1841 - The Supreme Court issued a ruling freeing the remaining 35 survivors of the Amistad mutiny. Although seven of the nine justices on the court hailed from Southern states, only one dissented from Justice Joseph Story's majority opinion. Private donations ensured the Africans' safe return to Sierra Leone in January 1842.
1867 - Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about black Americans.
1871 - Oscar De Priest (R-IL), the first black representative in Congress since Reconstruction, born
1891 - North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University founded
1892 - Whites kills three African Americans in Memphis because they were operating a successful grocery story. Their murder inspires Ida B. Wells to a lifetime of protest against racial injustice.
1905 - In Congo (currently the DRC), Belgian Vice Gov. Costermans committed suicide following an investigation of colonial policy.
1911 - White firemen of the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railroad struck to protest the hiring of Black firemen.
1914 - Southern University opened
1919 - Chicago Musical Association founded by singer Nora Holt.
1922 - Floyd H. McKissick born
1930 - Ornette Coleman born
1931 - Ida B Wells-Barnett died
1948 - Jeffrey Osborne born
1955 - Matthew Henson, the first person to reach the North Pole, died
1961 - Clifton Wharton, 1st Black person to earn a PhD in Economics from University of Chicago in as well as the first Black president of Michigan State University, was sworn in as ambassador to Norway.
1964 - Miriam Makeba addressed the United Nations on South African apartheid.
1966 - Andrew F. Brimmer became the first Black governor of the Federal Reserve Board.
1971 - C-Murder born
1971 - Emmanuel Lewis born
1977 - "The Jacksons" CBS show was aired for the last time on US TV finishing at the bottom of the ratings.
1987 - Bow Wow (Shad Moss) born
1997 - Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) was gunned down and killed
2001 - A Florida judge sentenced 14-year-old Lionel Tate to life in prison for killing a 6-year old girl. (The sentence was thrown out on appeal.)
2004 - Convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death in Virginia.