May 13, 1914
Photo Source: detroitfoodist.com
May 8, 1888
The Predecessor to the Tricycle
Photo Source: Wordpress / Garageancien
May 9, 1897
Harlem Renaissance Author
Rudolph John Chauncey Fisher, physician and author, was born in Washington, D. C. but raised in Providence, Rhode Island. Fisher earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and biology in 1919 and his Master of Arts degree in 1920 from Brown University. He won several public speaking contests during his time at Brown, including first place at an intercollegiate contest at Harvard University in 1917. He also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Fisher earned his medical degree from Howard University Medical School, with highest honors, in 1924. He moved to New York City in 1925 and established a private medical practice. Fisher published his first short story, "City of Refuge", that same year. He went on to write two acclaimed novels, "The Walls of Jericho" (1928) and "The Conjure-Man Dies" (1932) which was the first published detective novel with a Black detective. He is considered one of the major literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Fisher died December 26, 1934. An anthology of his short stories, "City of Refuge: The Collected Stories of Rudolph Fisher", was published in 1991.
Photo Source: Wordpress / tashqueedagg
May 10, 1837
Photo Source: Britannica.com
May 11, 1986
The NFL's First Black Head Coach
Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard, hall of fame football coach and the first African American head coach in the National Football League, died. Pollard was born January 27, 1894 in Chicago, Illinois. He played college football at Brown University from 1915 to 1918. Pollard played professional football with the Akron Pros and led them to the NFL championship in 1920. He became co-head coach of the team in 1921. Pollard and the other Black players in the NFL were banned from playing at the end of the 1926 season. He continued to coach all-Black barnstorming teams until 1937. Pollard was also involved in a number of business enterprises, including an investment firm, a newspaper, and a booking agency. Pollard was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Fritz Pollard Award is annually presented to a college or professional coach chosen by the Black Coaches Association. The Fritz Pollard Alliance is an organization "promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of National Football League teams". Pollard's biography, "Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Advancement", was published in 1999.
Photo Source: RealClearSports.com
May 12, 1874
"The Real McCoy" Strikes Again
Elijah J. McCoy of Ypsilanti, Michigan received patent number 150,876 for Improvements in Ironing-Tables. His invention provided additional stability for the ironing board and still allowed it to be folded and stored when not in use. McCoy was a prolific inventor and received 57 patents, mostly related to lubrication. McCoy was born May 2, 1843 in Colchester, Ontario, Canada. His parents had escaped enslavement to Canada. McCoy studied engineering in Edinburgh, Scotland and found work with the Michigan Central Railroad after moving to Ypsilanti, Michigan. He moved to Detroit, Michigan around 1880 and formed the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company in 1920. McCoy died October 10, 1929. A Michigan historical marker was placed at the site of his Detroit home in 1975 and Elijah McCoy Drive in Detroit is named in his honor. He was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2001 and the 2006 play "The Real McCoy" chronicled his life and inventions. His biography, also titled "The Real McCoy", was published in 2007. His name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
Photo Source: Blogspot.com / Every Day Is Special
May 14, 1970
Relentless American Hero
Charles Calvin Rogers received the Congressional Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration from President Richard M. Nixon for his actions during the Vietnam War. Rogers was born September 6, 1929 in Claremont, West Virginia. He joined the United States Army and was serving as a lieutenant colonel in command of 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division by 1968. His battalion was manning a fire support base near the Cambodian border November 1, 1968 when it came under heavy attack. His actions during the attack earned him the medal. His citation partially reads, "In the early morning hours, the fire support base was subjected to a concentrated bombardment of heavy mortar, rocket and rocket propelled grenade fire. Simultaneously the position was struck by a human wave ground assault, led by sappers who breached the defensive barriers with bangalore torpedoes and penetrated the defensive perimeter. Lt. Col. Rogers with complete disregard for his safety moved through the hail of fragments from bursting enemy rounds to the embattled area. He aggressively rallied the dazed artillery crewmen to man their howitzers and he directed their fire on the assaulting enemy. Although knocked to the ground and wounded by an exploding round, Lt. Col. Rogers sprang to his feet and led a small counterattack force against an enemy element that had penetrated the howitzer positions. Although painfully wounded a second time during the assault, Lt. Col. Rogers pressed the attack killing several of the enemy and driving the remainder from the positions. Refusing medical treatment, Lt. Col. Rogers reestablished and reinforced the defensive positions. As a second human wave attack was launched against another sector of the perimeter, Lt. Col. Rogers directed artillery fire on the assaulting enemy and led a second counterattack against the enemy forces. His valorous example rallied the beleaguered defenders to repulse and defeat the enemy onslaught. Lt. Col. Rogers moved from position to position through the heavy enemy fire, giving encouragement and direction to his men. At dawn the determined enemy launched a third assault against the fire base in an attempt to overrun the position. Lt. Col. Rogers moved to the threatened area and directed lethal fire on the enemy forces. Seeing a howitzer inoperative due to casualties, Lt. Col Rogers joined the surviving members of the crew to return the howitzer to action. While directing the position defense, Lt. Col. Rogers was seriously wounded by fragments from a heavy mortar round which exploded on the parapet of the gun position. Although too severely wounded to physically lead the defenders, Lt. Col. Rogers continued to give encouragement and direction to his men in the defeating and repelling of the enemy attack." Rogers rose to the rank of major general before leaving the army. He later became a Baptist minister serving U. S. troops in Germany where he died September 21, 1990.
Photo Source: badassoftheweek.com