Category: 1850 – 1899

September 18 1866- Mary Burnett

GM – FBF – The story that I would like to share with you today is about a Black woman who was a civil rights leader, a college graduate, educator and a high school principal. She was involved with the Niagara movement and the N.A.A.C.P. Enjoy her story!

Remember – “The greatness of nations is shown by their strict regard for human rights, rigid enforcement of the law without bias, and just administration of the affairs of life.” -Mary Burnett Talbert

Today, in our History – September 18, 1866 – Mary Burnett Talbert was born.

Mary Burnett Talbert, clubwoman and civil rights leader, was originally born Mary Burnett on September 18, 1866 in Oberlin, Ohio, to Cornelius and Caroline Nicholls Burnett. Mary Burnett graduated from Oberlin High School at the age of sixteen and in 1886 graduated from Oberlin College with a literary degree at nineteen. Shortly afterwards, Burnett accepted a teaching position at Bethel University in Little Rock, Arkansas and quickly rose in the segregated educational bureaucracy of the city.

In 1887, after only a year at Bethel University, Burnett became the first African American woman to be selected Assistant Principal of Little Rock High School. Four years later in 1891, however, Burnett married William H. Talbert, an affluent business man for Buffalo, New York and resigned her position at Little Rock High School and moved to her husband’s hometown. One year later Mary B. and William Talbert gave birth to their only child, a daughter, Sarah May Talbert.

Over the next thirty years Mary Talbert established herself as an accomplished public and civic leader in Buffalo. In 1899 she became one of the founding members of the Phyllis Wheatley Club of Colored Women, Buffalo’s first affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). Six years later in 1905, Mary B. Talbert secretly hosted black political activists including W.E.B Du Bois, John Hope and nearly thirty others around her dining room table for the first meeting of what would eventually become the Niagara Movement, a forerunner to the National Association of Advancement for Colored People (NAACP). Talbert became one of the first women to join the NAACP after its founding in 1909. In 1916, Talbert was elected President of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the Vice President of the NAACP. In 1917 Talbert became one of a handful of black Red Cross nurses to serve on the Western Front of Europe after the United States entered World War I.

After the war Talbert returned to Europe to lecture on the importance of women’s rights and race relations. She also became a dedicated advocate of the Dyer Anti–Lynching Bill introduced in 1919 by Missouri Congressman Leonidas Dyer. In 1921 she became chair of the NAACP’s Anti–Lynching Committee. The next year, Mary B. Talbert became the first African American Women to win the NAACP’s Spingarn Award, the organization’s most significant honor for civil rights activity. Mary Burnett Talbert died in Buffalo, New York on October 15, 1923 at the age of 57. Research more about Black women and civil rights and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

September 2 1884- John Parker

GM – FBF – Today I would like to tell you a story about a black Inventor who was a slave but learned to read and write which would change his life. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Buying my freedom was the first step in becomming a person that could help others”

Today in our History – September 2, 1884 – John Parker patents ” Parker Pulverizer” – It was a follower – Screw for Tobacco Process U.S. Patent # 304,552
The story is below and make it a champion day! I will be traveling today and will not be able to respond to your words until this afternoon. Sorry for the layout but the computer at the hotel limits my ability to tell the story the way I want. Research the story and share with your babies.



John Parker | The Black Inventor Online Museum

Created a Screw for a Tobacco Press.

August 21 1893- George Speck

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a story that you all love or his Invention anyway. You love it so much that your parents introduced it to you and you have welcomed it to your family. It was a hard road for this Black man but he overcame the odds. Enjoy!

Remember – ” Who would have thought that potato shavings would be a treat for the world. – George Crum

Today in our History – August 21,1893 – The Potato Chip was massed produced.

George Speck (also called George Crum; 1824– July 22, 1914) was an American chef. He worked as a hunter, guide, and cook in the Adirondack mountains, and became renowned for his culinary skills after being hired at Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, near Saratoga Springs, New York.

