1837 - Represented by John Quincy Adams, 22 District of Columbia slaves petition Congress for freedom. The petition is tabled and Adams reprimanded.
1861 - Jefferson Davis & Alexander Stephens elected president & Vice President of CSA
1861 - Tennessee votes against secession
1861 - Confederate Provisional Congress declares all laws under the US Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate states
1902 - Blanche Calloway, bandleader, born
1906 - Paul Laurence Dunbar, a master of dialect poetry, he was one of the first African American writers to receive national recognition, dies
1906 - Natal proclaims state of siege in Zulu uprising
1907 - Hazel B. Williams born
1940 - Joe Louis beats Arturo Godoy in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1943 - Barbara Lewis born
1944 - Alice Walker born
1951 - Dennis "DT" Thomas (Kool & the Gang) born
1951 - St Louis Browns sign pitcher Satchel Paige
1952 - Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison wins the National Book Award
1953 - Gary Franks born. In 1990 he will be elected to Congress as the first black Republican representative since Oscar DePriest left the House in 1934.
1962 - Jamaica signs agreement to become independent
1964 - Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American on the U.S. Davis Cup Team.
1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. meets President Lyndon B. Johnson to discuss voting rights.
1966 - The Maryland Freedom Union created
1971 - Leroy "Satchel" Paige is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1979 - Nigeria amends constitution
1990 - Namibia's constitution ratified
1995 - Bernard Harris is the first black astronaut to walk in space
2005 - Jimmy Smith dies