1997- Mabel Murphy Smythe confirmed as ambassador to republic of Cameroon.
1974- House Judiciary Committee opened hearings to decide whether to recommend the impeachment of President Nixon in the Watergate controversy. Two Blacks Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas were members of the committee.
1952-Death of actor Canada Lee (45), New York City. Former boxer-turned-actor Canada Lee makes a strong impression in the 1944 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Lifeboat (FoxVideo). In the 1947 John Garfield boxing classic Body and Soul (Republic), Lee gives a sensitive performance as a dying boxer. He also excels as a small-town minister in the 1951 adaptation of Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country (Monterey Home Video). Like Robeson, Lee’s film career ended when he was accused of being a Communist.
1919- James Reese Europe, preeminent jazz bandleader killed by a crazed band member. The military band he formed during World War I was one of the most popular in all of Europe.
1867- Sojourner Truth delivers Equal Rights Speech to the First Annual Meeting of the American Equal Rights Association , championing for rights of all people.
1862- General Hunter of the Union Army issued a proclamation freeing the slaves of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. A displeased President Lincoln annulled this act. Lincoln stated, “General Hunter is an honest man…He proclaimed all men free within certain states. I repudiated the proclamation.
1800- Abolitionist John Brown was born.
1750- The South Carolina Gazette reports that Caesar, a South Carolina slave has been granted his freedom and a life time annuity in exchange for his cures for poison and rattlesnake bite. Caesar and the famous James Derham of New Orleans are two of the earliest known African American medical practitioners.