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On This Day in Black History: May 1
1486
Christopher Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to finance his expedition to the West Indies.
1689
Slavery was established in Quebec by the French, through a royal mandate issued by Louis XIV.
1759
The British occupied Guadeloupe, West Indies until 1763.
1805
The state of Virginia passed a law requiring freed slaves to move out of the state.
1842
William Wells Brown led a party of slaves across Lake Erie to freedom in Canada.
1863
The Confederate Congress declared that black Union soldiers would be " dealt with according to the present or future law of such State or States" which was, in effect, a death sentence.
1866
The Memphis Race Riots occurred.
1867
Howard University opened in Washington, D.C.
1867
The Reconstruction of the South began.
1884
Moses Fleetwood Walker, credited with being the first African-American to play baseball in the major leagues, made his debut with the Toledo Blue Stockings against the Louisville Eclipse in the American Association, which is now considered to be a major league by most baseball historians.
1886
Lucy Parsons, her husband and her two children led 80,000 protesters down Michigan Avenue in Chicago in the world's first May Day celebration,
1915
Prime Minister Louis Botha led the South African army in the occupation of South-West Africa (now Namibia).
1936
Emperor Haile Selassie went into exile as Italians invaded Ethiopia.
1941
A. Philip Randolph issued a call for 100,000 blacks to march on Washington, D.C. to protest employment discrimination in the armed forces and war industry. After failing in attempts to dissuade the black leaders, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, barring discrimination in defence industries and federal bureaus.
1946
Emma Clarissa Clement became the first black woman named "American Mother of the Year."
1948
Idaho senator Glen H. Taylor was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama for attempting to go through a door marked "for Negroes."
1950
Poet Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, for Annie Allen.
1961
Tanganyika was granted full internal self-government by Britain.
1975
A commemorative stamp of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar was issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
1978
Ernest Morial was inaugurated as the first black mayor of New Orleans.
1986
One million South Africans protested against apartheid in a COSATU strike.
2001
Ex-Klansman Thomas Blanton, Jr. was convicted for the 1963 bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black girls.

Today's Featured Page
Mabel Fairbanks
In 1977, Mabel Fairbanks was the first African American inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. More...


Previously Featured Pages
Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman became the first black woman ever to fly an airplane and the first African American to earn an international pilot's license. More...

African-American Astronauts
Guion S. Bluford became the first African-American to go into space in August 1983 aboard the Challenger. More...

Rosa Parks
On December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks sat down so that we could all stand up for our rights. More...

Otis Boykin
One of Otis Boykin's early inventions was an improved electrical resistor for computers, radios, televisions and an assortment of other electronic devices. More...

Queen Nzinga
Queen Nzinga's meeting with the Portugese governor, recorded by a Dutch artist, is legendary in the history of Africa's confrontations with Europe. More...

Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman astronaut to participate in a NASA shuttle mission. More...