Speck’s specialities included wild game, especially venison and duck, and he often experimented in the kitchen. During the 1850s, while working at Moon’s Lake House in the midst of a dinner rush, Speck tried slicing the potatoes extra thin and dropping it into the deep hot fat of the frying pan. Although recipes for potato chips were published in several cookbooks decades prior to the 1850s, a local legend associates Speck with the creation of potato chip.

Speck was born on July 15, 1824 in Saratoga County in upstate New York. Some sources suggest that the family lived in Ballston Spa or Malta; others suggest they came from the Adirondacks. Depending upon the source, his father, Abraham, and mother Diana, were variously identified as African American, Oneida, Stockbridge, and/or Mohawk. Some sources associate the family with the St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk reservation that straddles the US/Canada border. Speck and his sister Kate Wicks, like other Native American or mixed-race people of that era, were variously described as “Indian,” “Mulatto,” “Black,” or just “Colored,” depending on the snap judgement of the census taker.

Speck developed his culinary skills at Cary Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, noted as an expensive restaurant at a time when wealthy families from Manhattan and other areas were building summer “camps” in the area. Speck and his sister, Wicks, also cooked at the Sans Souci in Ballston Spa, alongside another St. Regis Mohawk Indian known for his skills as a guide and cook, Pete Francis. One of the regular customers at Moon’s was Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, although he savored the food, could never seem to remember Speck’s name. On one occasion, he called a waiter over to ask “Crum,” “How long before we shall eat?” Rather than take offense, Speck decided to embrace the nickname, figuring that, “A crumb is bigger than a speck.”[

Speck developed his culinary skills at Cary Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, noted as an expensive restaurant at a time when wealthy families from Manhattan and other areas were building summer “camps” in the area. Speck and his sister, Wicks, also cooked at the Sans Souci in Ballston Spa, alongside another St. Regis Mohawk Indian known for his skills as a guide and cook, Pete Francis.[

One of the regular customers at Moon’s was Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, although he savored the food, could never seem to remember Speck’s name. On one occasion, he called a waiter over to ask “Crum,” “How long before we shall eat?” Rather than take offense, Speck decided to embrace th e nickname, figuring that, “A crumb is bigger than a speck.” a yed no favorites.” Guests were obliged to wait their turn, the millionaire as well as the wage-earner. Mr. Vanderbilt once was obliged to wait an hour and a half for a meal…With none but rich pleasure-seekers as his guests, Speck kept his tables laden with the best of everything, and for it all charged Delmonico prices.”[

Recipes for frying potato slices were published in several cookbooks in the 19th century. In 1832, a recipe for fried potato “shavings” was included in a United States cookbook derived from an earlier English collection. William Kitchiner’s The Cook’s Oracle (1822), also included techniques for such a dish. Similarly, N.K.M. Lee’s cookbook, The Cook’s Own Book (1832), has a recipe that is very similar to Kitchiner’s.

The New York Tribune ran a feature article on “Crum’s: The Famous Eating House on Saratoga Lake” in December 1891, but mentioned nothing about potato chips. Neither did Crum’s commissioned biography, published in 1893, nor did one 1914 obituary in a local paper. Another obituary states “Crum is said to have been the actual inventor of “Saratoga chips.”” When Wicks died in 1924, however, her obituary authoritatively identified her as follows: “A sister of George Crum, Mrs. Catherine Wicks, died at the age of 102, and was the cook at Moon’s Lake House. She first invented and fried the famous Saratoga Chips.”

Wicks recalled the invention of Saratoga Chips as an accident: she had “chipped off a piece of the potato which, by the merest accident, fell into the pan of fat. She fished it out with a fork and set it down upon a plate beside her on the table.” Her brother tasted it, declared it good, and said, “We’ll have plenty of these.” In a 1932 interview with the Saratogian newspaper, her grandson, John Gilbert Freeman, asserted Wicks’s role as the true inventor of the potato chip.

