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The Registry

Sat, 03.07.1891 story

College basketball holds a rich African American history

*With March Madness beginning, on this date we remember African Americans in the history of American college basketball.

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Sat, 01.04.2003 story

First NFL playoff game with two Black head coaches

On this date in 2003, two black head coaches competed for the first time in a National Football league (NFL) playoff game.

The Indianapolis Colts’ Tony Dungy and the New York Jets’ Herman Edwards brought their teams to New York where the Jets won 41 to 0. Longtime friends, Dungy and Edwards were the only African American head coaches in the league. Edwards spent five seasons as Dungy’s top assistant in Tampa before becoming New York’s coach in 2001.

The student came out on top of the mentor because his offense was unstoppable, his defense stingy, and his special teams dominant.

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Tue, 01.26.1892 story

Stunt-flyer Bessie Coleman was “a first”

*Bessie Coleman was born on this date in 1892. She was an African American woman pilot and the first woman aviator and stunt-flier in the United States.

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Sat, 01.27.1894 story

Fritz Pollard was a football architect

*Fritz Pollard was born on this date in 1894. He was the first African American coach in the National Football League.

Frederick Douglas “Fritz” Pollard grew up in Chicago. By the time he graduated from high school, he was a talented baseball player, running back and a three-time Cook County track champion. He briefly played football for Northwestern, Harvard and Dartmouth before receiving a scholarship from the Rockefeller family to attend Brown University in 1915.

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Fri, 01.31.1919 story

Baseball’s Jackie Robinson, “the chosen one”

*Jackie Robinson was born on this date in 1919. He was an African American athlete, business executive, and civil rights leader.

Born to a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia, Jack Roosevelt Robinson attended Pasadena Junior College and UCLA. In 1941 Robinson left college to join the United States Army and he received an honorable discharge in 1944 with the rank of first lieutenant. The following year, Robinson began his professional baseball career with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues.

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Tue, 02.03.1920 story

The Negro Baseball League founded

*This date marks the anniversary of the Negro Baseball League. In 1886, the Southern League of Colored Base Ballists became the first Negro league.

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Sun, 05.17.1903 story

The fastest man in baseball, “Cool Papa” Bell

On this date in 1903, James “Cool Papa” Bell was born in Starksville, Mississippi. He was an African American baseball player, considered by many as the fastest player in the sport.

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Tue, 04.18.1950 story

Braves baseball integrates

On this date in 1950, the (then) Boston Braves baseball team integrated. Famed Cleveland Buckeyes star Sam Jethroe became their first Black player He had a stellar season and was named National League Rookie of the Year.

One of the most highly-touted prospects of all time, Jethroe led the majors in stolen bases his first two years, but never quite lived up to the high expectations. Over his three-year career, he batted.261 with 460 hits and 49 home runs.

Reference:
20th Century Baseball Chronicle
Year-By-Year History of major league Baseball

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Sat, 01.25.1890 story

Pro hockey and African heritage, a story

*The Registry remembers Black contributions in the sport of professional hockey on this date. A historical overview of Black players in hockey is very interesting.

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Fri, 04.06.1798 story

James P. Beckwourth, explorer born

James Pierson Beckwourth was born on this date in 1798. He was a Black explorer who played a major role in the early discovery and settlement of the American West.

James Beckwourth was born in 1798 in Frederick County, Virginia to an African American slave mother and English father, Sir Jennings Beckwourth. Beckwourth’s family moved to Missouri in the early 1800’s, and he was apprenticed to a Blacksmith in St. Louis when he was a young man. In the summer of 1824 he signed on with General William Ashley for a trapping expedition to the Rocky Mountains.

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