GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event, The Southern Negro Youth Congress was established in 1937 at a conference in Richmond, Virginia. The Southern Negro Youth Congress consisted of young leaders that participated in the National Negro Congress.The first gathering of the Southern Negro Youth Congress consisted of a wide range of individuals. Such individuals as representatives from almost all the black colleges in the country, Boy and Girl Scouts, young steel workers, and even members of the YMCA all joined together to form the Southern Negro Youth Congress.The Southern Negro Youth Congress felt that the major threat to the role of democracy was not communism or socialism but rather fascism was the biggest threat, not only to the black population but also a major threat to the white population as well. Many members of the Southern Negro Youth Congress felt that it was a great organization because it allowed people to not only settle into the Southern areas but also take action to change it for the better as well.The Southern Negro Youth Congress engaged in many activities during the late 1930s and 1940s such as leading boycotts against discriminatory working environments, registering African-American votes, discussed problems with government officials in Washington, D.C., organized workers into unions and assisted rural African-Americans in legal cases.The Southern Negro Youth Congress performed such studies as taking items being purchased in a black community and then comparing the prices to those same items being purchased in a white community. This study showed that prices for the same goods were 20-30% higher in the black communities than they were in the white communities, which meant that the citizens who were struggling most to survive were actually paying higher prices for the items that were necessary for them to live.Prominent members of the Southern Negro Youth Congress consisted of veteran activists James Jackson, Helen Gray, Esther Cooper Jackson and Edward E. Strong and at one time or another had the support of prominent figures that included Mary McCleod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Franklin D. Roosevelt and William Edward Burghardt DuBois.At its prime the Southern Negro Youth Congress claimed that it represented about 250,000 young black southerners but due to insufficient records these numbers could not be verified. The Southern Negro Youth Congress saw its demise in 1949 in part due to the postwar period of the United States caught in the Cold War as well as fear, hysteria, racial violence and loss of jobs that led to many difficulties for the Southern Negro Youth Congress leaders to solve.Today in our History – November 15, 1974 – The Southern Negro Youth Congress disbands. Few of us know what we should know about the continuity of the movements for full racial equality in the Deep South. Amnesia about black history cuts us off from the past and undermines our self-image and our confidence that we can bring about important, constructive change in the world. I write as a historian whose life and work was inspired by the movements for racial equality in the South during the 1940s. The long civil rights movement in the south was powerful during the 1930s and 1940s. It was an interracial struggle with strong ties to the movements of sharecroppers, small farmers and industrial workers, university professors, students, business people, professionals and intellectuals. I share here some of my memories as a founder and participant in the New Orleans Youth Congress which became closely tied to the Southern Negro Youth Congress. One of SNYC’s greatest achievements after World War II was organizing the Southern Youth Legislature held in Columbia, South Carolina in October, 1946. By 1947 SNYC was destroyed by racist and political terror, the cold war and the Red Scare and largely erased from historical and popular memory.Professional historians have begun to study the massive amount of previously unknown documents about these forgotten movements. I present here what I remember about the Southern Negro Youth Congress during its brief time of triumph after World War II and its sudden collapse in 1947 although it was not formally dissolved until 1949.In the early fall of 1945, shortly after World War II ended, I read an announcement in the New Orleans Times Picayune informing the public that an international youth delegation was returning from the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco and stopping in various cities across the United States to establish a new, international youth organization to promote the aims of the United Nations. Everyone at the meeting was white. The delegates announced they had met with Negro youth in New Orleans first and then organized this separate meeting for whites. The Negro youth from their previous meeting walked into the white meeting in a body, sat down, and announced there would be no racially segregated youth organization in New Orleans claiming to support the objectives of the United Nations. Thus was founded the New Orleans Youth Council. It quickly became a large, active interracial organization and functioned under various names for the rest of the 1940s. We met as equals and fought racial discrimination, disenfranchisement and segregation. We had several hundred official and fringe members including students from all the universities in New Orleans, some high school students and young workers who were musicians, merchant seamen, factory workers, homemakers, maids, and business-owners.Many of our members were recently returned veterans of World War II who lived in black housing projects. The black veterans also belonged to the Louisiana Veterans’ Organization. We attended each others’ parties and dances in our offices and homes and went to Afro-Louisiana music clubs, bars and restaurants together all over town. We all stood up together talking, joking, and laughing in the segregated streetcars although there were lots of vacant seats. We