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On This Day in Black History: May 1
Christopher Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to finance his expedition to the West Indies.
Slavery was established in Quebec by the French, through a royal mandate issued by Louis XIV.
The British occupied Guadeloupe, West Indies until 1763.
The state of Virginia passed a law requiring freed slaves to move out of the state.
William Wells Brown led a party of slaves across Lake Erie to freedom in Canada.
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.
The Memphis Race Riots occurred.
Howard University opened in Washington, D.C.
The Reconstruction of the South began.
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.
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,
Prime Minister Louis Botha led the South African army in the occupation of South-West Africa (now Namibia).
Emperor Haile Selassie went into exile as Italians invaded Ethiopia.
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.
Emma Clarissa Clement became the first black woman named "American Mother of the Year."
Idaho senator Glen H. Taylor was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama for attempting to go through a door marked "for Negroes."
Poet Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, for Annie Allen.
Tanganyika was granted full internal self-government by Britain.
A commemorative stamp of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar was issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
Ernest Morial was inaugurated as the first black mayor of New Orleans.
One million South Africans protested against apartheid in a COSATU strike.
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...