December 9: This Day in History

redd_foxxDecember 9, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the establishment of the YMCA, the founding of the John Birch Society, and the birth of Redd Foxx.

Today is,

–Anna’s day, marks the day to start the preparation process of the lutefisk to be consumed of Christmas Eve, as well as a Swedish name day, celebrating all people named Anna, Sweden and Finland

–Independence day, marking the independence of Tananyika from Britain in 1961, Tanzania.Once the Second World War had ended, the Tanganyika region was placed under United Nations (UN) Trusteeship, which mandated Britain with the development of the region. Various independent movements sprung up around this time, including the Tanganyika Africa National Union (TANU), headed by Julius Nyerere. Support for TANU grew, and by 1960, the first elections were planned for Tanganyika. On 9 December 1961, Tanganyika became an independent republic and became known from then on as Tanzania. In 1962, it became a one party state under Julius Nyerereand followed a policy of socialism. (

–International Anti-Corruption Day, international

–National Heroes Day, formerly V.C. Bird Day, Anitgua and Barbuda

–Yuri’s Day in the Autumn, Russian Orthodox Church

On this day,

1425 – The Catholic University of Leuven is founded

1793 – New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, is established by Noah Webster

1851 – The first YMCA in North American is established in Montreal

1854 – The poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was published in England.

1872 – Pickney Benton Stewart Pinchback became the first African America to serve as governor of a state in the United States.

1897 – Activist Marguerite Durand founds the feminist daily newspaper La Fronde in Paris

1907 – Christmas seals wen on sale for the first time, at the Wilmington, Delaware, post office.  The proceeds went to fight tuberculosis.

1917 – In Palestine, British Field Marshal Edmund Allen captures Jerusalem.

1935 – Walter Liggett, American newspaper editor and muckraker, is killed in a gangland murder.

1941 – China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1950 – Harry Gold is sentenced to 30 years in prison for helping Klaus Fuchs pas information about the Manhattan Project the Soviet Union.  His testimony is later instrumental in the prosecution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

1958 – The anti-Communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis.,9171,872243,00.html 

1960 – The first episode of Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running television soap opera, is broadcast in the United Kingdom.

1964 – John Coltrane records his studio album ‘A love Supreme’, on this day in 1964.  It is considered one of Coltrane’s greatest works.

1966 – Barbados joins the United Nations.

1971 – The United Arab Emirates join the United Nations.

1979 – The eradication for the smallpox virus is certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.

1982 – South African troops raid Maseru, Lesotho, in an effort to kill suspected members of the African national Congress. 42 people, including five women and two children are killed during the massacre.

1987 – The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and Wet Bank.

1995 – Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md. was chosen tot head the NAACP.

2002 – United Airlines files the biggest bankruptcy in aviation history after losing $4 billion in the previous two years?

2004 – Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was constitutional


1608 – John Milton,, English poet and scholar (d.1674)

1886 – Clarence Birdseye, American businessman and pioneer of frozen foods

1892 – Cleveland Leigh “Cleve” Abbott, hall of fame coach and educator, was born in Yankton, South Dakota. Abbott earned his bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State College in 1916 and soon after was hired by Tuskegee Institute to teach agricultural history. In 1917, he joined the United States Army where he served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I. In 1923, he returned to Tuskegee as director of physical education and athletics, a position he held for more than 30 years. In that capacity, he coached all of Tuskegee’s athletic teams. As head football coach, Abbott had a career record of 202 wins, 97 losses, and 27 ties. This included six undefeated seasons. As the women’s track coach, he led them to 14 Amateur Athletic Association National team titles, including eight in a row. His teams included many of the sport’s legends, including Alice Coachman, Mildred McDaniel, and Nell Jackson, who have all been inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame. Abbott died April 14, 1955. He was posthumously inducted into the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2005, Abbott was posthumously honored with the Trailblazer Award by the American Football Coaches Association. Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium at Tuskegee and Abbott Hall, a residential hall at South Dakota State, are named in his honor. (               