picketed the downtown department stores demanding they let African-Americans shop there. The NAACP Youth Council wanted to picket with us, but their parent organization would not allow it.All the full time staff of SNYC were Communist Party members and under its discipline. This created some problems which I will discuss elsewhere. When the New Orleans Youth Council was born in 1945, the Communist Party had dissolved itself the year before and knew nothing about this new, spontaneous youth movement. By 1946 almost all the New Orleans Youth Council officers were recruited into the restored Communist Party of Louisiana. NOYC was ordered dissolved by the Communist Party ostensibly to create a chapter of SNYC instead.By 1947, SNYC was dead. Here’s how it happened. An openly publicized meeting at Carpenter’s Hall in the French Quarter was announced by the Communist Party to introduce James E. Jackson, Jr., Educational Director of SNYC, to the community as the Communist Party’s new District Organizer. The meeting was brief. Police were lined up along the walls.A goon squad (vigilantes) from the Seafarers’ International Union (an all white AFL union) attacked the audience with metal folding chairs. The police waited until the attack was over and arrested only the speakers and the men in the audience, not their attackers. I went to night court to see what became of the men. Judge Edwin Babylon presided. He asked the prisoners to choose a person to be their spokesman. They chose an African-American trade unionist. The judge was shocked, and said, “You mean to say you white people are going to let a nigger speak for you?”Members of the goon squad came looking for James Jackson in his apartment a few days after the trial. He locked himself in the bathroom and picked up the top of the toilet tank to defend himself. The police arrived and charged him with criminal mischief for breaking the toilet! As he left the courtroom, a mob was outside waiting for him. My father, attorney Herman L. Midlo, walked out of the courthouse with Jackson and told the crowd, “I know every one of you and you won’t get away with it if you lay a hand on this man.”The mob let Jackson leave unharmed. He left town shortly thereafter and joined his wife Esther Cooper Jackson and their family in Detroit. By then all of SNYC’s leadership had already retreated north to escape the violence directed against SNYC meetings by Birmingham Police Commissioner T. Eugene “Bull” Connor in Birmingham. Only SNYC founder and leader Louis E. Burnham remained in the South to co-chair former Vice President Henry A. Wallace’s southern campaign for President in 1948. After the presidential race ended with cold warrior Harry S. Truman’s victory, Burnham closed SNYC’s office in Birmingham and left the South. Research more about this great American Champion event and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American jazz pianist and educator. Active since the late 1940s, Marsalis came to greater attention in the 1980s and 1990s as the patriarch of a musical family, with sons Branford and Wynton rising to international acclaim.Remember – “My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father. He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be.” – Brandford MarsalisToday in our History – November 14, 1934 – Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr. was born.Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr. was born on Nov. 14, 1934. He graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans with a B.A. in music education, and that was the field to which he devoted himself. Despite playing with such notable jazz musicians as Cannonball and Nat Adderley, he was most proud of his work as an educator. His music students included Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Harry Connick Jr. and four of his sons: Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis.Ellis Marsalis taught at the first full-time public arts high school in New Orleans, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, where he instructed students on the harsh realities of pursuing a career in the arts.The former Marine put it this way to NPR in 1985: “There is no such thing as fair. The world’s not fair, it’s not about being fair.”Marsalis went on to become Commonwealth Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond before returning to his hometown to teach at the University of New Orleans. Yet he still managed to record more than 15 albums of his own, in addition to collaborations with his sons.And on top of all that, he played a weekly gig at a small New Orleans club, Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, for three decades before retiring just this year. Research more about this great Institution and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an African American who was appointed United States Ambassador to Haiti in 1869. He was the first African-American diplomat and the fourth U.S. ambassador to Haiti since the two countries established relations in 1862.His asset was appointed as new leaders emerged among free African Americans after the American Civil War. An educator, abolitionist, and civil rights activist, Bassett was the U.S. diplomatic envoy in 1869 to Haiti, the “Black Republic” of the Western Hemisphere. Through eight years of bloody civil war and coups d’état there, h served in one of the most crucial, but difficult postings of his time. Haiti was of strategic importance in the Caribbean basin for its shipping lanes and as a naval coaling station.Today in our History November 13, 1908 – Prior to his death, Ebenezer D. Bassett returned to live in Philadelphia, where his daughter Charlotte also taught at the ICY.Ebenezer D. Bassett was appointed U.S. Minister Resident to Haiti in 1869, making him the first African American diplomat. For eight years, the educator, abolitionist, and black rights activist oversaw bilateral relations through bloody civil warfare and coups d’état on the island of Hispaniola. Bassett served with