Return Today in the History of America's Diversity Heritage Return

APRIL 16

1864 Flora Batson (Washington, D.C.-born African-American Concert Singer) Washington, D.C. Performing Artists Musicians African-American Performing Artists African American Registry
1866 José de Diego (Puerto Rican Writer, Social & Political Leader) José de Diego Latin American Political and Social Leaders
1897 Jesús T. Piñero (First Native-born Governor of Puerto Rico) Puerto Rican Political & Social Leaders Latin American Political and Social Leaders
1918 Carol Brice (North Carolina-born African-American Contralto Concert Singer) North Carolina Performing Artists Musicians African-American Performing Artists African American Registry
1921 Marie Maynard Daly (New York City-born Biochemist: First African-American Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry) New York City Scientists & Mathematicians Biochemistry American Women in Science and Math African-American Scientists & Mathematicians African American Registry
1929 Ed Townsend (Tennessee-born African-American Lyricist, Songwriter, Producer) Tennessee Composers. Songwriters American Composers, Songwriters African-American Composers, Songwriters Internet Movie Database African American Registry
1940 Eleanora Tate (Missouri-born African-American Children's Author) Eleanora Tate Young-adult Authors African American Authors
1947 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (New York-born African-American member of the Basketball Hall of Fame) New York Sports Figures Basketball Hall of Fame African American Sports Figures Biography.com African American Registry
1965 Martin Lawrence (African-American Comedian) American Performing Artists Actors Film African American Performing Artists Biography.com
1971 Selena Quintanilla Pérez (Texas-born Latin-American Popular Singer) Selena Quintanilla Pérez Popular Musicians Latin American Performing Artists
Deaths
Persons of Historic Significance Who Have Died on This Date
1994 Ralph Ellison (Oklahoma-born African-American Writer) Ralph Ellison American Authors African-American Authors
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1862 President Lincoln Signs an Act Abolishing Slavery in the District of Columbia Washington, D.C. President Abraham Lincoln Slavery African-American Heritage Library of Congress Lincoln Logs African American Registry
1864 President Lincoln Authorizes Transfer of Fort Smith and Indian Territory to the Department of Arkansas Fort Smith, Arkansas President Abraham Lincoln Forts Native-American Heritage National Park Service Lincoln Logs
1869 Ebenezer Bassett Begins His Service as the First African-American Diplomat (Haiti) Haiti Connecticut Political and Social Leaders President Grant African-American Political and Social Leaders Historic Firsts Haitian Internet
1883 Frederick Douglass Commemorates the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Slavery Frederick Douglass Library of Congress
1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writes His Letter from a Birmingham Jail Birmingham, Alabama Dr. King Historic Documents Civil Rights African American Registry University of Georgia
1973 In Taft, Oklahoma Leila Smith Foley Is the First Female African American to be Elected Mayor of a U.S. City Taft, Oklahoma Elections Female American Political and Social Leaders African-American Political and Social Leaders Historic Firsts African American Registry
1987 NY News Guilty of Discrimination Against Black Reporters New York City Journalism Law and Legal Resources African-American History
1991 Marge Anderson Becomes Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Minnesota Political and Social Leaders American Women Political and Social Leaders Ojibwe Minnesota Historical Society

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