Today in Black History, 11/05/2015 | The One-Cent Savings Bank and Trust - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Today in Black History, 11/05/2015 | The One-Cent Savings Bank and Trust

November 5, 1903 The One-Cent Savings Bank and Trust Company was organized in Nashville, Tennessee with the mission to "encourage frugality and systematic savings among our people, to secure the safekeeping and proper investment of such savings, and to set in motion business enterprises," The bank opened January 16, 1904 with deposits of almost $6,500. The bank changed its name to Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company in 1920 and today has total assets of approximately $100 million. 

November 5, 1889 Willis Richardson, playwright, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina but raised in Washington, D. C. Richardson staged his first play, "The Deacon's Awakening", in 1921. He was the first African American playwright to have a non-musical production on Broadway in 1923 with "The Chip Woman's Fortune," This was followed by "Mortgaged" (1923), "The Broken Banjo" (1925), and "Bootblack Lover" (1926). The last two plays were awarded the Amy Spingarn Prize for Art and Literature. Richardson edited the anthology "Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro" in 1930 and co-edited "Negro History in Thirteen Plays" in 1935. Richardson died November 7, 1977. He was posthumously awarded the Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) prize for his contribution to American theater. 

November 5, 1896 William H. Brown, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, died. Brown was born in 1836 in Baltimore, Maryland. He joined the Union Navy in 1864 and was assigned as a landsman to the USS Brooklyn. On August 5, 1864, 18 Union ships, including the Brooklyn, engaged in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Brown's actions during the battle earned him the medal, America's highest military decoration, December 31, 1864. His citation partially reads, "Stationed in the immediate vicinity of the shell whips which were twice cleared of men by bursting shells, Brown remained steadfast at his post and performed his duties in the powder division throughout the furious action which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan," After his death, Brown was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Not much else is known of Brown's life. 

November 5, 1899 James Herman Banning, the first licensed Black male pilot and the first Black pilot to fly coast to coast, was born in Blaine County, Oklahoma. He studied electrical engineering at Iowa State College for a year. Wanting to fly since his youth, Banning was repeatedly rejected by flight schools because of his race. He eventually was privately taught by an army aviator. He operated the J. H. Banning Auto Repair Shop from 1922 to 1928. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1929 and was a demonstration pilot and the chief pilot for the Bessie Coleman Aero Club. Banning and another Black pilot, using a plane put together from junkyard parts, flew coast to coast from Los Angeles to Long Island, New York in 1932. They made the 3,300 mile trip in 41 hours and 27 minutes in the air. The trip actually took 21 days because they had to raise money for the next leg of the trip each time they stopped. Banning was killed in a plane crash during an air show February 5, 1933. 

November 5, 1905 Theodore M. Berry, the first African American Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, was born in Maysville, Kentucky but raised in Cincinnati. Berry graduated from Woodward High School in 1924 as the first African American class valedictorian in Cincinnati. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1928 and his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1931 from the University of Cincinnati. Berry was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1932 and was appointed the first Black assistant prosecuting attorney for Hamilton County in 1938. He also served as president of the Cincinnati branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1932 to 1946. During World War II, Berry worked in the Office of War Information as a morale officer. He served on the NAACP Ohio Committee for Civil Rights Legislation from 1947 to 1961. He was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1949 and was elected vice mayor in 1955. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to head the Office of Economic Opportunity's Community Action Programs in 1965, a position he held until 1969. He returned to Cincinnati and was elected mayor in 1972. Berry served as mayor for four years. He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Cincinnati in 1968 and Northern Kentucky University in 1998. Berry died October 15, 2000. The Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park and the Theodore M. Berry Children and Family Learning Center in Cincinnati are named in his honor. 

November 5, 1917 The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a Louisville, Kentucky ordinance requiring residential segregation based on race violated the Fourteenth Amendment. In Buchanan v. Warley the court held that the motive for the ordinance was racial and that was an insufficient purpose to make the law constitutional. 

