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

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

We’re kicking off fall with Black history facts!

Here’s some Black history that you may not have learned, brought to you by Black Facts:

Robert T. Freeman First Black Person Harvard Dental

September 1

1867 – Robert T Freeman becomes the first Black person to graduate from Harvard Dental School.

1975 – Gen. Daniel (“Chappie”) James Jr. promoted to rank of four-star general and named commander-in-chief of the North American Air Defense Command

September 2

1975 – Joseph W. Hatchett was sworn in as the first Black supreme court justice in the South in the twentieth century

September 3

1895 – NAACP leader, Charles Hamilton Houston, was born

1931 — Geraldine W. Travis becomes the first Black woman elected to the Montana State Legislature House of Representatives

1970 — Representatives from the 27 African nations, the Caribbean nations, four South American countries, Australia, and the U.S. meet in Atlanta for the first Congress of African People

September 4

1848 — Inventor and engineer, Louis Latimer, was born


September 5

1846 — Secretary of the American Negro Academy, John W Cromwell, was born

1895 — Republican George Washington Murray was elected to Congress by South Carolina

September 6

1930 — Leander Jay Shaw, Jr., justice of the Florida State Supreme Court (1983), first African American chief justice (1990) in Florida, the second African American chief justice in any state supreme court

Sonny Rollins Jazz Icon September 7 Birthday

September 7

1917 — Noted Black painter Jacob Lawrence was born

1930 — Jazz icon, Sonny Rollins, was born

1954 — The start of Integration in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD public schools

2022 — Frances Tiafoe becomes the first Black man to reach the US Open semifinals since Arthur Ashe

September 8

1901 — Second Executive Director of the NAACP, Roy Wilkins, died

1954 — American Civil Rights Activist, Ruby Bridges, is born

September 9

1908 — Noted author of Native Son Richard Wright was born

1915 — Association for the study of Negro Life and History founded by Carter G. Woodson

1941 — Songwriter and record producer, Otis Redding, was born

1957 — The first civil rights bill since reconstruction was passed by President Eisenhower

1968 — Arthur Ashe becomes first Black U.S. Men’s Singles Tennis Champion

September 10

1973 – The U.S. Postal Service honored Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African American artist elected to the National Academy of Design with a commemorative stamp

1976 - Educator and Howard University President, Mordecai W. Johnson, died

September 11

1913 — Track star and Olympic medalist, Jesse Owens, was born

1959 — Duke Ellington won the Springarn Medal for his musical achievements

1977 — Quincy Jones won an Emmy for musical composition for the miniseries, Roots

Dr. Mae Jamison First Black Woman in Space NASA BOTWC

September 12

1947 — Jackie Robinson was named National League Rookie of the Year

1992 — Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space

September 13

1881 — Lewis Latimer invented and patented an electric lamp with a carbon filament

1886 — Philosopher Alain L. Lovke was born 

September 14

1940 — President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Selective Service Act, allowing Black people to enter all branches of the US Military Service

September 15

1830 — The first National Negro Convention began in Philadelphia

1852 — Inventor Jan E. Matzeliger, who patented a shoe lasting machine, was born 

1964 — Rev. K.L. Buford and Dr. Stanley Smith were elected to Tuskegee City Council and became the first Black elected officials in Alabama in twentieth century

September 16

1848 — The French abolish Slavery in all their territories

1889 — Birthday of Claude A. Barnett, founder of the Associated Negro Press, the first and only Black news wire services in the US. Barnett, who died in 1967, was a 1906 graduate of Tuskegee Institute

September 17

1861 — First day of school for freed men founded at Fortress Monroe, VA with a Black teacher, Mary Peake

1861 — Hampton Institute founded


1983 — Vanessa Williams became the first Black woman to be crowned Miss. America. 

September 18

1850 — Congress passed Fugitive Slave Law as part of the Compromise of 1850

1948 — Ralph J. Bunche confirmed by United Nations Security Council as acting UN mediator in Palestine

September 19

1881 — Booker T. Washington opens the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama

1956 — First international conference of Black writers and artists in Paris

September 20

1830 — First National Black Convention meets

1987 — Alfre Woodard wins an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performance

September 21

1872 — John Henry Conyers of South Carolina became the first Black student at Annapolis Naval Academy

1891 — Inventor, FW Leslie, patents the envelope seal

September 22

1915 — Xavier University, first Black Catholic College in US, opened in New Orleans, LA

1950 — Ralph Bunche becomes the first Black person to receive a Nobel Prize.

September 23

1863 — Civil Rights Activist and the Black person to serve on the DC board of education, Mary Church Terrell was born

1926 — Innovative and famed jazz musician, John Coltrane, was born

1930 — Singer, songwriter, and musician Ray Charles was born

September 24

1957 — Desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

1977 — John T. Walker installed as the first Black bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Sonny Liston vs Floyd Patterson KO Heavyweight Boxing Champion BOTWC

September 25

1861 — Secretary of Navy authorized enlistment of slaves as Union sailors

1962 — Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round and became the world heavyweight boxing champion

1974 — Barbara W Hancock becomes the first Black woman named a White House fellow

September 26

1867 — Business and civic leader, Maggie L Walker, was born

1968 — The Studio Museum of Harlem opens in NYC

September 27

1827 — The first Black U.S. Senator, Hiram R. Revels, was born

1950 — Charles H. Houston was awarded the Spingarn Medal for his pioneering work in developing the NAACP legal campaign

1954 — School integration began in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD, public schools

September 28

1829 — Black Abolitionist, David Walker, was born

September 29

1910 — National Urban League was founded

1975 — WGPR-TV, the first fully Black-owned and operated television station in the U.S., debuted

September 30

1935 — John “Johnny” Royce Mathis, singer, was born in Gilmer, Texas

1975 — Boxing legend Muhammad Ali won the “Thrilla in Manilla” fight against Joe Frazier


1991 — Mike Powell broke the world long jump record when he jumped 8.95 meters at a meet in Tokyo, Japan


PHOTO: CUNYEDU/NASA/Fight Sports/NPR/Zentist