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This Month In Black History: Important Things That Happened In October That You Never Learned

This Month In Black History: Important Things That Happened In October That You Never Learned

Let’s brush up on our history!

It’s officially fall and there is so much to celebrate. October brings about many changes as we prepare for autumn, winter holidays, and the end of another year. October is also full of important historic milestones that we think you should know! Black history is an everyday occurrence, and each month brings about the birth of new pioneers, momentous victories, pivotal moments, and the transition of trailblazers into ancestors. In our latest recap, here is a list of important things in Black history that happened in October, courtesy of and Black History Ed Zone:


October 1, 1937 - The Spingarn Medal was awarded to NAACP secretary Walter White for his role as an advocate in the anti-lynching movement.


October 1, 1952 - Joseph Black made history as the first Black pitcher to win a World Series game.


October 1, 1960 - Nigeria was proclaimed independent.


October 2, 1967 - Thurgood Marshall made history as the first Black Supreme Court Justice to be sworn in.


October 2, 2005 - World-renowned playwright August Wilson passed away at 60.


October 2, 1800 - Revolutionary insurrectionist Nat Turner was born in Southampton County, Virginia.


October 3, 1904 - Mary McLeod Bethune opened the Daytona Normal and Industrial School in Daytona Beach.


October 4, 1864 - Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez launched the New Orleans Tribune, the first African American daily newspaper, which was published in both French and English.


October 4, 1951 - Henrietta Lacks passed away from cervical cancer after treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.


October 6, 1871 - The Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University began their first national singing tour.


October 6, 1917 - Activist Fannie Lou Hamer was born.


October 7, 1897 - The honorable Elijah Muhammad was born.


October 7, 1931 - Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born.


October 7, 1934 - Poet and Activist Amiri Baraka was born.


October 7, 1993 - Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature.


October 9, 1823 - Mary Ann Shadd, the first Black woman publisher, was born.


October 11, 1887 - Alexander Miles received a patent for automatic elevator doors


October 12, 1932 - Activist and comedian Dick Gregory was born.


October 13, 1914 - Inventor Garrett T. Morgan patented the gas mask.


October 13, 1962 - NFL Hall of Famer and co-owner of the first Black-owned energy drink, Jerry Rice, was born.

October 14, 1958 - Washington, D.C. Bar Association voted to accept African-Americans as members.


October 14, 1964 - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made history as the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.


October 15, 1938 - Fela Kuti, the pioneer of Afrobeat, was born. 


October 16, 1995 - Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan held Million Man March at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 

October 17, 1956 - Mae Jemison, the first Black woman astronaut to go to space, was born. 


October 17, 2019 - Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings passed away at the age of 68.


October 19, 1859 - Educator Byrd Prillerman, co-founder of Virginia State College, was born. 


October 19, 1870 - First Black Republicans, Joseph H. Rainey, Robert C. Delarge, and Robert B. Elliott were elected to the House of Representatives. 


October 21, 1872 - John H. Conyers made history as the first African-American to serve in the United States Naval Academy.


October 21, 1979 - Fashion designer Lois Alexander opened the Black Fashion Museum in Harlem, New York.


October 22, 1955 - The first Black post office opened in Atlanta, Georgia.


October 24, 1948 - Activist Kweisi Mfume was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

October 25, 1940 - Benjamin O. Davis made history as the first Black general in the United States Army.


October 26, 1911 - The Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, was born. 


October 27, 1924 - Trailblazing actress Ruby Dee was born.


October 27, 1981 - Former UN Ambassador and Civil Rights leader Andrew Young was elected as mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. 


October 30, 1974 - Muhammad Ali defeated George Foreman in a heavyweight boxing title match. 

October 31, 1945 - Booker T. Washington was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. 


October 1944 - The United States Navy began admitting Black women via the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) program. 


October 1950 - Political Scientist Ralph Bunche made history as the first Black man to win the Nobel Peace Prize.


October 1966 - The Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California by Huey P. Newton & Bobby Seale. 


October 1989 - Colin Powell began service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


October 2009 - Forever President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.


October 2019 - Simone Biles made history as the most decorated gymnast of all time, winning her 5th consecutive all-around world gymnastic title and her 25th world medal. 


October 2021 - Bubba Wallace made history as the first Black driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race since 1963.


This month in Black history: Important things that happened in October that you never learned. Photo Courtesy of Julian C. Wilson, Associated Press.