distinction, courage, and integrity in one of the most crucial, but difficult postings of his time.Born in Connecticut on October 16, 1833, Ebenezer D. Bassett was the second child of Eben Tobias and Susan Gregory. In a rarity during the mid-1800s, Bassett attended college, becoming the first black student to integrate the Connecticut Normal School in 1853. He then taught in New Haven, befriending the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Later, he became the principal of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Institute for Colored Youth (ICY).During the Civil War, Bassett became one of the city’s leading voices into the cause behind that conflict, the liberation of four million black slaves and helped recruit African American soldiers for the Union Army. In nominating Bassett to become Minister Resident to Haiti, President Ulysses S. Grant made him one of the highest ranking black members of the United States government.During his tenure the American Minister Resident also dealt with cases of citizen commercial claims, diplomatic immunity for his consular and commercial agents, hurricanes, fires, and numerous tropical diseases.The case that posed the greatest challenge to him, however, was Haitian political refugee General Pierre Boisrond Canal. The general was among the band of young leaders who had successfully ousted the former President Sylvan Salnave from power in 1869. By the time of the subsequent Michel Domingue regime in the mid 1870s Canal had retired to his home outside the capital. Domingue, the new Haitian President, however, brutally hunted down any perceived threat to his power including Canal.General Canal came to Bassett and requested political asylum. A standoff resulted, with Bassett’s home surrounded by over a thousand of Domingue’s soldiers. Finally, after five-month siege of his residence, Bassett negotiated Canal’s safe release for exile in Jamaica.Upon the end of the Grant Administration in 1877, Bassett submitted his resignation as was customary with a change of hands in government. When he returned to the United States, he spent an additional ten years as the Consul General for Haiti in New York City, New York. Prior to this death on November 13, 1908, he returned to live in Philadelphia, where his daughter Charlotte also taught at the ICY. Bassett was 75 at the time of his death.Ebenezer D. Bassett was a role model not simply for his symbolic importance as the first African American diplomat. His concern for human rights, his heroism, and courage in the face of pressure from Haitians, as well as his own capital, place him in the annals of great American diplomats. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American sprinter born in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee, who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and international sports icon in track and field following her successes in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games. She competed in the 200-meter dash and won a bronze medal in the 4 × 100-meter relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics at Melbourne, Australia. She also won three gold medals, in the 100- and 200-meter individual events and the 4 x 100-meter relay at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy. She was acclaimed the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games.Due to the worldwide television coverage of the 1960 Summer Olympics, she became an international star along with other Olympic athletes such as Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali), Oscar Robertson, and Rafer Johnson who competed in Italy.As an Olympic champion in the early 1960s, she was among the most highly visible black women in America and abroad. She became a role model for black and female athletes and her Olympic successes helped elevate women’s track and field in the United States. She is also regarded as a civil rights and women’s rights pioneer. In 1962 she retired from competition at the peak of her athletic career as the world record-holder in the 100- and 200-meter individual events and the 4 × 100-meter relays. After competing in the 1960 Summer Olympics, the 1963 graduate of Tennessee State University became an educator and coach.She died of brain and throat cancer in 1994, and her achievements are memorialized in a variety of tributes, including a U.S. postage stamp, documentary films, and a made-for-television movie, as well as in numerous publications, especially books for young readers.Today in our History – November 12, 1994 – Wilma Glodean Rudolph died.Wilma Rudolph was an African American Olympic Athlete who competed in the Olympic Games of 1956 and 1960. She was also the first American Woman to win three gold medals in track and field events during a single Olympic Games.Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee. Weighing a mere 4.5 pounds, Wilma was born premature, and had also instantaneously contracted infantile paralysis; a disease which took her eleven years to fully recover from. Wilma’s compromised immune system also meant that she regularly suffered bouts of polio and scarlet fever due in her early years.After completely recovering from her illness, Wilma started playing basketball for her high school, after which she was discovered by future United States Olympic Head Track and Field Coach, Ed Temple. Rudolph trained extensively under Temple, with whom she built upon her previous track experience from Burt High School. She continued to train under Temple and she consistently improved her record. By the time Rudolph was sixteen; her fastest times were good enough to have her placed in the United States Olympic Track and Field Team of 1956. Rudolph won the bronze medal in the 4x100m relay race in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics alongside Mae Faggs, Margaret Matthews, and Isabelle Daniels.In 1959, when Rudolph was only 19; she went on to win another Gold Medal in the 4x100m relay race, as well as a silver medal in the individual 100m