November 5, 1931 Ike Wister Turner, hall of fame bandleader and record producer, was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Turner's music career began in the late 1940s when he formed a group called The Kings of Rhythm. The band recorded "Rocket 88", which many historians recognize as the first rock and roll record, in 1951. While playing with The Kings of Rhythm, Turner also played guitar as a sideman for blues acts such as Howlin' Wolf and Otis Rush. He met a teenage singer named Anna Mae Bullock in 1956 and changed her name to Tina Turner and the name of the band became the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. They recorded "A Fool in Love" in early 1960 which became a national hit, reaching number 2 on the R&B Charts. From then until 1976, they were one of the most explosive duos in rock and soul music recording singles such as "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" (1961), "Proud Mary" (1971), and "Nutbush City Limits" (1973). After Tina left in 1976, Ike struggled as a solo act until 2001 when he released the Grammy Award nominated "Here & Now" album. He won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for "Risin' With the Blues," He published his autobiography, "Takin' Back My Name: The Confessions of Ike Turner", in 1999. "Ike Turner: King of Rhythm" was published in 2003. Turner died December 12, 2007. He and Tina were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2005. His recording with Tina of "River Deep, Mountain High" (1966) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance" in 1999 and "Proud Mary was inducted in 2003. 

November 5, 1956 Arthur "Art" Tatum, Jr., hall of fame jazz pianist, died. Tatum was born October 13, 1909 in Toledo, Ohio. He suffered from cataracts as an infant which left him blind in one eye and very limited vision in the other. A child prodigy, he learned to play the piano by ear at three. He moved to the Columbus School for the Blind in 1925 and studied music and learned Braille. Tatum recorded commercially from 1932 until near his death and was widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz pianist of all time. His recordings include "Makin' Whoopee" (1954), "Piano Starts Here" (1987), and "On The Sunny Side" (1997). Tatum was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1964. His album "The Genius of Art Tatum Vols. 1 – 13" (1954 – 55) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance" in 1978 and his single "Tea for Two" (1939) was inducted in 1986. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989 and his biography, "Too Marvelous for Words: The Life and Genius of Art Tatum", was published in 1994. The Toledo Jazz Society annually presents the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival. 

November 5, 1956 "The Nat King Cole Show" premiered on NBC Television as a 15 minute weekly variety show, making Cole the first major Black performer to host a network variety show. The first show aired without a commercial sponsor. NBC paid for the program with the hope that advertisers would soon be attracted to the show. This did not occur. Advertisers were fearful that White southern audiences would boycott their products as a result of their sponsorship. The show was on air for 64 weeks and many performers who could command significant fees, including Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Tony Bennett, appeared on the show for the union minimum wage. Ratings improved but no sponsors were interested in a permanent relationship with the show. As a result, Cole stated "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark," 

November 5, 1957 Kellen Boswell Winslow, Sr., hall of fame football player, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Winslow played college football at the University of Missouri and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in counseling psychology. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 1979 National Football League Draft and over his nine-season professional career was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. Winslow led the NFL in receptions in 1980 and 1981, the first tight end to lead the league in receptions two consecutive years. He also set a single season record for receiving yards by a tight end in 1981. Winslow retired from professional football in 1987 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Winslow earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1993. 

November 5, 1961 Channing Heggie Tobias, civil rights activist, died. Tobias was born February 1, 1882 in Augusta, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Paine College in 1902 and his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Drew Theological Seminary in 1905. He taught bible literature at Paine College for the next six years. Tobias joined the Young Men's Christian Association in 1911 and held various positions in the organization's Colored Work Department. After leaving the YMCA in 1946, he became the first Black director of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, a foundation devoted to the improvement of educational opportunities for African Americans. He retired from that position in 1953. Tobias also served on the national board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, serving as chairman in 1953. Tobias also served as an alternate representative to the United Nations for the United States in 1953. Additionally, he served on the boards of Hampton Institute, Palmer Memorial Institute, and the American Bible Society. Tobias was the recipient of the 1948 NAACP Spingarn Medal. 

November 5, 1962 Benjamin Alvin Drew, Jr., National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut, was born in Washington, D. C. Drew earned a dual Bachelor of Science degree in physics and astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 1984 and his Master of Science degree in aerospace science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He earned another master's degree in political science from the Air War College in 2006. Drew received his commission as a second lieutenant from the U. S. Air Force Academy in 1984 and flew 60 combat missions over Panama, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq. He has over 3,500 hours of flying time. He retired from the air force in 2010. He was selected by NASA as a mission specialist in 2000 and has been on two space flights, STS-118 in 2007 and STS-133 in 2011, logging 612 hours in space. Drew served as director of U. S. operations at Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center in Russia in 2009. 

