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

April
1
POET GIL SCOTT-HERON BORN
April 1, 1949 (68) 
[Gil Scott-Heron] The radical poet Gil Scott-Heron best known for his militant poem and song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" was born in Chicago, Illinois to a Jamaican father and African American mother.


2
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO BE ELECTED TO PUBLIC OFFICE
[John Mercer Langston elected] John Mercer Langston, who is considered the first African American to be elected to public office is elected clerk of Brownhelm, Ohio.



3
COMEDIC ACTOR EDDIE MURPHY BORN
April 3, 1961 (56) 
[Eddie Murphy] Comedic actor Eddie Murphy born in Brooklyn, New York. Murphy is best known for films such as "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Coming to America."



4
POET AND AUTHOR MAYA ANGELOU BORN
April 4, 1928 (89) 
[Maya Angelou] Maya Angelou born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri.



5
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON BORN
April 5, 1856 - November 14, 1915 (59)
[Booker T. Washington] Booker Taliaferro Washington was born a slave in Hale's Ford, Virginia.



6
MATTHEW HENSON CO-DISCOVERS THE NORTH POLE 
[North Pole discovered] Matthew Henson reaches the North Pole with Co-discoverer Robert Peary.



7
FIRST U.S. STAMP EVER TO HONOR AN AFRICAN AMERICAN ISSUED
[first black US Postage Stamp] The first U.S. stamp ever to honor an African American is issued bearing the likeness of Booker T. Washington.



8
ROBERT JOHNSON, FOUNDER OF B.E.T. BORN
April 8, 1946 (71) 
[Robert Johnson BET] Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) born in Hickory, Mississippi. Johnson launched BET in January, 1980, the program aired two hours a week and was the first cable television network to target African Americans. 

Eleven years later BET became the first African American owned company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Viacom bought BET for $3 billion in 1999 and Johnson became the first African American billionaire until his divorce when his wife was awarded a substancial amount of his fortune. 

He earned another first in 2004 when he became the first African American to be a principal owner in a major league sports franchise by purchasing the Charolette Bobcats NBA team.



9
MARIAN ANDERSON PERFORMED AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL 
[Marian Anderson Lincoln Memorial] Singer Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after she was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution because of her race.



10
GRAMMY AWARD WINNING SINGER, SONGWRITER, MUSICIAN, PRODUCER BABYFACE BORN
April 10, 1958 (59) 
[Babyface] Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, musician, producer Babyface born Kenneth Edmonds in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

He is considered as one of the pioneers of the New Jack Swing sound and has writen for Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Brandy, Celine Dion, Vanessa Williams, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Brown, Karyn White, Pebbles and Paula Abdul among others. 

Edmonds co-founded LaFace Records with Antonio "L.A." Reid in 1989. Two of the label's first artists Toni Braxton and TLC achieved massive success. Braxton's eponymous 1993 debut album went on to sell over eight-million copies, and earned her a Grammy Award as the year's best new artist in 1994. Meanwhile, TLC's two albums on LaFace — 1992's Ooooooohhh.... On the TLC Tip and 1994's CrazySexyCool — combined to sell more than 15 million copies, and CrazySexyCool won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best R&B album. 

Edmonds is also a successful film producer with the film Soul Food (1997) to his credit. 

He has several hits as a singer including "Whip Appeal", "Someone to Love" and "Never Keeping Secrets".



11
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN JUDGE BORN
April 11, 1908 - January 8, 2007 (99)
[Jane Matilda Bolin] Jane Matilda Bolin, the first African American woman judge and the first black woman to receive a law degree from Yale is born in Poughkeepsie, New York.



12
ACADEMY AWARD AND GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING MUSICIAN HERBIE HANCOCK BORN
April 12, 1940 (77) 
[Herbie Hancock] Academy Award and Grammy award-winning musician Herbie Hancock born in Chicago, Illinois. 

As part of Miles Davis's "second great quintet," Hancock helped redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section, and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound. Later, he was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and funk. 

Hancock's best-known works as a solo artist include "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man" and the pop single "Rockit" which earned him a Grammy Award in 1983 for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. 