Hugh Bradley’s 1940 history of Saratoga contains some information about Speck, based on local folklore as much as on any specific historical primary sources. In their 1983 article in Western Folklore, Fox and Banner say that Bradley had cited an 1885 article in the Hotel Gazette about Speck and the potato chips. Bradley repeated some material from that article, including that “Crum was born in 1828, the son of Abe Speck, a mulatto jockey who had come from Kentucky to Saratoga Springs and married a Stockbridge Indian woman,” and that, “Crum also claimed to have considerable German and Spanish blood.”

In any event, Speck helped popularize the potato chip, first as a cook at Moon’s and then in his own place. Cary Moon, owner of Moon’s Lake House, later rushed to claim credit for the invention, and began mass-producing the chips, first served in paper cones, then packaged in boxes. They became wildly popular: “It was at Moon’s that Clio first tasted the famous Saratoga chips, said to have originated there, and it was she who first scandalized spa society by strolling along Broadway and about the paddock at the race track crunching the crisp circlets out of a paper sack as though they were candy or peanuts. She made it the fashion, and soon you saw all Saratoga dipping into cornucopias filled with golden-brown paper-thin potatoes; a gathered crowd was likely to create a sound like a scuffling through dried autumn leaves.” Visitors to Saratoga Springs were advised to take the 10-mile journey around the lake to Moon’s if only for the chips: “the hobby of the Lake House is Fried Potatoes, and these they serve in good style. They are sold in papers like confectionary.”

A 1973 advertising campaign by the St. Regis Paper Company, which manufactured packaging for chips, featured an ad for Speck and his story, published in the national magazines, Fortune and Time. During the late 1970s, the variant of the story featuring Vanderbilt became popular because of the interest in his wealth and name, and evidence suggests the source was an advertising agency for the Potato Chip/Snack Food Association.

A 1983 article in Western Folklore identifies potato chips as having originated in Saratoga Springs, New York, while critiquing the variants of popular stories. In all versions, the chips became popular and subsequently known as “Saratoga chips” or “potato crunches”.

The 21st-century Snopes website writes that Crum’s customer, if he existed, was more likely an obscure one. Vanderbilt was indeed a regular customer at both Crum’s Malta restaurant and Moon’s Lake House, but there is no evidence that he played a role by requesting or promoting potato chips. Research more about Black Inventors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 14 1894- Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria

GM – FBF – Today, I have a story that I know you have not heard of. This lady was a diva long before any woman singer/dancer or artist that you can think of. She was strong willed and lived a long life. Enjoy the story of “Bricktop”!

Remember – ” As I get older in life, I hear talk about this new great female singer or artist and I love them and the work that they do but for some reason America has forgotten about me. – Ada ” Bricktop” Smith

Today in our History – August 14, 1894 – Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith, better known as Bricktop, was 

Ada Beatrice Queen Victoria Louise Virginia Smith, better known as Bricktop, (August 14, 1894 – February 1, 1984) was an American dancer, jazz singer, vaudevillian, and self-described saloon-keeper who owned the nightclub Chez Bricktop in Paris from 1924 to 1961, as well as clubs in Mexico City and Rome. She has been called “…one of the most legendary and enduring figures of twentieth-century American cultural history.”

Smith was born in Alderson, West Virginia, the youngest of four children by an Irish father and a black mother. When her father died, her family relocated to Chicago. It was there that saloon life caught her fancy, and where she acquired her nickname, “Bricktop,” for the flaming red hair and freckles inherited from her father. She began performing when she was very young, and by 16, she was touring with TOBA (Theatre Owners’ Booking Association) and on the Pantagesvaudeville circuit. Aged 20, her performance tours brought her to New York City. While at Barron’s Exclusive Club, a nightspot in Harlem, she put in a good word for a band called Elmer Snowden’s Washingtonians, and the club booked them. One of its members was Duke Ellington.

Her first meeting with Cole Porter is related in her obituary in the Huntington (West Virginia) Herald-Dispatch:
Porter once walked into the cabaret and ordered a bottle of wine. “Little girl, can you do the Charleston?” he asked. Yes, she said. And when she demonstrated the new dance, he exclaimed, “What legs! What legs!”