race. She also performed excellently in the Association of American Universities (AAU) tournaments, where she first won an individual 100m race.The 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome would see Rudolph become the first American woman in history to win three gold medals in separate track and field events. Her most impressive feat was to win the 100m race in 11 seconds; however, the time was not accepted as a world record due to the presence of an appreciable tailwind. Nonetheless, Rudolph went on to win the 200m race with an impressive time of 23.2 seconds; this time however, was recorded as the new Olympic Record. Rudolph also won the 4x100m race alongside Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams, and Barbara Jones in a blistering 44.5 seconds; a new World Record.Wilma Rudolph retired from track and field competitions at twenty two years of age; she last participated at a U.S. – Soviet meet; an event where she won two races. She was granted a full undergraduate scholarship at the Tennessee State University, after which she worked multiple jobs, including working for a community center, and teaching at her childhood school.Rudolph gathered a lot of popularity world over due to his blistering pace. She was nicknamed “The Black Gazelle” by the Italians and “The Black Pearl” by the French.Rudolph received the James E. Sullivan Award in 1961 as a result of her wins in 1960. She was also inducted in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, as well as the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974. Rudolph was also inducted in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.Rudolph was diagnosed with a brain tumor in July 1994. She was already suffering from throat cancer at the time. On November 12, 1994, Wilma Rudolph died in Nashville, Tennessee. Her memorial and subsequent funeral was attended by thousands of supporters from all over the country. 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GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an abolitionist who promoted African-American emigration. He was a traveling speaker, political organizer, and newspaper proprietor. He later became the only black officer to command his own unit during the Civil War.Today in our History – November 11 1865 – Hezekiah Ford Douglas known as H. Ford Douglas died.Captain Hezekiah Ford Douglas was born in Virginia in 1831 to a white man named William Douglas, and an enslaved mother named Mary. He escaped from slavery sometime after his fifteenth birthday, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio.Working as a barber, the self-educated Douglas was active in the free black community of Cleveland, especially its state convention movement. His first state meeting was at Columbus in 1850, at which time Douglas was already gaining attention for his outstanding oratorical talents. He appeared at the Ohio State Convention again 1851 and 1852, arguing that African Americans would never gain equality in the United States, and advocating African American emigration. Douglas supported William Lloyd Garrison’s view that the United States Constitution was a proslavery document because it did not exclusively prohibit slavery. He claimed it was written with the intention of continuing slavery. Douglas also felt African-Americans allowed slavery to continue by remaining in the United States and making themselves subject to the U.S. Constitution.At the 1854 National Emigration Convention, Douglas emerged as a prominent speaker with his defense of emigration. He moved to British-controlled West Canada after the convention and in 1856 became a proprietor of the Provincial Freedom, a Canadian newspaper promoting antislavery and emigrationist principles.Through the newspaper Douglas promoted Canada as a place where blacks could live under a government which protected them. He married Statira Steele in October 1857, with whom he had one child.Douglas returned to Chicago in 1858, where he continued to support the emigration movement, which now promoted emigration to Africa, Haiti, and Central America.After a trip to New England in May 1860 at the invitation of Parker Pillsbury, Douglas became an abolitionist speaker. He shocked many in his audience with open calls for violence to end slavery, and spoke about it increasingly after 1860. He continued to promote his belief that it was the presence of slavery, rather than belief in racial inferiority, that facilitated the discrimination against free blacks.After encouraging slaves from Missouri to escape to freedom at the outbreak of the Civil War, Douglas joined the Union Army, enlisting as a private in Company G of the 95th Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers on July 26, 1862. In April 1863, Douglas was granted permission to raise his own independent company of black soldiers, and was assigned to the 10th Louisiana Regiment of African Descent (Corps d’Afrique) in June 1863. He became one of less than thirty black commissioned officers during the Civil War and the only African American man to raise and command his own company.Douglas became infected with malaria while stationed in Mississippi, and returned to Chicago to recover. When he returned to the military in July 1864, Douglas recruited and became captain of an independent battery of light artillery in Kansas. Still suffering from malaria a year later, Douglas was forced to leave the service again. He died on November 11, 1865, in Atchison, Kansas. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion event was The Wilmington insurrection of 1898, also known as the Wilmington massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington coup of 1898, occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Thursday, November 10, 1898.It is considered a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics. The event initiated an era of more severe racial segregation and effective disenfranchisement of African Americans throughout the South, a shift already underway since passage by Mississippi of a new constitution in 1890, raising barriers to voter registration. Laura Edwards wrote in Democracy Betrayed (2000):”What happened in Wilmington became an affirmation of white supremacy not just in that one city, but in the South and in the nation as a whole”, as it affirmed that invoking “whiteness” eclipsed the legal citizenship, individual rights, and equal protection under the law that blacks were guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment.The white press in Wilmington originally described the event as a race riot caused by blacks. However, over time, with more facts publicized, the event has come to be seen as a coup d’état, the violent overthrow of a duly elected government, by a group of white supremacists. Multiple causes brought it about. It is claimed to be the only such incident in American history, (other late Reconstruction Era violence did not result in a direct ‘coup’ or removal and replacement of elected officials by unelected individuals).The coup occurred after the state’s white Southern Democrats conspired and led a mob of 2,000 white men to overthrow the legitimately elected local Fusionist government. They expelled opposition black and white political leaders from the city, destroyed the property and businesses of black citizens built up since the Civil War, including the only black newspaper in the city, and killed an estimated 60 to more than 300 people.Today in our History, November 10, 1898 – white supremacists murdered African Americans in Wilmington, North Carolina and deposed the elected Reconstruction era government in a coup d’etat.It was the morning of November 10, 1898, in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the fire was the beginning of an assault that took place seven blocks east of the Cape Fear River, about 10 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. By sundown, [Alex] Manly’s newspaper [The Daily Record] had been torched, as many as 60 people had been murdered, and the local government that was elected two days prior had been overthrown and replaced by white supremacists.For all the violent moments in United States history, the mob’s gruesome attack was unique: It was the only coup d’état ever to take place on American soil.Lost in the fire that destroyed The Daily Record were the lives of Black citizens and the spirit of a thriving Black community, and also the most promising effort in the South to build racial solidarity. — Adrienne LaFrance and Vann Newkirk in The Lost History of an American Coup D’ÉtatBefore the violence, this port city on the Cape Fear River was remarkably integrated. Three out of the ten aldermen were African Americans, and Black people worked as policemen, firemen, and magistrates.Democrats, the party of the Confederacy, vowed to end this “Negro domination” in the 1898 state legislative elections. Their strategy was to enlist men who could write (white journalists and cartoonists), men who could speak (white supremacists who whipped up emotions at rallies), and men who could ride (the Ku Klux Klan-like “Red Shirts” who were basically armed ruffians on horseback).Alex Manly, editor. Source: UNC-Chapel Hill.The white supremacists used an editorial by Alex Manly, the editor of Wilmington’s Black newspaper the Daily Record, to stir a firestorm at the time of the elections. The editorial responded to a speech by a Georgia socialite who promoted lynching as a method “to protect woman’s dearest possession from the ravening human beast.”Manly condemned lynching and pointed out the hypocrisy of describing Black men as “big burly, black brute(s)” when in reality it was white men who regularly raped Black women with impunity. He added that some relations between the races were consensual.White supremacist rallies kept white outrage at the editorial at a fever pitch. Former Confederate colonel Alfred Waddell gave a speech suggesting that white citizens should “choke the Cape Fear (River) with carcasses” if necessary to keep African Americans from the polls.On election day, the Red Shirts patrolled Black neighborhoods with guns. Democrats won every seat, but these were state legislative seats. African Americans still maintained power in Wilmington’s city government.Some 800 white citizens led by Waddell met at the county courthouse and produced the “White Declaration of Independence” which stated: “We, the undersigned citizens… do hereby declare that we will no longer be ruled, and will never again be ruled by men of African origin.”The following day — Nov. 10 — Waddell led a mob of 2,000 armed men to the Daily Record and burned the building to the ground.Armed rioters in front of destroyed press building.Rumors tore through the Black neighborhoods. The tinderbox ignited at the corner of Fourth and Harnett, where African Americans at Walker’s Grocery Store faced off against white men at Brunje’s saloon. A shot was fired and someone yelled, “White man killed.”Gunfire erupted. Unarmed Black men scattered in all directions and were gunned down. Violence quickly spread. The Wilmington Light Infantry, the White Government Union, and the Red Shirts poured into the Black neighborhoods with rifles, revolvers, and a Gatling gun.Wilmington Light Infantry machine gun crew.As bullets were still flying, Waddell threw out the democratically-elected aldermen and installed his own. This was nothing less than a coup d’état. The hand-picked men “elected” Waddell mayor. Many Black leaders were jailed “for their own safety” and then forcibly marched to the train station under military escort and sent out of town.After the riot, thousands of Black citizens fled. In 1900, the North Carolina legislature effectively stripped African Americans of the vote through the grandfather clause and ushered in the worst of the Jim Crow laws. Research more about this great American tragedy and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was an American professional baseball pitcher who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals (1959–1975). Nicknamed “Gibby” and “Hoot” (after actor Hoot Gibson), Gibson tallied 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 earned run average (ERA) during his career. A nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. Known for a fiercely competitive nature and for intimidating opposing batters, he was elected in 1981 to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975 and inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Gibson overcame childhood illness to excel in youth sports, particularly basketball and baseball. After briefly playing under contract to both the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Gibson decided to continue playing only baseball professionally.He became a full-time starting pitcher in July 1961 and earned his first All-Star appearance in 1962. Gibson won 2 of 3 games he pitched in the 1964 World Series, then won 20 games in a season for the first time in 1965. Gibson also pitched three complete game victories in the 1967 World Series.The pinnacle of Gibson’s career was 1968, when he posted a 1.12 ERA for the season and then recorded 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series. Gibson threw a no-hitter in 1971 but began experiencing swelling in his knee in subsequent seasons. At the time of his retirement in 1978, Gibson ranked second only to Walter Johnson among major league pitchers in career strikeouts.After retiring as a player in 1975, Gibson later served as pitching coach for his former teammate Joe Torre. At one time a special instructor coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson was later selected for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. Gibson was the author of the memoir Pitch by Pitch, with Lonnie Wheeler. Gibson died of pancreatic cancer on October 2, 2020, exactly 52 years after his memorable 1968 World Series Game 1 performance in which he struck out 17 Detroit Tigers.Today in our History – Robert Gibson (born Pack Robert Gibson; November 9, 1935 – October 2, 2020).Bob Gibson may well have been the most intimidating pitcher in history. He was certainly one of the most successful. The Omaha, Neb., native excelled at baseball and basketball in high school, and played college hoops for Creighton University before a brief stint with the Harlem Globetrotters. In 1957, he signed with the Cardinals and made his big league debut in 1959.A 15-game winner by 1962, Gibson began to take flight soon after. He won 18 games in 1963, and 19 in the Cardinals’ pennant winning season of 1964, when he went 9-2 in his final 11 starts down the stretch to lead the Redbirds. In the World Series against the Yankees, he went 2-1, winning Game 5 at Yankee Stadium and then Game 7 at home on two days rest. He was named World Series MVP.He was a 20-game winner in 1965 and ’66, winning the first of nine consecutive Gold Gloves Awards in ’65. A broken ankle in July of 1967 slowed him down to a 13-7 record, including three wins late in the season to help the Cards clinch another pennant. He went 3-0 with an ERA of 1.00 in the Cardinals’ victory over the Red Sox, winning Games 1, 4, and 7 and picking up his second World Series MVP Award.The 1968 season has come to be known as “The Year of the Pitcher,” and Bob Gibson was certainly the pitcher of the year. He went 22-9 with a sparkling ERA of 1.12 to go along with 268 strikeouts, 13 shutouts, 15 consecutive wins and a stretch of 95 innings in which he gave up just two runs. He was again 2-1 in the World Series, beating the Tigers in Games 1 and 4 before going the distance in a Game 7 loss.Gibson brought home both the 1968 Cy Young Award and the NL Most Valuable Player Awards, and, in the ultimate compliment, baseball lowered the mound the following season, because pitchers, led by Gibson, were dominating hitters and games were historically low-scoring.Gibson earned a second Cy Young Award in 1970, and pitched a no-hitter against the Pirates in 1971. Injuries were beginning to take their toll, however, and Gibson wound down with double figure victory totals in 1973 and ’74 before retiring in 1975. Gibson’s 17 years with the Cardinals netted 251 victories, 3,117 strikeouts, 56 shutouts and an ERA of 2.91. He later served as a pitching coach for the Mets, Braves, and Cardinals. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981, and the MLB All-Century Team in 1999.Joe Torre, Gibson’s teammate from 1969-’75 and a sometime battery mate, said: “Pride, intensity, talent, respect, dedication. You need them all to describe Bob Gibson.”Gibson passed away on Oct.2, 2020. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM –FBF – Today’s American Champions was a civil rights activist, social worker, race relations specialist, and the first female African American state legislator elected in the United States, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Born in Maryland and raised in Boston, she started her professional career as a public school teacher in Boston. She would then go onto work for the Young Women’s Christian Association, and then with the American Friends Service Committee. In 1935, she became assistant to the director of Philadelphia’s Works Progress Administration and also began politically organizing for the Democratic National Committee.In 1938, she was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature. She served for a year as a state representative in which she introduced nine bills and three amendments on issues ranging from affordable housing projects to fair employment legislation.During the Roosevelt administration, she was appointed to the Office of Civilian Defense on October 20, 1941, and worked as a race relations advisor. In 1944, she broke away from the Democratic Party and publicly supported the Republican presidential candidate. In her later years, she turned to global issues and helped found the United Nations Council of Philadelphia, later known as the World Affairs Council.Today in our History – November 8, 1938 – Crystal Bird Fauset becomes the 1st black woman elected