November 5, 1967 Robert Nighthawk, hall of fame blues singer and guitarist, died. Nighthawk was born Robert Lee McCollum in Helena, Arkansas November 30, 1909. He left home at an early age to play the harmonica on the streets. Nighthawk learned to play the slide guitar in the late 1920s and moved to St. Louis, Missouri in the mid-1930s. He recorded 25 sides that were not commercially successful between 1937 and 1940. Nighthawk was rediscovered playing on the streets of Chicago, Illinois in 1963. This led to him again recording, including the album 'Live on Maxwell Street" (1964). Nighthawk was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Mississippi Blues Commission erected a historical marker in his honor in Friars Point, Mississippi. 

November 5, 1971 Samuel "Toothpick Sam" Jones, the first African American to pitch a baseball no-hitter in the major leagues, died. Jones was born December 14, 1925 in Stewartsville, Ohio. He began his professional baseball career in the Negro Baseball League in 1947. He began his major league career with the Cleveland Indians in 1951. During his major league career, he pitched for a number of different teams and was a two-time National League All-Star, led the National League in strikeouts three times, and was named the 1959 National League Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News. While pitching for the Chicago Cubs, Jones pitched a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates May 12, 1955. Jones last year in the major leagues was 1964 and he retired from baseball in 1967 with a major league record of 102 wins and 101 losses. 

November 5, 1996 Eddie Harris, jazz musician, died. Harris was born October 20, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. He studied music at DuSable High School and Roosevelt University before he was drafted into the United States Army where he played in the 7th Army Band. His first album, "Exodus to Jazz" (1961), included his jazz arrangement of the theme from the movie "Exodus" which became the first jazz record ever to be certified gold. His album "The Electrifying Eddie Harris" reached number 2 on the R&B charts in 1967 and he performed with Les McCann's group on the 1969 recording "Swiss Movement" which became one of the best-selling jazz albums ever. Harris was responsible for most of the music for "The Bill Cosby Show" television series. 

November 5, 1998 Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor bestowed on an individual artist by the United States, from President William J. Clinton. Domino was born February 26, 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He first attracted national attention with the 1949 release of "Fat Man" which is widely regarded to be the first rock and roll record to sell more than a million copies. Over his career, Domino has recorded 37 top 40 singles, including "Ain't That a Shame" (1955), "Blue Monday" (1956), and "Blueberry Hill" (1956), his biggest hit which was number 1 on the R&B charts for 11 weeks and sold more than 5 million copies. "Blueberry Hill" was voted the 18th most popular song of the 20th century in a National Endowment for the Arts poll in 2001. Domino was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, and received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1995. "Ain't That a Shame" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of "lasting qualitative or historical significance" in 1984 and "Blueberry Hill" was inducted in 1987 and "Walking to New Orleans" (1960) in 2011. He released an album, "Alive and Kickin'", in 2006 to support New Orleans musicians effected by Hurricane Katrina. Domino has sold more than 110 million records in his career. His biography, "Blue Monday-Fats Domino and the Last Dawn of Rock and Roll", was published in 2006. 

November 5, 1998 Henry Louis "Skip" Gates received the National Humanities Medal from President William J. Clinton for work that has "deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizen's engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities," Gates was born September 16, 1950 in Keyser, West Virginia. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in history from Yale University in 1973 and became the first African American awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. He earned his Master of Arts degree and Ph. D. in English from Clare College at the University of Cambridge in 1979, the first African American to earn a Ph. D. from the college. Gates taught at Yale from 1976 to 1984 and Cornell University from 1985 to 1989. He joined Harvard University in 1991 and is now the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University professor and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American research. Gates has written a number of books, including "Figures in Black: Word, Signs, and the "Racial" Self" (1987), "Colored People: A Memoir" (1994), "The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Century" (2000), "Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora" (2010), and "Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008" (2011). He was host and co-producer of the documentaries "African American Lives" (2006) and "African American Lives 2" (2008). He hosted the four-part PBS series "Faces of America" in 2010. He received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "Genius" Award in 1981 and was listed as one of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans in 1997. He was selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to deliver the 2002 Jefferson Lecture, the United States government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Gates has received more than 50 honorary doctorate degrees. 

