On This Day in Black History: December 20
South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union, voting 169-0 for "Ordinance of Secession," proclaiming the state as "an independent commonwealth."
The first anti-lynching law was passed in Georgia, but it only made the violation punishable by four years in prison.
Ethiopia was declared a socialist state under the leadership of Mengistu Haile Mariam.
Max Robinson, the first black network anchor (ABC's World News Tonight), died.
The Convention on a Democratic South Africa ( CODESA) began in Johannesburg with representatives from nineteen groups.
Trent Lott resigned as Senate Republican Leader as he bowed to pressure generated by his comment that the United States would have avoided "all these problems" if then-segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948.

Today's Featured Page
Dr. George Carruthers
Dr. Carruthers is an astrophysicist of international renown. He was the principal inventor of the first moon-based observatory, the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph—a combination spectograph and camera, with an electron intensifier—used for the Apollo 16 mission to the moon in 1972. More...

Previously Featured Pages
Dr. Carter G. Woodson
In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson inaugurated Negro History Week. More...

The Fall of Benin
On February 17, 1897, Benin City fell to the British. On that fateful day in history, the city of Benin lost its independence, its sovereignty, its Oba (king), its control of trade, and its pride. More...

Queen Nzinga
Queen Nzinga's meeting with the Portugese governor, recorded by a Dutch artist, is legendary in the history of Africa's confrontations with Europe. More...

Dr. Carter G. Woodson
In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson inaugurated Negro History Week. More...

Dr. Patricia S. Cowings
Dr. Patricia S. Cowings is the Director of Pyschophysiological Research at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett's Field, California. With a career spanning nearly three decades with NASA, Dr. Cowings was the first American woman selected to be an astronaut way back, as she states, "before Sally Ride's day and they didn't even have a uniform for me." More...

Jackie Robinson
Graduating from UCLA, Jackie Robinson began to play baseball with the Kansas City Monarchs. When Branch Rickey decided to pioneer in hiring Black baseball players, he hired Robinson on October 23, 1945. More...

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