Anthology of “Black History Month Question of the Day”
February 1, 2008 - "Who was the governor of the State of Arkansas in 1957 and why was he an infamous figure during the Civil Rights Movement?"
The governor of Arkansas in 1957 was Orval Faubus who is best known for his 1957 stand against the desegregation of Little Rock public schools during the Little Rock Crisis, in which he defied the United States Supreme Court by ordering the Arkansas National Guard to stop African American students from attending Little Rock Central High School.
February 4, 2008 - "Black History was made during yesterday's SUPER BOWL XLII. How?"
First black head referee in a Super Bowl, Mike Carey. There have been lots of black officials (line judge, back judge, etc.) but Carey is the first to have the microphone and wear the white hat.
February 5, 2008 - In 1997, President Clinton issued the following apology to the American people: "The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens... clearly racist." For what heinous act in U.S. history did the President offer this apology?
President Clinton's apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to the eight remaining survivors, May 16, 1997. For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all. The black patients in the experiment were denied antibiotics to cure the disease for over three decades. As a result, many patients died or spread the disease to their family members. To learn more about this event, click on this link, http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmtuskegee1.html
February 6, 2008 - Who is credited with creating the celebration of Black History Month?
Black History Month was established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, the director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Black History Month is an extension of the originally established Negro History Week, chosen because the week contains the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson established NHW for the purpose of educating the world about the advances and achievements made by Africans and people of African descent by providing scholarly and popular material on Black history.
February 7, 2008 - In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the “color line” in Major League Baseball when he signed a contract to play with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Which African-American athletes are credited with integrating the following: the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Basketball Association (NBA)? Name the athlete, the year and the team for which he played.
- National Football League (NFL)
FRITZ POLLARD - 1920 Akron Pros; Kenny Washington and Woody Strode - 1946 L.A. Rams
- National Hockey League (NHL)
WILLIE O’REE - 1958 Boston Bruins
- National Basketball Association
CHUCK COOPER (1st be drafted) - 1950 Boston Celtics; Nat Clifton (1st to sign a contract) 1950 N.Y. Knicks;
EARL LLOYD (1st to play) 1950 Washington Capitals
February 8, 2008 - In 1968, predominately white educational institutions (high school and college) around the country named black men and women as their leaders, for the first time. Name three of these black leaders and the institutions they served.
There are number of answers to this question, including:
- Dr. Norvel Clark was named principle of Boys' High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, part of the N.Y. Public School System
- Revered James E. Jones was named head of The Board of Education of L.A., the first black person to hold this position since it began 115 years earlier.
- Mrs. Elizabeth D. Koontz was named the first black president of the (then) 106-year-old National Education Association
February 11, 2008 - James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Who were these men, why are they important in Black History, and can you name a bizarre fact about their situation?
James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were civil rights activists who were falsely imprisoned. They were registering black voters in Mississippi, in June of 1964, when they went to investigate a church burning. The police released them in the middle of the night to be beaten to death by the KKK.
The state refused to press any charges, and the federal government stepped in but only convicted a handful of those responsible. In 2005, the believed ringleader was arrested, re-tried, and convicted.
February 12, 2008 - How many Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU's) are there? Name the western-most, the eastern-most of these institutions (including when they were founded) as well as the one with the largest endowment.
There 103 HBCU's in the United States (40 four-year public institutions, 50 four-year private institutions, 11 two-year public institutions, and 2 two-year private instituitons). The western-most of these institutions is Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (1966) in South Central Los Angeles, CA. The eastern-most HBCU is the University of the Virgin Islands (1962). Howard University, in Washington, D.C. is the HBCU with largest endowment ($152 million).
February 13, 2008 - Who is credited with being the first African-American to hold a U.S. Patent? What year was this patent granted, for which invention was it granted, and how did the inventor use the money earned from the invention?
Thomas L. Jennings was the first African American to get a patent. His patent was for a dry-cleaning process and was approved in 1821. He used the revenue from his patent to buy his family out of slavery and to support other abolitionist causes.