John Steinbeck was once thrown out of her club for “ungentlemanly behavior.” He regained her affection by sending a taxi full of roses.

By 1924, she was in Paris. Cole Porter hosted many parties, “lovely parties” as Bricktop called them, where he hired her as an entertainer, often to teach his guests the latest dance craze such as the Charleston and the Black Bottom. In Paris, Bricktop began operating the clubs where she performed, including The Music Box and Le Grand Duc. She called her next club “Chez Bricktop,” and in 1929 she relocated it to 66 rue Pigalle. Her headliner was a young Mabel Mercer, who was to become a legend in cabaret.

Known for her signature cigars, the “doyenne of cafe society” drew many celebrated figures to her club, including Cole Porter, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald mentions the club in his 1931 short story Babylon Revisited. Her protégés included Duke Ellington, Mabel Mercer and Josephine Baker. She worked with Langston Hughes when he was still a busboy. The Cole Porter song “Miss Otis Regrets” was written especially for her to perform.[citation needed] Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli wrote a song called “Brick Top,” which they recorded in Paris in 1937 and in Rome in 1949.
She married saxophonist Peter DuConge in 1929.

Though they separated after a few years, they never divorced, Bricktop later saying that “as a Catholic I do not recognize divorce”. According to Jean-Claude Baker, one of Josephine Baker’s children, as recorded in his book about his mother’s life, titled Josephine: The Hungry Heart, Baker and Bricktop were involved in a lesbian affair for a time, early in their careers.

Bricktop broadcast a radio program in Paris from 1938 to 1939, for the French government. During WWII, she closed “Chez Bricktop” and moved to Mexico City where she opened a new nightclub in 1944. In 1949, she returned to Europe and started a club in Rome. Bricktop closed her club and retired in 1961 at the age of 67, saying: “I’m tired, honey. Tired of staying up all night.” Afterwards, she moved back to the United States.

Bricktop continued to perform as a cabaret entertainer well into her eighties, including some engagements at the age of 84 in London, where she proved herself to be as professional and feisty as she had ever been and included Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” in her repertoire.

Bricktop made a brief cameo appearance, as herself, in Woody Allen’s 1983 mockumentary film Zelig, in which she “reminisced” about a visit by Leonard Zelig to her club, and an unsuccessful attempt by Cole Porter to find a rhyme for “You’re the tops, you’re Leonard Zelig.” She appeared in the 1974 Jack Jordan’s film Honeybaby, Honeybaby, in which she played herself, operating a “Bricktop’s” in Beirut, Lebanon.

In 1972, Bricktop made her only recording, “So Long Baby,” with Cy Coleman. Nevertheless, she also recorded a few Cole Porter songs in New-York City at the end of the seventies with pianist Dorothy Donegan. The session was directed by Otis Blackwell, produced by Jack Jordan on behalf of the Sweet Box Company. The songs recorded are: “Love For Sale”, “Miss Otis Regrets”, “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe”, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”, “Am I Blue?” and “He’s Funny That Way”. This recording was never released as of today. She preferred not to be called a singer or dancer, but rather a performer.

She wrote her autobiography, Bricktop by Bricktop, with the help of James Haskins, the prolific author who wrote biographies of Thurgood Marshall and Rosa Parks. It was published in 1983 by Welcome Rain Publishers (ISBN 0-689-11349-8). Bricktop died in her sleep in her apartment in Manhattan in 1984, aged 89. She remained active into her old age and according to James Haskins, had talked to friends on the phone hours before her death. She is interred in the Zinnia Plot (Range 32, Grave 74) at Woodlawn Cemetery. Reed more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 12 1880- George Jordan

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you one of the brave Black Men who represented us as a Buffalo Soldier after the Civil War and Reconstruction. The time that the Country was completing the extermination of the Native Americans or as it was called “The Indian Wars”. Even though the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution; known collectively as the Civil War Amendments were passed, the Black race in America was still considered to be second class citizens in many parts of the country as the “ERA OF JIM CROW” had begun. So let’s have the black man get rid of the red man.