He is also the composer of a number of film and television soundtracks including the theme for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The soundtrack for the film Round Midnight earned him the Academy Award for best Original Soundtrack in 1986.



13
SIDNEY POITIER , FIRST BLACK ACTOR TO WIN ACADEMY AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR
[First black Academy Best Actor] Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor - for his role in Lilies of the Field.



14
RAPPER DA BRAT BORN
April 14, 1974 (43) 
[Da Brat] Rapper Shawntae Harris better known as the Da Brat born in Chicago, Illinois.



15
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN LICENSED FEMALE ARCHITECT IN THE US
[First African American female architect] Norma Merrick Sklarek, the first African American woman architect to be licensed in the U.S. with certification in the State of New York in 1954 and then California in 1962. In 1985 she became the first African American woman to form her own firm Siegel, Sklarek and Diamond.



16
FIRST BLACK WOMAN MAYOR OF A MAJOR US CITY ELECTED
Leila Smith Foley elected Mayor of Taft, Oklahoma making her the first African-American woman to be elected Mayor of a U.S. city.



17
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN JUDGE BORN
April 17, 1823 - July 11, 1915 (92)
[Mifflin Wistar Gibbs] Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He became the nation's first African American judge in 1873. He also served as U.S. consul to Madagascar from 1850-1858.



18
AUTHOR ALEX HALEY AWARDED THE PULIZTER PRIZE
[Alex Haley Pulizter Prize] Pultizer Prize awarded to author Alex Haley for his ground breaking semi biographical novel "Roots."



19
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER
[Jackie Robinson first black baseball] Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American major league baseball player



20
HARRIET TUBMAN STARTS WITH THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
[Underground Railroad starts] Harriet Tubman begins working with the Underground Railroad a network of activists who helped slaves to escape from the south. Tubman is estimated to have personally contributed to the escape of 300 slaves.



21
NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER CARNELL WILLIAMS BORN
April 21, 1982 (35) 
[Carnell Williams] NFL football player Carnell Williams born in Gadsden, Alabama. Carnell Lamar "Cadillac" Williams is a running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.



22
JAZZ PIONEER CHARLES MINGUS BORN
April 22, 1922 - January 5, 1979 (57)
[Charles Mingus] Jazz bassist, composer and bandleader Charles Mingus born in Nogales, Arizona.



23
AFRICAN AMERICAN INVENTOR GRANVILLE T. WOODS BORN
April 23, 1856 - January 30, 1910 (54)
[Granville T. Woods] Granville T. Woods born in Columbus, Ohio. Known as the "Black Edison" Woods invented many devices to improve electric railway cars.



24
THE UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND FOUNDED
The United Negro College Fund founded. The UNCF is the oldest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization in the United States.



25
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN EVER DRAFTED BY AN NBA TEAM
[First black NBA draft] Charles "Chuck" Cooper becomes the first African American drafted by an NBA team (the Boston Celtics.)



26
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVE TO CHAIR A COMMITTEE IN CONGRESS BORN
April 26, 1883 - November 9, 1970 (87)
[William Levi Dawson] William Levi Dawson was born in Albany, Georgia. He was the first African American to serve as the chairman of a regular congressional committee serving as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments in the Eighty-first and Eighty-second Congresses.



27
FIRST BLACK WOMAN NAMED BANK PRESIDENT
[First Black Woman Bank President] Maggie L. Walker named president of Richmond's St. Luke Bank and Trust Company and becomes the first African American woman to head a bank.



28
AFRICAN AMERICAN RECIEVS PATENT FOR SHIP PROPELLOR
African American inventor George Toliver was awarded a patent for the ship propeller.



29
THE DUKE OF SWING AND JAZZ BORN
April 29, 1899 - May 24, 1974 (75)
[Duke Ellington] Composer, musician and band leader Edward "Duke" Kennedy Ellington born in Washington, D.C..



30
FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO GAIN A CONTROLLING INTEREST IN A MAJOR NEWSPAPER 
[First African American major newspaper] Robert C. Maynard is the first African American with a controlling interest in a major metropolitan newspaper after purchasing the Oakland Tribune.