As we recognize Black History Month, here are a few things that happened on this day in Black History:

  • 1793: Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Law to implement the provisions in the Constitution. It stated that to reclaim an escaped slave a master needed only to go before a magistrate and provide oral or written proof of ownership. The magistrate would then issue an order for the arrest of the slave.
  • 1869: Issac Burns Murphy, the famous jockey, dies.
  • 1882: Black rights activist Henry Highland Garnet dies, soon after being appointed the U.S. ambassador to Liberia.
  • 1900: For an Abraham Lincoln birthday celebration, James Weldon Johnson writes the lyrics for "Lift Every Voice and Sing." With music by his brother J. Rosamond, the song is first sung by 500 children in Jacksonville, Fla. It will become known as the "Negro National Anthem."
  • 1909: The NAACP was founded in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice.
  • 1930: In Tuskegee, Alabama, the Rosenwald Fund made grants to the Alabama State Board of Health to help meet the cost of a study of syphilis in African-American men living in rural Georgia and Alabama.
  • 1948: First Lt. Nancy C. Leftenant became the first black accepted in the regular army nursing corps.
  • 1956: Arsenio Hall, the first black late-night talk show host, was born.
  • 1962: The bus boycott started in Macon, Ga.