Even our American History supports the strong efforts of the contributions and heroism of the Buffalo Soldiers by 1890, the state of Louisiana passed the Separate Car Act, which required separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars. This would be heard by the Supreme Court in 1896 and Plessy v. Ferguson, will be the law of the land until the 1960’s. Teach yourself and your babies our part of this American History. Remember and enjoy!

Remember – “The earth and the horse moved as it should be and the warrior that the blue coats send to defeat us we respect as our God – (Wakan Tanka – The Great Spirit) asked us too. I have no Battle with the Buffalo Soldier” – Sitting Bull – Hunk papa Lakota holy man & leader

Today in our History – August 12, 1880 – George Jordan was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in battle at Fort Tularosa, New Mexico.

George Jordan, buffalo soldier and Medal of Honor recipient, hailed from rural Williamson County in central Tennessee. Enlisting in the 38th Infantry Regiment on 25 December 1866, the short and illiterate Jordan proved a good soldier. In January 1870, he transferred to the 9th Cavalry’s K Troop, his home for the next twenty-six years. Earning the trust of his troop commander, Captain Charles Parker, Jordan was promoted to corporal in 1874; by 1879, he wore the chevrons of a sergeant. It was during these years that Jordan learned how to read and write, an accomplishment that certainly facilitated his advancement in the Army.

On 14 May 1880, following a difficult forced march at night, a twenty-five man detachment under Jordan successfully repulsed a determined attack on old Fort Tularosa, New Mexico, by more numerous Apaches. The next year on 12 August, still campaigning against the Apaches, Jordan’s actions contributed to the survival of a detachment under Captain Parker when they were ambushed in Carrizo Canyon, New Mexico. Although neither engagement received much attention initially, in 1890 Jordan was awarded a Medal of Honor for Tularosa and a Certificate of Merit for Carrizo Canyon.

By the time of his retirement in 1896 at Fort Robinson, Jordan had served ten years as first sergeant of a veteran troop renowned for its performance against the Apache and Sioux. Jordan joined other buffalo soldier veterans in nearby Crawford, Nebraska, and became a successful land owner, although his efforts to vote bore little fruit.

Jordan’s health declined dramatically in the autumn of 1904 but Jordan was denied admission to the Fort Robinson’s hospital. Told to try the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C., he died 19 October, the post chaplain officially complaining that Jordan “died for the want of proper attention.” Jordan was buried in the Fort Robinson cemetery, his funeral conducted with full honors and attended by most of the post’s personnel, a bittersweet ending to the story of an exemplary buffalo soldier. Research more about these great Americans and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 11 1872- Soloman Carter Fuller

GM – FBF – Today I want to share with you the story of the first Black psychiatrist. He also was at the forefront of understanding the effects of Alzheimer’s, a disease which I have lost some family members and parents of some of my friends. When people tell you that our race is just about entertainment and sports let them know that we have a rich background in all fields of the human race. Enjoy!

Remember – “When you know that you don’t know, you’ve got to read.” Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller

Today in our History – August 11, 1872 – Solomon Carter Fuller was born.

Solomon Carter Fuller, an early 20th century psychiatrist, researcher, and medical educator, was born on August 11, 1872 in Monrovia, Liberia. His parents, Solomon C. and Anna Ursilla (James) Fuller, were Americo-Liberians. Solomon Carter Fuller was the first African American psychiatrist. He also performed considerable research concerning degenerative diseases of the brain. Solomon’s grandfather was a Virginia slave who bought his and his wife’s freedom and moved to Norfolk, Virginia. The grandfather then emigrated to Liberia in 1852 to help establish a settlement of African Americans.

Fuller always showed an interest in medicine, especially since his grandparents were medical missionaries in Liberia. In 1889, Solomon migrated to the United States to attend Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina. He then attended Long Island College Medical School and completed his medical degree at the Boston University School of Medicine in 1897. Fuller completed an internship at Westborough State Hospital in Boston and stayed on as a pathologist. He eventually became a faculty member of the Boston University School of Medicine. In 1909 Fuller married Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, an internationally known sculptor. The couple had three children, Solomon C., William T., and Perry J. Fuller.

