It’s about that time again!
July is a great month of firsts. There are so many gems of little known historical facts from birth and death dates and momentous occasions critical to the advancement of Black people. As we continue to shine a spotlight on Black history, we promote a reclamation of our cultural memory. Be sure to share these moments with those you hold dear and ensure that the knowledge continues. For this month in Black history, here are some important things that happened in July that you may have never learned, courtesy of BlackFacts.com.
July 18, 1753 – Lemuel Haynes, first Black man to be ordained as a minister, is born
July 3, 1775 – Prince Hall founds first Black Lodge of FreeMasons in the U.S.
July 21, 1818 – The first Black college professor in the United States, Charles L. Reason, is born
July 4, 1844 – Sculptor Edmonia Lewis is born
July 1862 – Congress authorized the president to accept Blacks for military service.
July 21, 1864 – The first daily Black newspaper, The New Orleans Tribune, is published in English
July 26, 1865 – Patrick Francis Healy becomes the first Black American ever to earn a PhD
July 1868 – Francis L. Cardozo becomes first Black cabinet officer at the state level
July 29, 1870 – George Dixon, the first Black to hold a WORLD title in any sport, is born.
July 23, 1872 – E. McCoy receives patent for steam engine lubricator
July 4, 1881 – Booker T. Washington opens Tuskegee Institute
July 14, 1885 – Sarah E. Goode made history as the first African American woman to receive a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Patent #322,17) for inventing the cabinet bed.
July 1889 – Frederick Douglass accepts appointment as Minister to Haiti
July 1, 1893 – NAACP leader Walter Francis White is born
July 29, 1895 – The First National Convention of Black women held in Boston, MA
July 1, 1899 – Thomas Dorsey, The Father of Gospel Music, is born
July 5, 1899 – Anna Arnold Hedgeman, first Black woman to hold a position in the NY Mayoral Cabinet, is born
July 18, 1899 – L.C. Bailey granted patent #620,286 for the folding bed
July 1905 – Niagara Movement was founded by W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter
July 7, 1906 – Baseball star Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige is born
July 2, 1908 – Thurgood Marshall, first Black Supreme Court Justice, is born
July 29, 1909 – Novelist Chester Himes is born
July 4, 1912 – First Black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson defeats Jim Flynn
July 8, 1914 – Jazz Singer Billy Eckstine is born
July 11, 1915 -Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, publisher of the first Black newspaper in California, passes away
July 28, 1917 – NAACP’s Silent Protest Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City becomes one of the first major mass demonstrations by African Americans
July 18, 1918 – Nelson Mandela, first Black president of South Africa, is born
July 2, 1925 – Civil rights activist Medgar Evers is born
July 2, 1925 – Patrice Lumumba, first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is born
July 11, 1925 – Legendary opera star, Mattiwilda Dobbs, is born
July 9, 1927 – William T. Francis, Minnesota’s first African American diplomat, was named U.S. Minister and Consul to Liberia
July 10, 1927 – David Dinkins, the first black mayor of New York City, is born
July 3, 1929 – David Lynch of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group The Platters, is born
July 6 1931 – Entertainer Della Reese is born
July 16, 1934 – Donald Payne, first African American congressman from New Jersey, is born
July 2, 1935 – Edward Bullins, playwright and pioneer in Black Arts Movement, is born
July 12, 1936 – Actress and Founder of the Negros People Theater, Rose McClendon, dies.
July 3, 1940 – Singer/songwriter Fontella Bass is born
July 22, 1941 – One of the foremost innovators of funk music, George Clinton, is born
July 25, 1941 – Emmett Till is born
July 10, 1943 – First Black male to win Wimbledon, Arthur Ashe, is born.
July 22, 1946 – Actor Danny Glover is born
July 9, 1947 – Former NFL star O.J. Simpson is born
July 6, 1949 – Singer Phyllis Hyman is born
July 25, 1953 – NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton is born
July 20, 1954 – Freeman Robertson Bosley, Jr., the first African American mayor of St. Louis, Missouri
July 3, 1956 – Talk show host Montel Williams is born
July 31, 1956 – Deval L. Patrick, the second African American elected as a state Governor, is born
July 17, 1959 – Singer Billie Holiday passes away
July 1, 1961 – Olympic track and field star Carl Lewis is born
July 15, 1961 – Forest Whitaker, African American actor, producer and director, is born.
July 30, 1961 – Award winning actor, Laurence Fishburne, is born
July 1, 1962 – Actor Andre Braugher is born
July 31, 1962 – Beloved actor Wesley Snipes is born
July 4, 1963 – Epsy Campbell Barr, Costa Rica’s first Black woman VP, is born
July 24, 1963 – Basketball player, Karl Malone, is born
July 27, 1963 – Inventor Garret Morgan passes away
July 24, 1964 – Baseball superstar Barry Bonds is born
July 3, 1966 – MLB star Moises Alou is born
July 15, 1970 – James H. McGhee was sworn in as Dayton’s first Black mayor.
July 1, 1971 – Rap icon Missy Elliott is born
July 1, 1971 – Learie Constantine, international cricketer and first Black UK peer, passes away
July 6, 1971 – Louis Armstrong passes away
July 6, 1971 – Engineer Henry T. Sampson received patent for gamma-electric cell
July 7, 1972 – Basketball superstar Lisa Leslie is born
July 5, 1975 – Arthur Ashe becomes first Black man to win the men’s single title at Wimbledon
July 1976 – Newark Mayor Kenneth Gibson makes history as first Black president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
July 16, 1977 – Janelle “Penny” Commissiong crowned as the First Black Miss Universe.
July 31, 1981 – Attorney Arnette R. Hubbard was installed as the first woman president of the National Bar Association
July 3, 1983 – Calvin Smith makes history as the fastest man alive
July 29, 1988 – Haben Girma, the first deaf and blind graduate of Harvard Law School, is born.
July 4, 1991 – The National Civil Rights Museum is dedicated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee
July 4, 2009 – Former NFL star Steve McNair passes away
July 8, 2010 – David Harold Blackwell, first African American elected to the National Academy
of Sciences, passes away
July 27, 2011 – Charles Leroy, the first African American secret service agent, passes away
July 2, 2015 – Dexter Dillard Eure Sr., pioneering Boston Globe columnist, passes away
Cover photo: This month in Black History: Important things that happened in July that you never learned/Actress Della Reese/Photo Courtesy of Getty Images/Country Living Magazine