BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The “Mayflower of Liberia” sets sail for Africa, and Autherine Lucy is removed from UA classes for her own safety”. All this and more in today’s special edition of, “This Day in History”.
On this day in 1820, the first organized immigration of freed slaves to Africa departed from New York. The “Mayflower of Liberia” and its 86 passengers, set sail to Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa. A year later, in 1821, the American Colonization Society founded the colony of Liberia, just south of Sierra Leone. It became a homeland for freed U.S. slaves outside of British rule.
On this day in 1993, Arthur Ashe passed away, after a decade-long battle with HIV-Aids. Ashe was known for his many firsts in the world of tennis. He was the first African-American male player to win Wimbledon, first African-American to be selected to the United States Davis Cup team, and first African-American male player to win the U.S. Open. In 1985, Ashe became the first black U.S. citizen to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. It was revealed that he had contracted HIV from a transfusion of bad blood during his second heart operation in 1983. Before succumbing to pneumonia in 1993, Ashe spent the remainder of his life raising awareness for HIV-Aids.
On this day in 1867, Robert Tanner Jackson became the first African-American to receive a degree in the field of dentistry.
On this day in 1956, Autherine Lucy, three days after becoming the first African-American enrolled student at an Alabama university, was excluded from classes by school officials. Her suspension was “for her own safety” after rioting had broken out over her Supreme Court-ordered enrollment.
On this day in 1967, Muhammad Ali beat Ernie Terrell, by unanimous decision, winning the WBA Heavyweight Boxing Title. Ali’s win gave him back a title that he had never lost. The WBA stripped him of the belt in June of 1964 for his association with the Nation of Islam.
On this day in 1945, music legend Bob Marley was born in Nine Mile, Saint Ann, Jamaica.