Fuller faced discrimination in the medical field in the form of unequal salaries and underemployment. His duties often involved performing autopsies, an unusual procedure for that era. While performing these autopsies Fuller made discoveries which allowed him to advance in his career as well contribute to the scientific and medical communities.

Solomon Fuller’s major contribution was to the growing clinical knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease. As part of his post-graduate studies at the University of Munich (Germany), Fuller researched pathology and specifically neuropathology. In 1903 Solomon Carter Fuller was one of the five foreign students chosen by Alois Alzheimer to do research at the Royal Psychiatric Hospital at the University of Munich. He also helped correctly diagnose and train others to correctly diagnose the side effects of syphilis to prevent black war veterans from getting misdiagnosed, discharged, and ineligible for military benefits. He trained these young doctors at the Veteran’s Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama before the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments (1932-1972).

Through much of his early professional career (1899-1933) Fuller was employed with Boston University’s School of Medicine where the highest position he attained was associate professor. Solomon Carter Fuller died of diabetes in 1953 in Framingham, Massachusetts. In 1974, the Black Psychiatrists of America created the Solomon Carter Fuller Program for young black aspiring psychiatrists to complete their residency. The Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center in Boston is also named after Dr. Fuller. Research more about blacks in the medical profession and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 8 1989

GM –FBF – Today, I want to share a story with you, it begins with me being the advisor to the SGA at Junior High School Number 3 in Trenton, N.J. and I along with other students, facility, parents/guardians and citizens of Trenton listening to our Governor Tom Kean deliver the commencement address.

THE FIRST TIME A SITTING GOVERNOR gave a commencement address to a Trenton, N.J. school. I was awarded “Teacher of the year” for Mercer County but I was also (RIF)’ed reduction of force from the Trenton School System. I was blessed that Ewing High School took me in as a History teacher and Football and Track coach. I also was advisor to my own club that I had formed while in Trenton called – The Spectrum Project.

When I had heard that Congressman Leland had died, I called my friend Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) who was a member of the Congressional Black Congress and asked if my club could have the rights to Mr. Leland and give awards under his lasting efforts. My students representing 6 different school districts in Mercer County, NJ went to honor “Mickey” in his home 5th Ward Texas at Phillis Whitely High School. I was proud of my students because the Governor of Texas – Ann Richards, Mayor of Houston – Kathryn J. Whitmire and Barbara Jordan – who represented Texas Southern University were there to also honor Congressman Leland. Shawn (Harris) Mitchell was one of the speakers that day and she works this day at Trenton’s Board of Education and ask her what she felt about being a member of the Spectrum Project. Enjoy “Mickey’s” story!

Remember – “In a world that has so many challenges, being fed a good meal should not be one of the challenges” – George Thomas “Mickey” Leland,

Today in our History – August 8, 1989 – George Thomas “Mickey” Leland III dies.

“Mickey” was America’s most effective spokesman for hungry people in the United States and throughout the world. During six terms in the Congress, six years as a Texas state legislator and, Democratic National Committee official, he focused much needed attention on issues of health and hunger and rallied support that resulted in both public and private action. Leland combined the skills of the charismatic leader with the power of a sophisticated behind-the-scenes congressman. He matured during his years in Congress into a brilliantly effective and influential advocate for food security and health care rights for every human being. When Mickey Leland died in 1989, he was Chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger. His committee studied the problems associated with domestic and international hunger and then delivered the practical solution of food.

George Thomas “Mickey” Leland, III, was born on November 27, 1944, in Lubbock, Texas, to Alice and George Thomas Leland, II. At an early age, he, along with his mother and brother (William Gaston Leland), took up residence in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas.