to a state legislature in the U.S. acquiring this distinction by being named to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.Crystal Bird Fauset, the first African-American female state legislators in the United States, was born on June 27, 1894 in Princess Anne, Maryland. She grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but spent most of her adult and political life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Between 1914 and 1918 Fauset worked as a public school teacher in Philadelphia.In 1918 she began working as a field secretary for African American girls in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), a job she held until 1926. In 1925 the Interracial Section of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC or Quakers) was formed and Fauset joined the organization in 1926, wanting, as she said, to work on her interest “in having people of other racial groups understand the humanness of the Negro wherever he is found.”Between September 1927 and September 1928 she made 210 appearances before more than 40,000 people for the AFSC. During the late 1920’s Fauset studied at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, graduating in 1931.In 1932 Fauset founded the Colored Women’s Activities Club for the Democratic National Committee where she helped African American women register to vote. In response to her efforts the Roosevelt Administration appointed her Director of the Women and Professional Project in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Philadelphia. In 1935 she also served on the Federal Housing Advisory Board.That same year Crystal Bird married sociologist and political thinker Arthur Fauset and they became a dynamic political couple. Fauset then began to work on the Joint Committee on Race Relations of the Arch and Race Streets (Quaker) Yearly Meetings where she helped establish the famous Swarthmore College Institute of Race Relations which documented employment and housing discrimination against Pennsylvania African Americans.In 1938 Fauset was elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature, representing the 18th District of Philadelphia, which was 66% white at that time. As a state representative Fauset introduced nine bills and three amendments on issues concerning improvements in public health, housing for the poor, public relief, and supporting women’s rights in the workplace.In 1941 Fauset’s friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt helped her secure a position as assistant director and race relations director of the Office of Civil Defense, becoming part of President Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet” and promoting civil defense planning in black communities, recruitment of blacks in the military, and dealing with complaints about racial discrimination.In 1944, disappointed by the Democratic Party’s failure to advance civil rights, Fauset switched to the Republican Party and later became a member of the Republican National Committee’s division on Negro Affairs.After World War II Fauset turned her attentions to a more global forum, helping to found the United Nations Council of Philadelphia, which later became the World Affairs Council. Throughout the 1950s she travelled to Africa, India, and the Middle East to meet and support independence leaders. Fauset died on March 27, 1965 in Philadelphia. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American Champion was a pianist and singer during the 1930s and 1940s, auditioned for the Cotton Club, performed solo, and recorded in Europe. Born on December 26, 1915, to American Indian and black parents, she started singing at the age of three in her hometown of Xenia, Ohio.Today in our History November 7, 1956 – Una Mae Carlisle dies.Una Mae Carlisle was a popular jazz singer, pianist, and songwriter in the 1930s and 1940s. With hits like “Walking By The River”, “I Like It, Because I Love It”, “Don’t Try Your Jive On Me” and “Hangover Blues”. She might have become one of the greatest jazz entertainers if it wasn’t for failing health that affected her throughout her career and cut her life short. Her coy jiving style fascinated many and won the hearts of many. Una Mae Carlisle was born on December 26, 1915, in Xenia, Ohio. She started singing at the age of 3. She worked at various radio stations. It was at that time; she was “discovered” by Fats Waller late in 1932. He invited her to play on his radio show at station WLW in Cincinnati during Christmas week when Una Mae turned seventeen. He also asked her to play in his band. She was still in High School at the time, and her mother had approved her Christmas vacation in Cincinnati because she was to stay with her elder sister. When her vacation was over, she refused to return home, becoming a professional musician working with Waller at WLW. Fats’ contract with WLW expired in 1934 and he left Cincinnati for New York.Una Mae left America in 1936 to tour Europe, reportedly with the revue Blackbirds of 1936 and spent the next three years there, mostly in London and Paris. In London, on May 20, 1938, she recorded three discs that were released on the Vocalion label, including Don’t Try Your Jive On Me. Her backing band for that session included the expert West Indian musicians Dave Wilkins (trumpet) and Bertie King (clarinet and tenor sax). She became highly successful in England, Germany and France, where she worked at the Boeuf sur le Toit (“The Ox on the Roof”), a cabaret in the Rue du Colisée in Paris [named for the 1920 one-act farce by Jean Cocteau, scored by Darius Milhaud with themes based on Brazilian dance rhythms – a pantomime involving a boxer, a dwarf, a bookie, a woman in a red evening gown, a policeman who gets beheaded and is later revived and a noisy bar full of people]. While in Paris in 1939, she was one of two pianists in a combo headed by clarinetist Danny Polo (Danny Polo And His Swing Stars) which recorded four sides for Decca.She then returned to New York where she undertook several successful