1793 - Congress passes the first Fugitive Slave law, making it illegal to protect or harbor a fugitive slave or prevent his arrest.
1809 - Abraham Lincoln born
1809 - Charles Darwin born
1855 - Fannie Barrier Williams born
1865 - Henry Highland Garnet, first black to speak in the Capitol, delivered memorial sermon on the abolition of slavery at services in the House of Representatives.
Garnet, a former slave himself, was a pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. President Abraham Lincoln, with the unanimous consent of his Cabinet and the two congressional chaplains, had arranged for the special Sunday service to be held on February 12, the president's 56th birthday.1896 - Isaac Murphy, perhaps the greatest African American jockey, dies.
Garnet escaped to the North in 1824, where he became a prominent abolitionist, famous for his radical appeal to slaves to rise up against their masters. In 1881, he was appointed U.S. minister to Liberia but died only two months after his arrival in the African nation.
1900 - Pink Anderson born
1900 - James Weldon Johnson and his brother J. Rosamond Johnson compose "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" for their high school Lincoln's Birthday celebration. It will become known as The Negro National Anthem.
1903 - Robert Todd Duncan born
1907 - Roberta Martin born
1909 - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded. The call for the organizational meeting was issued on 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth by 47 whites and six blacks.
1926 - Historian Carter G. Woodson establishes Negro History Week, which will become African American History Month. (I've seen a couple of dates for this)
1932 - Lincoln Kilpatrick born
1934 - Bill Russell born
1948 - First Lt. Nancy C. Leftneant became the first black accepted in the regular Army Nursing Corps.
1952 - Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded posthumously to Sgt. Cornelius H. Charlton for his heroism in Korea
1956 - Screamin' Jay Hawkins recorded "I Put a Spell On You."
1957 - Arsenio Hall born
1959 - Omar Hakim born
1961 - The Miracles' "Shop Around" became Motown's first million-selling single.
1967 - Pirate Radio Free Harlem (NYC) begins transmitting
1968 - Eldridge Cleaver publishes Soul On Ice.
1968 - Jimi Hendrix returned home to Seattle where he received a key to the city and an honorary high school diploma. He also played for the students of Garfield High School from which he had dropped out.
1972 - Rufus Thomas performed "Do the Funky Penguin" on "American Bandstand."
1983 - James Hubert "Eubie" Blake dies in New York at the age of 100.
1993 - The Associated Press reports that the number of interracial couples has doubled in the past 12 years.