The Missouri Compromise is Ratified
*The Missouri Compromise with legislative measures was enacted on this date in 1820. This measure allowed The United States Congress to thus regulate the extension of slavery in the United States for the next three decades.
The New York Slave Rebellion Occurs
On this date in 1712, the New York Slave Rebellion occurred.
The Atlanta Race Riot Occurs
*On this date in 1906, The Atlanta race riot occurred. This tragedy was the result of bitter white hostility toward blacks after vague reports of African Americans harassing White women.
Over five days at least ten Black people were killed while Atlanta’s police did nothing to protect black citizens, going so far as to confiscate guns from Atlanta’s Black community while allowing whites to remain armed. It was this and other events of hatred based incidents during what was called the “Red Summers” in the early twentieth century.
The Opelousas Massacre Occurs, (child caution, graphic image)
On this date in 1868, the Opelousas massacre occurred. That city in Louisiana was the site where local Blacks lost their lives by violent whites (many of them Confederate veterans and prominent citizens).
The slaughter started when three local whites beat up an 18-year old man named Emerson Bentley, a white editor (and non-Louisianan) of the local Republican newspaper and a teacher with the Freedmen’s Bureau. Reacting to Bentley’s beating, local Blacks came to his rescue. The sheriff arrested 12, who were taken from jail and hung that night.
Martin Luther King Jr. is Stabbed in New York
*On this date in 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was nearly fatally stabbed to death.
While signing copies of his first book Stride Toward Freedom, a woman named Izola Ware Curry stabbed King with a letter opener in Blumsteins Department store in New York City.
The Associated Press
450 W. 33rd St.,
New York, NY 10001.
Richard Pryor Attempts Suicide
On this date in 1980, Richard Pryor attempted to commit suicide by setting himself on fire at his Northridge, CA, home.
After freebasing for several days in a row, he was in a cocaine-induced haze. He poured a bottle of rum over his body and ignited himself using a lighter. His Aunt Dee attempted to smother the flames, but Pryor jumped out of the window in a panic and ran down the street.
Race Riot in Cairo, Illinois
On this date in 1967, three days of riots and protests occurred in Cairo, Illinois.
The incident began with a so-called jail house suicide of Pvt. Robert Hunt. He was a young Black soldier on leave in his hometown of Cairo. The alleged suicide fired up the town’s African American community. The police said Hunt had hanged himself with his T-shirt, but Cairo’s Black residents had the evidence to challenge that story.
Slave-Trader is Prosecuted, and Hanged
*On this date in 1862, Nathaniel Gordon was hanged for slave trading. He is the only person in American history executed for slave-trading. Gordon captained the slave ship Erie.
Plessy v. Ferguson Begins
*On this date in 1892, a 30-year-old African American shoemaker named Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in the “White” car of the East Louisiana Railroad.
Sudan Gains Independence From Britain
The anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Sudan was formally established on this date in 1956. Egypt and the United Kingdom immediately recognized the new nation at that time.
Sudan became a member of the Arab League on January 19 and of the United Nations on November 12. The first general parliamentary elections after Sudan attained independence were held on February 27, 1958. The Umma Party won a majority and formed a new government on March 20.