November 5, 2002 Vinnette Justine Carroll, actress, playwright, and the first African American woman to direct on Broadway, died. Carroll was born March 11, 1922 in New York City but raised in Jamaica. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Long Island University in 1944 and her Master of Arts degree from New York University in 1946. She later completed coursework for her Ph. D. in psychology and worked as a clinical psychologist. Carroll made her professional stage debut in 1948 and her Broadway debut in 1957. She won an Off-Broadway Theater (OBIE) Award for her role in "Moon on a Rainbow Shawl" in 1962 and an Emmy Award for the television production of "Beyond the Blues" in 1964. Carroll founded the Urban Arts Corps in 1967 to foster participation by minority groups in all aspects of the theatrical arts. She started directing plays in 1961 and became the first African American woman to direct on Broadway in 1972 with "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope," That musical was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Direction of a Musical for Carroll. She directed "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God" in 1976 and it garnered three Tony nominations, including Carroll again being nominated for direction. She is the only African American woman to receive a nomination for direction. Carroll moved to Florida in 1985 and established the Vinnette Carroll Repertory Company. 

November 5, 2007 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush. Johnson Sirleaf was born October 29, 1938 in Monrovia, Liberia. She earned her bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1971. She served as assistant minister of finance from 1972 to 1973 and as minister of finance for Liberia from 1979 to 1980. As a result of disagreements with the government in power, Johnson Sirleaf spent much of the 1980s and 1990s in exile. She returned to Liberia in 1996 and was elected President of Liberia in 2005, the first female head of state in Africa. Johnson Sirleaf was included on Time magazine's 2006 list of 100 Most Influential People in the World. She has received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from several universities, including Indiana University and Yale University. Johnson Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize December 10, 2011 "for securing peace in Liberia, promoting economic and social development, and strengthening the position of women," She published her autobiography, "This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President", in 2009. Johnson Sirleaf was elected to a second five year term in 2011. She received the coveted 2012 Indira Gandhi Peace Prize from the Republic of India. Forbes magazine listed her number 70 on their 2014 list of The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World and number 96 on its 2015 list. 

November 5, 2007 Benjamin Lawson Hooks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush. Hooks was born January 31, 1925 in Memphis, Tennessee. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in 1944, he joined the United States Army where he found that the prisoners he was responsible for guarding could eat in restaurants from which he was barred. Hooks earned his Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law in 1948 and set up his own law practice. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1956 and joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He became the first Black criminal court judge in Tennessee history in 1965. He served on the Federal Communications Commission from 1973 to 1978 and focused on the lack of minority ownership of television and radio stations and the image of Black people in the mass media. Hooks served as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1976 to 1992. He was awarded the 1986 NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change was established at the University of Memphis in 1996. He was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2008. Hooks died April 15, 2010. The NAACP presents the Benjamin L. Hooks Distinguished Service Award to persons for efforts in implementing policies and programs which promote equal opportunity. 

November 5, 2010 Shirley Verrett, operatic mezzo-soprano and soprano, died. Verrett was born May 31, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana but raised in Los Angeles, California. She made her operatic debut in "The Rape of Lucretia" in 1957. She made her New York City debut in "Lost in the Story" in 1958 and debuted in Europe in "Rasputins Tod" in 1959. Verrett enjoyed great fame from the late 1960s through the 1990s. She made her Broadway debut in "Carousel" in 1994. Verrett joined the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance as a professor of voice in 1996 and published her memoir, "I Never Walked Alone", in 2003. 

November 5, 2012 Charles Vernon Bush, the first African American to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy, died. Bush was born December 17, 1939 in Washington, D. C. He became the first African American to serve as a page of the U. S. Supreme Court in 1954. Bush earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the USAFA in 1963 and his Master of Arts degree in international relations from Georgetown University in 1964. Following his commissioning in 1963, Bush served as an intelligence officer, including a year in Vietnam where he was responsible for the operations of six intelligence teams. Bush resigned from the air force in 1970 and earned his Master of Business Administration degree in finance from Harvard University in 1972. He then served as an executive officer for several corporations and directed a number of entrepreneurial efforts. He also served on the board of Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Buchanan V. Warley

​Supreme Court ruling that found residential segregation based unconstitutional in Louisville, Kentucky.

Premiered on NBC.

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