February 14, 2008 - Who is the first black actor and the first black actress to have an on-screen kiss with a non-black counterpart in a film? Name the film, the year, the two "kissers", and an interesting fact about each film.
Dorothy Dandridge was the black actress who, in the movie "Tamango" (1958) , was involved in an interracial romance with actor Curt Jurgens. Harry Belafonte was the black actor who, in the movie "Island in the Sun" (1957) locked lips with white actress, Joan Fontaine. Interestingly, "Tamango" was banned in the U.S., and the kissing scene in between Belafonte and Fontaine was cut because of protests about interracial relationships.
February 15, 2008 - According to FBI statistics, there were 5,020 victims of race-based hate crimes in the United States in 2006. Match the racial group with the number of hate crimes committed against that group:
Anti-Amer. Indian/Alaskan Native
Anti-Black------------------------ 3332 (66.4)
Anti-Asian/Pac. Islander------------- 239 (4.8%)
Anti-Amer. Indian/Alaskan Native------75 (1.5%)
Anti-Multiple Races-----------------320 (6.4%)
February 18, 2008 - There are no fewer than ten (10) significant events in Black History that involve the word "BUFFALO". Name at least three of these historic events.
- Just after the Civil War, Congress established several new all-black regiments in the segregated military. Two of them, the ninth and tenth cavalries, were dubbed the "Buffalo Soldiers." These rugged horsemen enforced the law in the Wild West, fighting Native American uprisings, outlaws like Billy The Kid and guerrilla forces led by Mexico's Pancho Villa. The Buffalo Soldiers were crucial to the western expansion of the United States, mapping unknown land and helping build the infrastructure for future growth.
- Black history is Buffalo's (University of Buffalo, The State University of New York) history, because all sources indicate that the first permanent, non-Indian settler in what is now Buffalo, circa 1771, was Joe Hodges, a trader, interpretor, and fugitive from slavery. Originally published in the Buffalo Gazette, v.4 no. 9, February 2002, p. 8
- Africans, Darkies and Negroes: Black Faces at the Pan American Exposition of 1901, Buffalo, New York. There is no question but that 1901 was an exciting year for the residents of Buffalo, New York, its surrounding communities, and indeed the world as the city was the host for the Pan-American Exposition that year. In 1899 the United States Congress passed an Act to “encourage the holding of a Pan-American Exposition on the Niagara Frontier”. The Act described the purpose of this Exposition as the vehicle “to fittingly illustrate the marvelous development of the Western Hemisphere during the nineteenth century, by a display of the arts, industries, manufactures, and the products of sail, mines and sea." During its six month run, the Exposition attracted over 8 million visitors to exhibits and displays that celebrated the monumental scientific, technological and artistic accomplishments of the time.
February 19, 2008 - Who served as the inspiration for the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”?
Rev. Josiah Henson (1789 - 1883) was the inspiration for the main character of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic novel. Rev. Henson was an escaped slave who founded a settlement and school for other fugitive slaves in Ontario, Canada.
February 20, 2008 - I was born a slave in 1842. I illegally educated myself (it was against the law for blacks to read at that time). I joined the U.S. Army, eventually becoming its first black Chaplain, and retired as its highest ranking black officer. I am forever linked to a "California Dream". WHO AM I, WHAT WAS MY U.S ARMY RANK, AND HOW AM I LINKED TO CALIFORNIA?
Allen Allensworth, a U.S. Army Captain, retired as Lieutenant Colonel (the highest ranking African American officer in American history at the time) is linked to California for establishing Allensworth in 1908, the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. It's now Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, celebrating its centennial this year.
February 21, 2008 - Which of these inventions WAS NOT invented by an African-American? Ironing Board, Casket Lowering Device, Windshield Wiper, The Incineraid System, Butter Churn, Air Bags, Clothes Dryer, Refrigeration Device for Trucks and Trains, Gas Mask, Lawnmower, Traffic Light, The Mop, Metal Oven Racks. If you're up to the challenge, name the African-American who invented the remaining items.
The "windshield wiper" and "air bags" are the inventions from the list that WERE NOT invented by an African-American.
