





12
NAACP FOUNDED.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)










13
FIRST BLACK ADMITTED TO THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE
Joseph L. Searles III became the first black floor member and floor broker in the New York Stock Exchange. He worked as a floor partner in the firm of Neburger, Loeb and Company.
 
 










14
ABOLITIONIST, EDITOR, ORATOR, AUTHOR, STATESMAN FREDERICK DOUGLASS BORN
February 14, 1817 - February 20, 1895 (78)
abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman Frederick Douglass born.
Born into slavery as Frederick Baile, Douglass purchased his freedom in 1845 and went on to become the greatest abolitionist of his time.
 










15
NAT KING COLE DIES
The infamous and unforgettable Nat King Cole dies at the age of 45.
 












16
DISNEYS FIRST LIVE ACTOR BORN
February 16, 1904 - July 9, 1948 (44)
James Baskett became Disney first live actor playing the part of Uncle Remus in Disney's "Song of the South" (1945) he would recieve a posthmous Academy Award for this role in 1948 the year of his death.
 













17
FORMER BASKETBALL CHAMP MICHAEL JORDAN BORN
February 17, 1963 (54)
Fomer basketball champ Michael Jordan born in Brooklyn, New York. Jordan is proclaimed by the National Basketball Association (NBA) as the "greatest player of all time".
 Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation, and was instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
 
His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line at Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness". He also gained a reputation as one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Though Jordan abruptly left the NBA in October 1993 to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships (1996, 1997, and 1998) as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 season. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but he returned for two more NBA seasons in 2001 as a member of the Washington Wizards.
 












18
TONI MORRISON BORN
February 18, 1931 (86)
Pulitzer Prize winning author (Beloved) Toni Morrison born in Lorain, Ohio.










19
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN DIRECTOR NOMINATED FOR ACADEMY AWARD
John Singleton, the first African American director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Boyz N the Hood
 










20
FREDERICK DOUGLASS PASSES AWAY
Frederick Douglass died on this date.
 
 











21
OTIS BOYKIN PATENTS ELECTRICAL RESISTOR
Otis Boykin, Inventor, patented the Electrical Resistor the device used in all guided missiles and IBM computers, plus several other electronic devices.
 








22
FIRST GRAMMY AWARD FOR BEST RAP SONG
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince win the first Grammy Award in the category "Best Rap Song" for the hit single "Parents Just Don't Understand."











23
FIRST BLACK GENERAL IN THE MARINE CORPS
Frank E. Peterson Jr. named the first Black general in the Marine Corps.
 










24
FIRST BLACK WOMAN TO RECEIVE AN M.D.
1864
Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College.











25
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO SERVE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND IN THE U.S. CONGRESS
Hirman R. Revels of Mississippi sworn in as first Black U.S. senator and first Black representative in Congress.
 










26
CASSIUS CLAY BECOMES MUHAMMAD ALI
The boxer then known as Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. "I believe in the religion of Islam. I believe in Allah and in peace...I'm not a Christian anymore."
 






27
FIRST BLACK WINTER OLYMPIC MEDALIST
Figure skater Debi Thomas wins a Bronze Medal becoming the first black to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.
 










28
MICHAEL JACKSON, WINS 8 GRAMMYS
Michael Jackson wins eight Grammy Awards for his critical and commercially succesful album, "Thriller which still remains one of the top-grossing albums of all time.