1913 – Gerard Sekoto, the father of South African art, was born near Middelburg, EasternTransvall province.  After graduating from the Diocesan Teachers Training College, Sekototaught school from 1934 to 1938. In 1938, he moved to Johannesburg to pursue a career as an artist. He held his first solo exhibition in 1939 and in 1940 the Johannesburg Art Gallery purchased one of his paintings, the first painting by a Black artist to enter a museum collection in South Africa. In 1947, Sekoto left South Africa to live in Paris, France. While in Paris, he composed music and performed to pay his living and art school expenses. His works include “Three Women” (1942), “Song of the Pick” (1947), “Woman and Children” (1955), and “Homage to Steve Biko” (1978). Sekoto had exhibitions in Paris, Stockholm, Venice, Washington, D. C., Senegal, and South Africa. (               

1922 – Red Foxx, comedian and actor, was born John Elroy Sanford in St. Louis, Missouri. Foxx moved to New York City in the early 1940s, where he was an associate of Malcolm X. In Malcolm’s autobiography, Foxx is referred to as “Chicago Red, the funniest dishwasher on this earth.” Foxx gained notoriety with his nightclub act and was one of the first Black comics to play to White audiences on the Las Vegas strip. From 1972 to 1977, Foxx starred in the highly successful television situation comedy “Sanford and Son” and in 1972 won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Actor in a Musical or Comedy. He was also nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series in 1972, 1973, and 1974. From 1980 to 1981, he starred in the television series “Sanford.” Foxx died October 11, 1991. (               

1933 – Milton Gray Campbell, the first African American to win the Gold medal in thedcathaon at the Olympic Games, was born in Plainfield, New Jersey.

1933 – Morton Downey, Jr., American singer-songwriter, actor and talk show host (d.2001)

1934 – Judi Dench, English actress and singer

1939 – Patricia Stephens Due, Civil rights activist, was born in Quincy, Florida but raised in Belle Grade Florida.  Due started fighting segregation when she was 13 by insisting on being served at the “Whites Only” window of her local Dairy Queen. In 1957, she entered Florida A& M University (FAMU) and in 1960 was arrested for ordering food at a “Whites Only” Woolworth lunch counter. Rather than pay a $300 fine, she and seven others remained in jail for 49 days. The “jail-in” gained national attention. That same year, Due suffered permanent eye damage when she was hit in the face by teargas while leading a protest march. Due was suspended by FAMU several times for her civil rights activities before earning her bachelor’s degree in 1965. Due served in leadership roles in the Congress of Racial Equality and the NAACP while fighting against segregated facilities and leading voter registration drives. In 2003, Due and her daughter published “Freedom in the Family: a Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights.” In 2006, Due received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from FAMU and annually the John Due and Patricia Stephens Due Freedom Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a FAMU student. Due died February 7, 2012. (


1930 – Andrew Rube Foster, hall of fame Negro league baseball player, manager and executive, died. Foster was born September 17, 1879 in Calvert, Texas. He started his professional career as a pitcher in 1897. Foster pitched until 1917 and many historians consider him the best African American pitcher of his time.

1971 – Ralph Johnson Bunche, political scientist and diplomat, died.  Bunche was born August 7, 1904 in Detroit, Michigan.  Bunche was the first African American to earn a doctorate in Political Science in the United States.

1995 – Toni Cade Bambara, author, social activist and college professor, died. Bambara was born Miltona Mirkin Cade March 25, 1939 in New York City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and theater at Queens College in 1959 and her Master of Arts degree in African fiction at City College of New York in 1964. Bambara taught at Rutgers University from 1969 to 1974. She edited the 1970 anthology “The Black Woman,” a collection of poetry, short stories, and essays by such writers as Nikki Giovanni, AudreLorde, Alice Walker, and Paule Marshall. Her first collection of short stories, “Gorilla, My Love,” was published in 1972. Bamabara’s works were strongly influenced by radical politics, feminism, and African American culture. Those works include “The Sea Birds Are Still Alive” (1977), “The Bombing of Osage Avenue” (1986), and “Those Bones Are Not My Child” (1999) which was published after her death.

1996 – Mary Leakey, English archaeologist and anthropologist (b.1913)

Sources: The People History; This Day in Labor History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; This Day in Women’s History; This Day in African History;;History Orb; Yenoba; Selected Black Facts; Phil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music