- The Ironing Board Sarah Boone, April 26, 1892 (African-Amer.)
- Casket-lowering Device A.C. Richardson, November 13, 1894 (African-Amer.)
- Windshield Wiper Mary Anderson, November 1903 (Non-African-Amer.)
- The Incineraid System Meredith Charles "Flash" Gourdine (African-Amer.)
- Butter Churn A.C. Richardson, February 17, 1891 (African-Amer.)
- Air Bags Allen K. Breed, 1968 (Non-African-Amer.)
- Clothes Dryer George T. Samson, June 7, 1892 (African-Amer.)
- Refrigeration Device for Trucks & trains Frederick M. Jones, 1927 (African-Amer.)
- Gas Mask Garrett Morgan, 1914 (African-Amer.)
- Lawnmower (rotary blade mower) John Albert Burr, May 9, 1899 (African-Amer.)
- Traffic Light Garrett Morgan (African-Amer.)
- The Mop Thomas Stewart, June 11, 1893 (African-Amer.)
- Metal Oven Rack J. Hawkins (African-Amer.)
February 22, 2008 - On June 11, 2005, a Washington Post columnist, wrote, "Without (this person's) devotion to his job,...there would have been no "All the President's Men" by Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein and no Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller". Who was the columnist, and to whom was he referring in the column, and why is this person (not the columnist) important?
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C. Author: Colbert I. King
Without [Frank Wills]'s devotion to his job, there would have been no arrest of five men inside the sixth-floor offices of the Democratic National Committee in the early morning hours of June 17, 1972. It was Wills, a 24-year-old, African American, $80-a-week security guard who spotted masking tape on a door between a stairwell and a parking garage. He thought a cleaning crew might have taped over the door latch to keep it from locking, so he removed it. When he returned to the scene and saw new tape, Wills promptly called the police.
Were it not for Wills's suspicion of a break-in and his decisive action, the world most likely would never have heard the names E. Howard Hunt or G. Gordon Liddy. There would have been no "Deep Throat" and no "All the President's Men" by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. There would have been no Pulitzer Prize for The Post, no image of a disgraced President [Richard Nixon] waving goodbye before liftoff on Aug. 9, 1974, no President Gerald Ford, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and probably no President Jimmy Carter to sweep into office on the heels of the 20th century's greatest Washington political meltdown.
February 25, 2008 - In 1941, “THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN” made aviation history by becoming the United States Air Force’s first all-black aviators. These elite men flew with distinction during World War II and other combat missions. How was academic history made in honor of these men, sixty-five years later? On October 20, 2006, learning about the Tuskegee Airmen became an official component of the classroom curriculum of the United States Air Force Officers Training School.
February 26, 2008 - Which event in Black History caused the postponement of the beginning of a Major League Baseball season?
On April 4,1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. In response, many of the MLB players (black, Latino and white) issued a statement saying that they would not play until after King's funeral. The games were postponed.
February 27, 2008 - I was raised in an activist household where guests included W.E.B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson. It was through the influence of this activism that I came to dedicate my life to worthy causes. For a while I believed that discrimination could be ended through communism, but I left the party when I discovered that they were more dedicated to other causes. I was eventually involved in the civil rights movement, and became a close advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. I later worked on behalf of labor issues and humanitarian causes. Who am I? (Asa Philip Randolph, John Lewis, James Forman, Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin)
Answer: Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987). Mr. Rustin was an American civil rights activist, important largely behind the scenes in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and earlier, and principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
February 29, 2008 - Who was the first black to serve as governor in the United States? Which professional athlete was the only football player to be inducted into the both the NFL and CFL Hall of Fame? What is the origin of the phrase "The Real McCoy"?
- First Black Governor in the U.S.: Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback
- First athlete to be honored in Hall of Fame of NFL & CFL: Warren Moon
- Real McCoy Origin: Elijah McCoy was the inventor of, among other things, a lubricant that enable machines to be oiled while they were still running. Because his product was so good, and copies were completely inadequate, people would request his lubricant product by name, or asking for "The Real McCoy."