During the administration of President Leonard O. Spearman, Leland received an honorary doctorate degree from Texas Southern University. He married the former Alison Clark Walton, a Georgetown University law student, in 1983. Congressman Leland fathered three children, Jarrett David (born February 6, 1986) and twins, Austin Mickey and Cameron George (born January 14, 1990, after Leland’s death).

Congressman Leland was elected in November 1978 to the United States House of Representatives from the 18th Congressional District of Houston, Texas. His Congressional district included the neighborhood where he had grown up, and he was recognized as a knowledgeable advocate for health, children and the elderly. His leadership abilities were quickly noted in Washington, and he was chosen Freshman Majority Whip in his first term, and later served twice as At-Large Majority Whip. Leland was re-elected to each succeeding Congress until his death in August 1989.

Mickey Leland’s sincere concern for ethnic equality earned him a leadership position in politics. During 1985-86, Congressman Leland served as Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for the 99th Congress. The CBC was created in 1971 with only 13 members. By 1987, the CBC had grown to 23 members. Leland was also a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 1976-85. He served as Chairman of the DNC’s Black Caucus from 1981-1985, and in that capacity, he served on the DNC’s Executive Committee.

When running for re-election in 1988, Congressman Leland was quoted as saying, “This is my 10th year in Congress, and I want to go back.” He stated further, “The more influence I get, the more I can help the people of the 18th District, but also (people) throughout the country.” Leland was becoming increasingly successful in international human rights and world hunger issues. He fought against the injustice of South African Apartheid, and led successful boycotts against South Africa Airways and was instrumental in obtaining a congressional override of President Reagan’s veto of economic sanctions against South Africa.

Mickey Leland died as he had lived, on a mission seeking to help those most in need. While leading another relief mission in 1989, to an isolated refugee camp, Fugnido, in Ethiopia, which sheltered thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing the civil conflict in neighboring Sudan, Leland’s plane crashed into a mountainside in Ethiopia. The force of the crash killed everyone aboard, including the Congressman, his chief of staff Patrice Johnson, and 13 other passengers from a number of government, humanitarian, and development organizations.
George Thomas “Mickey” Leland ▪ Born November 27, 1944, Lubbock, TX▪ Died August 8,1989, Gambela, Ethiopia. Resersh more about the great Amerivan and share with your babies. Make it a cahmpion day1

August 5 1893- Araminta Ross

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share part of a story with you. It’s a sad story because History will tell you that this person was called “Moses” for helping people escape slavery using the Underground Railroad, helped John Brown recruit men for his raid in VA during the Civil War this person was a spy, scout and nurse for the Union Army and an advocate for woman’s rights. The concept of “getting paid” for all of these deeds was a tragedy especially in her later life. The story that they won’t put in the History Books about this leader of leaders.

Remember – “I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” – Harriet Tubman

Today in our History – August 5, 1893 – Araminta Ross (Harriet Tubman) falls prey to a swindle involving gold transfer.

Two men, one named Stevenson and the other John Thomas, claimed to have in their possession a cache of gold smuggled out of South Carolina. They offered this treasure – worth about US$5,000, they claimed – for US$2,000 in cash. They insisted that they knew a relative of Tubman’s, and she took them into her home, where they stayed for several days. She knew that white people in the South had buried valuables when Union forces threatened the region, and also that black men were frequently assigned to digging duties.

Thus the situation seemed plausible, and a combination of her financial woes and her good nature led her to go along with the plan. She borrowed the money from a wealthy friend named Anthony Shimer, and arranged to receive the gold late one night. Once the men had lured her into the woods, however, they attacked her and knocked her out with chloroform, then stole her purse and bound and gagged her. When she was found by her family, she was dazed and injured, and the money was gone.

New York responded with outrage to the incident, and while some criticized Tubman for her naïveté, most sympathized with her economic hardship and lambasted the con men. The incident refreshed the public’s memory of her past service and her economic woes. Representatives Clinton D. MacDougall of New York and Gerry W. Hazelton of Wisconsin introduced a bill (H.R. 2711/3786) providing that Tubman be paid “the sum of $2,000 for services rendered by her to the Union Army as scout, nurse, and spy”. It was defeated.

