September marks the end of summer. And as fall creeps in, we reflect on the little known history that’s happened in this month. From birth and death dates to historical firsts and celebratory moments, September has no shortage of history. Let’s share these little tidbits of information with one another as we round out our year of Black facts and focus on spreading this knowledge far and wide. For this month in Black history, here are some important things that happened in September that you may have never learned, courtesy of BlackFacts.com.
September 27, 1827 – The first Black U.S. Senator, Hiram R. Revels, is born
September 20, 1830 – First National Black Convention meets
September 5, 1846 – Secretary of the American Negro Academy, John W Cromwell, is born
September 4, 1848 – Inventor and engineer, Lewis Latimer, is born
September 15, 1852 – Inventor Jan E. Matzeliger, who patented a shoe-lasting machine, is born
September 22, 1853 – U.S. Rep George Washington Murray is born
September 5, 1859 – “Our Nig” by Harriet Wilson, is published as the first novel in the U.S. by an African American woman,
September 23, 1863 – First Black person to serve on the DC board of education, Mary Church Terrell is born.
September 21, 1872 – John Henry Conyers of South Carolina became the first Black student at Annapolis Naval Academy
September 2, 1884 – John Parker patents “Parker Pulverizer” U.S. Patent #304,552
September 23, 1884 – J.W. Reed patents Dough Kneader and Roller, making her the first Black woman to receive a US patent.
September 13, 1886 – Philosopher Alain L. Locke is born
September 25, 1886 – Peter “The Black Prince” Jackson wins the Australian heavyweight title, becoming the very first Black man to win a national boxing crown.
September 21, 1891 – Inventor, FW Leslie, patents the envelope seal
September 3, 1895 – NAACP leader, Charles Hamilton Houston, is born
September 8, 1901 – Second Executive Director of the NAACP, Roy Wilkins, passes away
September 29, 1910 – National Urban League is founded
September 1915 – Xavier University, first Black Catholic College in US, opened in New Orleans, LA
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September 9, 1915 – Association for the study of Negro Life and History founded by Carter G. Woodson
September 7, 1917 – Noted Black painter Jacob Lawrence is born
September 14, 1921 – Constance Baker Motley, the first African American woman to become federal judge, is born
September 16, 1925 – Blues singer Ripley B.B. King is born in Itta Bena, Mississippi.
September 23, 1926 – Innovative and famed jazz musician, John Coltrane, is born
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, is born
September 23, 1930 – Singer, songwriter, and musician Ray Charles is born
September 3, 1931 – Geraldine W. Travis, the first Black woman elected to the Montana State Legislature House of Representatives, is born
September 16, 1934 – Elgin Baylor, a professional basketball player is born
September 30, 1935 – John “Johnny” Royce Mathis, singer, is born in Gilmer, Texas
September 16, 1940 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Selective Service Act, allowing Black people to enter all branches of the US Military Service
September 19, 1943 – Joe Morgan, one of the greatest second basemen, is born.
September 12, 1947 – Jackie Robinson is named National League Rookie of the Year
September 1948 – Ralph J. Bunche confirmed by the United Nations Security Council as acting UN mediator in Palestine
September 13, 1948 – Nell Carter, Tony Award-winning Broadway singer, is born
September 22, 1950 – Ralph Bunche becomes the first Black person to receive a Nobel Prize.
September 27, 1950 – Charles H. Houston is awarded the Spingarn Medal for his pioneering work in developing the NAACP legal campaign
September 8, 1954 – American Civil Rights Activist, Ruby Bridges, is born
September 19, 1956 – First international conference of Black writers and artists in Paris
September 8, 1957 – Tennis champion, Althea Gibson, becomes the first Black athlete to win the U.S. Open
September 25, 1962 – Sonny Liston knocks out Floyd Patterson in the first round and became the world heavyweight boxing champion
September 2, 1966 – Professional baseball player, Frank Robinson is named MVP of the American League
September 9, 1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes first Black U.S. Men’s Singles Tennis Champion
September 26, 1968 – The Studio Museum of Harlem opens in NYC
September 18, 1970 – Jimi Hendrix, a rock music legend, passes away.
September 6, 1972 – Idris Elba, British actor, is born
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
September 25, 1974 – Barbara W Hancock becomes the first Black woman named a White House fellow
September 29, 1975 – First Black-owned television in US, WGPR-TV Detroit, begins broadcasting
September 10, 1976 – Educator and Howard University President, Mordecai W. Johnson, passes away
September 1, 1977 – Ethel Waters, singer and actress, passes away
September 11, 1977 – Ludacris, American rapper, is born.
September 11, 1977 – Quincy Jones won an Emmy for musical composition for the miniseries, Roots
September 24, 1977 – John T. Walker installed as the first Black bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
September 4, 1981 – Beyoncé Knowles, is born.
September 26, 1981 – Serena Williams is born.
September 17, 1983 – Vanessa Williams became the first Black woman to be crowned Miss. America.
September 15, 1987 – The famous boxer Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns becomes the first Black man to win boxing titles in five different weight classes.
September 20, 1987 – Alfre Woodard wins an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performance
September 6, 1988 – Lee Roy Young Jr. is sworn in as the first African-American Texas Ranger in the modern history of the force’s 165-year existence
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September 16, 1989 – Debbye Turner is crowned Miss America. She is the third African American to win the crown since the inception of the pageant in 1921.
September 3, 1990 – Jonathan A. Rodgers becomes president of CBS television stations divisions, the highest ranking African American in network television.
September 12, 1992 – Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space
September 7, 1996 – Tupac Shakur, rapper, passes away.
September 4, 2001 – Katherine Dunham becomes the first Black choreographer for the Metropolitan Opera
September 28, 2003 – Althea Gibson, the first Black woman to cross the racial barrier in tennis, passes away
September 7, 2022 – Frances Tiafoe becomes the first Black man to reach the US Open semifinals since Arthur Ashe
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