BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam paving the way for the birth of Muhammad Ali, and the New England Freedman’s Aid Society is founded. All this and more in today’s special edition of, “This Day in History”.
On this day in 1926, the first Negro History Week was officially observed for the first time. Carter G. Woodson had fought for the creation of the week which would eventually become Black History Month.
On this day in 1964, Boxer Cassius Clay joined the Nation of Islam. His conversion would lead to him removing his quote “slave name”, and becoming Muhammad Ali.
On this day in 1945, President Harry S. Truman appointed Irwin C. Mollison as judge of the U.S. Customs Courts.
On this date in 1862, the New England Freedman’s Aid Society was founded in Boston, Massachusetts. The purpose of the Society was to assist free blacks, including former slaves. They provided schooling and other services for over a decade.
In terms of birthdays, James Hubert Blake, better known as Eubie Blake, was born on this day in 1883. Blake is remembered as a revered ragtime pianist and composer of many musicals, and for partnership with singer-songwriter Noble Sissle. His most famous musical, Shuffle Along, was known to cause traffic jams right before show time as people made their way to the play. Blake lasted a whole century on this earth, passing away a few days after his 100th birthday.
Also born on this day in 1965, was comedian Christopher Julius “Chris” Rock III. A prominent writer, producer, director, and actor, Rock has appeared on both the big and small screen over the years. The Grammy and Emmy award winning Rock was also once named the 5th best Stand-Up comedian of all time by Comedy Central.
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