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On This Day in Black History: April 16
Slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia, nine months before President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation.
African-American citizens of Washington, D.C. staged an elaborate parade on the fourth anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the nation's capital. Approximately 5,000 people marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, past 10,000 cheering spectators, to Franklin Square for religious services and speeches by prominent politicians. Two of the many black regiments that had gained distinction in the Civil War led the procession.
Elizabeth Catlett, internationally known sculptor and printmaker, was born.
Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Lewis Alcindor, Jr.
South African president Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, was shot and injured in an assassination attempt by David Pratt, weeks after the
A contingent of Rastafarians seeking their "African homeland" arrived in Ethiopia.
Archbishop Joseph Rummel excommunicated three Louisana segregrationists due to their continued resistance to the integration of New Orleans's parochial schools.
Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
Desmond Dekker became the first Jamaican singer to top the U.K. charts with his song, "The Israelites."
Alex Haley found his roots in Juffure, Gambia.
Arthur Ashe retired from competitive tennis. His professional record: 818 wins, 260 losses. He won 51 titles.
The West Indies cricket team completed their 5-0 demolition of England.
August Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize for his play, Fences.
Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, died.

Today's Featured Page
Caught between dissident factions within his military and Europeans searching for gold, Lobengula thwarted the internal dissent by signing a number of treaties with the Europeans without jeopardizing his sovereignty. More...

Previously Featured Pages
Ernest Everett Just
Ernest E. Just was a "scientist's scientist". Dr. Charles Drew, a pioneer in blood plasma research himself, described Dr. Just as "a biologist of unusual skill and the greatest of our original thinkers in the field". More...

Amy Jacques Garvey
Amy Jacques Garvey, wife of Marcus Garvey, did not derive her legitimacy from the status of her husband. She was a leading Pan-Africanist and Black Nationalist in her own right. More...

Althea Gibson
Surmounting the obstacles of poverty and racism, Althea Gibson reached the pinnacle of her sport against the odds, becoming the first African American woman to win a major tennis tournament. More...

The Emancipation Act
On August 1, 1834, the Emancipation Act came into force, after fifty years of bitter debate in Britain over the morality and profitability of slavery. It did not abolish servitude, but it was the first significant promise of freedom. More...

Dr. Percy Julian
Born in 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Percy Julian's research yielded more than 100 patents. He created derivative drugs to treat glaucoma and arthritis at a reasonable cost. His research on the soybean led to discoveries in the manufacture of drugs, hormones, vitamins, paint and paper. More...

Marie-Joseph Angélique
Marie-Joseph Angélique was a slave owned by François Poulin of Montreal in the early 1730s. Being in her sexual prime, she was expected to breed with male slaves as well as provide sexual services to her master. Angélique had other plans. More...

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