1980- Tennis great Venus Williams was born.
1972- Frank Willis, Washington security guard, foiled break-in at offices of Democratic National Committee in first event of the Watergate conspiracy.
1957- Tuskegee Boycott began. Blacks boycotted city stores in protest against act of state legislature which deprived them of municipal votes by placing their homes outside of city limits.
1948- Actress Phylicia Rashad was born in Houston, Texas.
1937-Journalist Robert Maynard was born. Maynard was owner, editor and publisher of “The Oakland Tribune,” was born in the borough of Brooklyn, NY.
1928-Flamboyant blues singer, “the Godfather of Soul,” James Brown is born in Pulaski, Tennessee.
1897- William Frank Powell, New Jersey educator, named minister to Haiti.
1871- Author, lyricist, poet and educator James Weldon Johnson, also the first Black executive of the NAACP, is born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1862- Congress authorized President Lincoln to accept blacks in the Union Army.
1775- Black soldiers fought at Battle of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill. Among the heroes of the battle were Peter Salem and Salem Poor. Peter Salem, a free slave was a private in Captain Simon Edgel’s company and was the first military hero of the War of Independence against British rule. On June 17, 1775, at a crucial moment in the battle, when British major John Pitcairn, had rallied the disorganized British troops and prepared a counter attack, Salem, shot the major through the head just after he yelled “The day is Ours” in the battle. Peter had gained his freedom upon enlistment in the militia. After the major was killed the Brititsh lost their nerve and battle. Afterward, Salem’s fellow soldiers took up a collection for him. He was also honored by a visit to meet George Washington and by a monument placed over his grave in Framingham,Massachusetts in 1882.