In 1898, Tubman petitioned the Congress for benefits for her own service in the Civil War, outlining her “responsibilities during the war” as she was still receiving the pension of her deceased husband, Nelson Davis, payments of which had begun in 1895 after it was originally denied.

By 1899, after receiving numerous documents and letters to support Tubman’s claims, the U.S. Congress passed and President William McKinley signed H.R. 4982, a law which “authorized an increase of Tubman’s pension to twenty dollars per month for her service as a nurse.” Research more about this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 4 1896- Archia L. Ross

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story of two different people and the paths that they took in America at the turn of the 20th century to be successful. One was a hard working blue collar business owner and hustler, who’s Inventions kept him in business because he relied on the Inventions to feed himself and his family and the other was a College graduate who became a doctor and did his Inventions as a hobby. Both will receive one of their Inventions patents from the U.S. Government the same day. Enjoy!

Remember – “America is full of entrepreneurs, inventors, and dreamers.” – Archia L. Ross – Black Inventor and Business Owner

Today in our History – August 4, 1896 – Two Black Inventors receive U.S. patents on the same day.

Archia L. Ross received a patent for a runner to be used on doorsteps and stoops (565,301). George Franklin Grant received a patent for Curtain Rod Support (565,075).

Archia L. Ross, an African American inventor, received five U.S. patents for inventions at the turn of the 20th century. The inventions were a runner for stoops (1896), a bag closure device (1898), a wrinkle-preventing trouser stretcher (1899), a garment-hanger (1903), and a holder for brooms and like articles. Ross was a resident of the New York City metropolitan area, who also patented some of the inventions in Canada.

Ross received a patent August 4, 1896 for a runner to be used on doorsteps and stoops (565,301). Runners were used to prevent slipping and falling on icy walkways. It could be used for private and public places. The basic design was a series of interlocking mats. The runner could be removed as needed and required minimal place for storage. Ross lived in New York City when the patent was filed. The runner was also patented in Canada.

In 1915, Archia L. Ross had a store at 763 Lexington in Manhattan which sold wardrobe fixtures for hanging clothes. The home residence was 818 E. 214th Street. Three years later, the listing was for Archie L. Ross and the business was located at 419 Lexington Avenue, with the same home residence. No date of birth or death or pictures of A.L. Ross.

George Franklin Grant (September 15, 1846 – August 21, 1910) was the first African-American professor at Harvard. He was also a Boston dentist, and an inventor of a wooden golf tee and Curtain Rod Support.

He was born on September 15, 1846, in Oswego, New York, to Phillis Pitt and Tudor Elandor Grant former slaves.

When he was fifteen years old a local dentist, Dr. Albert Smith, hired him as an errand boy. He soon became a lab assistant, and Dr. Smith encouraged him to pursue a career in dentistry. In 1868 he and Robert Tanner Freeman, another son of former slaves, became the first blacks to enroll in Harvard Dental School. After receiving his degree in 1870, he became the first African American faculty member at Harvard, in the School of Mechanical Dentistry, where he served for 19 years.

While there he specialized in treating patients with congenital cleft palates. His first patient was a 14 year-old girl, and by 1889 he had treated 115 cases. He patented the oblate palate, a prosthetic device that allowed patients to speak more normally. He was a founding member and president of the Harvard Odonatological Society, and, in 1881, he was elected President of the Harvard Dental Association.

He got into inventing when he faced a problem at his office and the curtains bulging in the middle and he received a patent for the curtain rod support on August 4, 1896.

Grant was an avid golfer. In 1899 he improved on Percy Ellis’ “Perfectum” tee. He invented and patented a golf tee whittled from wood and capped with gutta-percha, a latex resin used in dentistry for root canals.

He died on August 21, 1910, at his vacation home in Chester, New Hampshire, of liver disease.

U.S. Patent 565,075 – Curtain Rod Support – 8/4/1896 – U.S. Patent 638,920 – Wooden Golf Tee 12/12/1899. Research more about Black Inventors and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!