1900 – Negro national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed
To celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, James Weldon Johnson wrote the poem Lift Every Voice and Sing, which was turned into a song that was first performed by a group of 500 students in Jacksonville, Florida. It was later adopted by the NAACP as its official song.
1909 – NAACP founded
Founded in 1909 in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is one of the nation’s largest civil rights organization. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes.
1934 – Happy birthday, Bill Russell
William Felton “Bill” Russell is considered the greatest of all time in the NBA. He was player-coach of the Boston Celtics in 1968 and 1969. Russell was born in Monroe, Louisiana. The five-time MVP holds more championship rings than other player. His Celtics won 11 NBA championships and went to 12 finals during his 13 seasons. From 1959-1966, they won eight straight.
1956 – Happy birthday, Arsenio Hall
Hall was the first black late-night talk show host. The Arsenio Hall Show ran from 1989-1994.