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People, Locations, Episodes

Thu, 04.17.1823

Mifflin Gibbs, Businessman and Abolitionist born

On this date in 1823, Mifflin Gibbs was born. He was a Black entrepreneur, lawyer, and abolitionist.

From Philadelphia, Mifflin Wister Gibbs was born free and attended grade school until his father died in 1831. To help his mother and three siblings, he drove a doctors carriage prior to becoming a carpenter’s apprentice at the age of sixteen. Throughout this time in his life he was a member of the Philomathean Institute, a Colored men’s literacy society and he was active in the Underground Railroad.

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Sat, 04.17.1824

Costa Rica Abolishes Slavery

*On this date in 1824, Costa Rica abolished slavery.

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Mon, 04.17.1843

Theophilus Steward, Minister born

Theophilus Steward was born on this date in 1843. He was a Black clergyman, teacher, and author. Theophilus Gould Steward was born in Gouldtown, New Jersey.

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Fri, 04.17.1863

Black woman kicked off of Cable Car

On this date in 1863, a Black woman was forcibly removed from a horse-drawn streetcar in San Francisco.

Charlotte L. Brown, the daughter of James E. and Charlotte Brown was the victim. Her father, who ran a livery stable in San Francisco, brought suit on her behalf against the Omnibus Railroad Company. The successful suit resulted in $5,000 in damages awarded as well as the right of blacks to ride the street cars. The Charlotte Brown case was one of a few civil rights cases brought by prominent free blacks in California to protest discrimination on public transportation.

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Sun, 04.17.1870

Louis B. Anderson, Lawyer born

*Louis B. Anderson was born on this date in 1870.  He was a Black journalist and politician who served as alderman of Chicago’s 2nd ward from 1917 to 1933. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Louis Bernard Anderson moved to Washington, D.C., in 1889 to work in journalism as an exchange reader and journalist. At some point […]

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Thu, 04.17.1890

Harris-Stowe St. College founded

The founding of Harris-Stowe State College (HSSC) in 1890 is celebrated on this date. It is one of over 100 historical Black Colleges and Universities in America.

HSSC traces its origin before the Civil War when it was created by the St. Louis Public Schools as a normal school and thus became the first public teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River and the twelfth such institution in the United States. The earliest predecessor of Harris-Stowe State College was a normal school established for white students only by the Public School System of the City of St. Louis.

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Mon, 04.17.1911

Isaiah Newman, Activist and Minister

Isaiah Newman was born on this date in 1911. He was an African American clergyman, civil rights leader.

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Wed, 04.17.1912

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, Activist born

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson was born on this date in 1912. She was an African American civil rights activist and educator.

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Fri, 04.17.1914

Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Lawyer born

*Dovey Johnson Roundtree was born on this date in 1914.  She was a Black teacher, lawyer, military administrator and minister. From Charlotte NC, Dovey Mae Johnson was the second of four daughters of James Eliot Johnson, a printer, and Lela (Bryant) Johnson, a domestic.  Her father died in the influenza epidemic of 1919, and she, […]

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Tue, 04.17.1917

Mongo Santamaria, Percussionist born

*Mongo” Santamaria was born on this date in 1917.  He was an Afro Cuban percussionist and bandleader.   Ramón “Mongo” Santamaria Rodríguez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He learned rumba as a kid in the streets of Havana’s Jesús María barrio.   He then learned the bongos from Clemente “Chicho” Piquero and toured […]

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Thu, 04.17.1980

Zimbabwe gains Independence from Britain

Independence for Zimbabwe came on this date in 1980 from Britain. Prime Minister Robert Mugabe consolidated his power in 1982 and dismissed Joshua Nkomo from his government.

Mugabe’s party won a landslide victory in 1985, the first general election since independence. In late 1987 the constitution was amended to replace the position of prime minister with that of executive president, which combines the posts of head of state and head of government. At that time ZANU-PF and Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) agreed to merge under the name of ZANU-PF.

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Wed, 04.17.2013

The Shona people, a brief article

On this date from 600 A.D. The Registry celebrates the Shona people of Africa. Located in Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique, their tribal language is also called Shona (Bantu) and their population is around 9 million.

There are five main Shona language groups: Korekore, Zeseru, Manyika, Ndau, and Karanga. The last of these groups was largely absorbed by the Ndebele when they moved into western Zimbabwe in the 1830s. Shona are linguistically related to the central Bantu and most likely moved into present day Zimbabwe during the great Bantu expansion.

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New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Among the Shona a family's success is weighed by their children's happiness and the... SHONA by JohnnieRenee Nia Nelson
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