engagements and record dates, the first of which was a session with Fats Waller in November 1939 for Bluebird in which she and Fats combined to sing I Can’t Give You Anything But Love. She began recording on her own for Bluebird in the summer of 1940. She soon had several hits, including Walkin’ By The River with Benny Carter; Blitzkrieg Baby with Lester Young; and I See a Million People with Charlie Shavers and John Kirby. In 1941 she recorded with John Kirby and was nominal leader of several small bands, which featured such leading jazzmen as Russell Procope, Charlie Shavers, Ray Nance, Lester Young and Benny Carter. As early as 1938 Una Mae began suffering with mastoid trouble and in 1941 she was hospitalized for several weeks to treat this condition.Also in the early ’40s she became popular on radio and, before the decade was out, she had successfully transferred to television. Bluebird dropped her from its roster during the 1942-1944 American Federation of Musicians ban on recording (the “Petrillo Ban”), so she signed with Joe Davis for whom she recorded more than a dozen tracks, one of which was ‘Tain’t Yours with ace trumpeter Ray Nance, who had just left Duke Ellington’s band.In between bouts of ill health, she played clubs and hotels and appeared on radio shows, including a week-long salute to Fats Waller on WNEW in New York in February of 1945, approximately a year after his death. In the early ’50s she was still popular, playing with artists such as Don Redman, but her health was failing and she retired in 1954. Her career kept going into the 1950s when she became involved in films and her own radio and television shows. Her last studio session was for Columbia in New York on May 8, 1950. She retired due to her illness in 1954 and died in New York on November 7, 1956. Carlisle sang in a husky, intimate manner, and her warm sensual voice and use of delayed phrasing proved to be as effective on swing numbers as it was on ballads. Research more about this great American Champion and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!
GM – FBF – Today’s American champion was as an American Presbyterian minister, abolitionist, publisher, and journalist. He was a leader in New York City’s small free black community, where he organized the first congregation of black Presbyterians in New York. In 1827 he became one of two editors of the newly founded Freedom’s Journal, the first black newspaper in the United States. In 1833 he was a founding member of the interracial American Anti-Slavery Society.Today in our History – November 6, 1858 – Samuel Eli Cornish dies.Abolitionist and newspaper editor Samuel Eli Cornish was born of free parents in Sussex County, Delaware, and raised in Philadelphia and New York City. He graduated from the Free African School in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter he began training for the ministry under John Gloucester, pastor of the First African Church, Presbyterian, in Philadelphia. Licensed to preach as a Presbyterian minister in 1819, Cornish spent six months serving as a missionary to slaves on Maryland’s Eastern Shore before returning to New York to organize the New Demeter Street Presbyterian Church. He was ordained in 1822 and continued there until 1828.Throughout his life Cornish remained involved in religious activities, working as a preacher and missionary to African Americans in New York, Philadelphia, and Newark, New Jersey; in 1845 or 1846 he organized Emmanuel Church in New York City, remaining as its pastor until 1847.In addition to his role as a clergyman, Cornish was noted as a journalist. His most significant contribution was the founding of Freedom’s Journal, the first African-American newspaper in the United States. Cornish began the weekly journal in New York on March 16, 1827, serving as senior editor, with another young African American, John B. Russwurm, holding the position of junior editor. As fathers of the African-American press, the two men stated in their first editorial that “we wish to plead our own cause. Too long others have spoken for us.” Under Cornish’s control, Freedom’s Journal became a popular protest vehicle and an instrument for promoting racial pride, as well as an advocate of education and emancipation.Cornish resigned as editor of the Journal in September 1827 and became an agent for the New York Free African schools, but under Russwurm’s editorship the paper declined. In 1829 Cornish revived it, changing the name to the Rights of All, and sustained publication for one year. Cornish went on to serve in various positions in missionary and benevolent societies. From 1837 to 1839 he served as the sole or joint editor of the Colored American. In 1840 Cornish wrote The Colonization Scheme Considered, a powerful pamphlet against colonization, which he felt was unjust and failed to provide a solution to the problem of slavery.In addition to his religious and journalistic efforts, Cornish served antislavery and other reform causes through a number of benevolent organizations. Among his other efforts, he helped found and served as an executive committee member of the American Anti-Slavery Society (1835–1837), was vice president of the American Moral Reform Society (1835–1836), and served on the executive committee of the New York City Vigilance Committee (1835–1837) and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (1840–1841; 1847–1848).By the 1850s, Cornish, who had been at one time both a founding member of the American Missionary Association and a fervent Garrisonian, grew impatient with anticlericalism and black exclusiveness in antislavery efforts. He remained active in American Missionary Society efforts as a member of the executive committee (1846–1855) and as vice president (1848–1858), but essentially ceased active participation in the abolitionist movement. In poor health in his later years, he moved to Brooklyn in 1855 and died there in 1858. Research more about this great American Champion and share with your babies. Mae it a champion day!