January 1, 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation Takes Effect.
July 29, 1996: Carl Lewis wins his fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the long jump. It was the ninth and final Olympic gold of his storied career.
Harmony Community, Putnam County, Georgia…. This old woman was a slave and belonged to the family on whose place she now lives. She was a small girl when Sherman’s Army came through. 05/28/1941 - 06/01/1941
Irving Rusinow, photographer. From the Photographic records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
Today in History - April 20
Billie Holiday records Strange Fruit, 1939.
Noted as the first major rallying cry for the Civil Rights movement, Strange Fruit was a poem originally written by Abel Meeropol, and first performed by his wife and singer Laura Duncan, at protest venues in New York City. However, it wasn’t until Billie Holiday recorded the song for Commodore Records that it became a major hit.Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
San Francisco, California. The family unit in kept intact in various phases of evacuation of persons of Japanese ancestry. …A view at Wartime Civil Control Administration station, 2020 Van Ness Avenue, on April 6, 1942, when first group of 664 was evacuated from San Francisco. The family unit likewise is preserved in War Relocation Authority centers where evacuees will spend the duration.
This photo of Japanese-American evacuees was taken by Dorothea Lange on April 6, 1942. Professional photographers such as Lange were commissioned by the WRA to document the daily life and treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
In his final campaign before his death, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. lent his support to a strike by sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. This flyer was distributed to sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, asking them to “March for Justice and Jobs” on March 22, 1968. Included are directions for the route to be followed and instructions to the marchers to use “soul-force which is peaceful, loving, courageous, yet militant.”
Exhibit 1 in City of Memphis vs. Martin Luther King, Jr, 1968
Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873. Over the next four years he overcame harassment, isolation, and insults to become West Point’s first African American graduate and the first African American commissioned officer in the regular U.S. Army.
Photograph of Lt. Henry O. Flipper, Photo by Kennedy, ca. 1877; Center for Legislative Archives; Records of the U.S. House of Representatives; National Archives and Records Administration (Reproduced with the permission of the U.S. House of Representatives)
“This is a historic occasion. We have come here out of respect for one of the heroic figures of our time – Cesar Chavez. But I also come here to congratulate all of you who are locked with Cesar in the struggle for justice for the farmworker, and the struggle for justice for the Spanish-speaking American.”
Robert F. Kennedy Statement on Cesar Chavez, March 10, 1968
*Note to researchers: The speech in Delano, California was made on March 10, 1968. The year on the press release, 1967, is a typographical error.