1977 – First black Secretary of the Army confirmed
Clifford Alexander Jr. would hold the position until the end of President Jimmy Carter’s term.
1989 – Barbara C. Harris was ordained bishop in the Episcopal Church
Born in Philadelphia, Barbara C. Harris was ordained bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts on Feb. 11, 1989. She was the first woman and African-American in the position. She was threatened and was at one point urged to wear a bulletproof vest, but she refused. Harris retired from the position in Boston in 2003.
1990 – Nelson Mandela is free
South African’s black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 27 years of imprisonment. Three years after he was released, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and four years after his release, he was elected president of South Africa. He led armed and political resistance against apartheid and was a part of the African National Congress, then found himself first a fugitive from the government and then a prisoner. He became an international symbol of defiance against the brutality of South Africa’s racist regime and finally, the face of the end of the entire apartheid apparatus.
1990 – Buster Douglas takes Mike Tyson down
Mike Tyson, the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion, was knocked out by James “Buster” Douglas in the 10th round of the fight held in Tokyo. Billed as “Tyson is Back,” this 42-1 ending is considered one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.