1787 - Richard Allen and Absalom Jones organized Philadelphia's Free African Society
1825 - Richard Harvey Cain, founder of Paul Quinn College, born
1861 - At 4:30 a.m. South Carolinians opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, the first act of rebellion against the federal government that started the Civil War.
1864 - General Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, TN, and massacred the inhabitants, sparing, the official report said, neither soldier nor civilian, killing 300 Black men, women & children
1869 - North Carolina legislature passed anti-Klan Law.
1869 - Black students occupied administration building at Boston University in demand for Afro-American history courses and additional Black students.
1882 - Jimmy Winkfield born
1892 - Johnny Dodds born
1898 - Sir Grantley H. Adams born
1903 - Horace R. Cayton born
1917 - Theodore Roosevelt "Hound Dog" Taylor born
1923 - Harry Davis born
1940 - Herbert "Herbie" Hancock born
1960 - Martin Luther King, Jr. denounced the Vietnam War (the link leads to a video of a MLK press conference)
1963 - Martin Luther King, Jr. and other protestors were arrested in Birmingham, AL
1965 - Leontyne Price was awarded he Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy
1966 - Emmett Ashford became 1st black MLB umpire
1975 - Freda Josephine McDonald (Josephine Baker) died
1980 - William R. Tolbert, Jr., Liberian President, and twenty-seven others were killed in a coup led by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe.
1981 - Joe Louis died
1983 - Harold Washington became the first Black Mayor of Chicago, IL
1989 - Walker Smith, Jr. (Sugar Ray Robinson) died
1990 - August Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson
1993 - Lisa Bonet filed for divorce from Lenny Kravitz