On This Day in Black History: January 31
1805
Mungo Park set sail from Portsmouth to Africa to discover the course of the great river Niger.
1865
Congress approved the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.
1919
Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier, was born.
1962
Samuel L. Gravely was appointed captain of the Navy Destroyer Escort U.S.S. Falgout, thus becoming the first African-American to command a United States warship.
1963
James Baldwin's influential collection of essays, The Fire Next Time, was published.
1988
Doug Williams, the first African-American to play in a Super Bowl game, won Super Bowl XXII Most Valuable Player honors when he led Washington to a 42-10 rout of the Denver Broncos.

Today's Featured Page
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...


Previously Featured Pages
Granvillle T. Woods
During his lifetime, Granville T. Woods held over thirty-five patents. More than a dozen of these patents were inventions for electric railways but most of them were focused on electrical control and distribution. 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...

African-American Astronauts
Guion S. Bluford became the first African-American to go into space in August 1983 aboard the Challenger. More...

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...

Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman became the first black woman ever to fly an airplane and the first African American to earn an international pilot's license. More...

The Dogon of Mali
For centuries, the Dogon of Mali have had an excellent understanding of the solar system, particularly the Sirius star system. More...