· November 27, 1928 Marjorie Stewart Joyner received patent number 1,693,515 for her invention of the permanent wave machine which could be used to curl or straighten hair by wrapping rods above the person’s head and then cooking them to set the hair. This method allowed hairstyles to last several days. The machine was popular with African American and white women. Joyner was born October 24, 1896 in Monterey, Virginia and in 1916 became the first African American to graduate from A.B. Molar Beauty School in Chicago. After graduating, she went to work for Madam C.J. Walker, overseeing 200 of her beauty schools as the National Advisor. As a result, Joyner’s invention was credited to Madam Walker’s company and she received almost no money for it. In 1945, Joyner co-founded the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association and in 1973, at the age of 77, she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bethune-Cookman College. Joyner died December 7, 1994.
· November 27, 1940 George Henry Wanton, Medal of Honor recipient, died. Wanton was born May 15, 1868 in Paterson, New Jersey. By June 30, 1898, he was serving as a private in the 10th Calvary Regiment (Buffalo Soldiers) in the Spanish-American War. On that day, American forces aboard the USS Florida near Tayacoba, Cuba dispatched a small landing party to provide reconnaissance on Spanish outposts in the area. The party was discovered and came under heavy fire. Their boats were sunk, leaving them stranded on shore. After four failed attempts, Wanton and three other members of the 10th Calvary successfully found and rescued the surviving members of the landing party. In recognition of his actions, on June 23, 1899 Wanton was awarded the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration. Wanton continued to serve in the military and reached the rank of master sergeant and served in the Quartermaster Corps before retiring. Wanton was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
· November 27, 1942 James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, was born in Seattle, Washington. Hendrix acquired his first guitar at the age of 15. A self-taught musician, he moved to New York City in 1964 and played with several backing bands for soul, R&B, and blues musicians. In 1966, The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed and the band enjoyed immediate success in Europe, but did not achieve fame in the United States until their 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Most of Hendrix’s albums were released after his death on September 18, 1970, including “The Cry of Love” (1971), “Crash Landing” (1975), and “Valley of Neptune” (2010). Hendrix is widely considered to be the greatest guitarist in the history of rock music and one of the most influential musicians of his era. He has been posthumously honored with many awards, including induction into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1970, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994, and in 2006 his debut album, “Are You Experienced” (1967), was added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Many books have been written about Hendrix, including “Jimi Hendrix – Electric Gypsy” (1991) and “Jimi Hendrix, Musician” (2003).
· November 27, 1942 Henry Carr, hall of fame track and field athlete, was born in Detroit, Michigan. Carr was a Michigan state champion sprinter at Northwestern High School and at Arizona State University won three national titles and set world records at 200 meters, 220 yards, and as a member of the 4 x 440 yard relay team. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, Carr won gold medals in the 200 meters and for anchoring the 4 x 400 meter relay team. After the Olympics, Carr was selected by the New York Giants in the 1965 NFL Draft and played three seasons as a defensive back. In 1997, he was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.
· November 27, 1944 George Thomas “Mickey” Leland, former congressman, was born in Lubbock, Texas. Leland earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Southern University in 1970. He was elected to the Texas state legislature in 1972 and elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1979 where he served until his death. Although considered by some to be controversial, Leland was an effective advocate on hunger and public health issues. Leland died August 7, 1989 along with fourteen others in a plane crash in Gambela, Ethiopia. A Federal building in downtown Houston and the international terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston are named in his honor. The United States Agency for International Development Leland initiative to improve internet connectivity in Africa was also named in his honor. In 1989, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s humanitarian award was renamed in his memory.
· November 27, 1997 Walter Fenner “Buck” Leonard, hall of fame Negro league baseball player, died. Leonard was born September 8, 1907 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He left school at the age of 14 because no high school education was available to black children in his hometown. He began his Negro league career in 1933 and from 1934 until his retirement in 1950 played for the Homestead Grays. Leonard had a career batting average of .320 and usually led or was second in home runs. In 1948, he led the league with a .395 batting average. Leonard was selected to the Negro leagues’ East – West All-Star game a record eleven times. In 1952, Leonard was offered a major league contract, but he turned it down because he thought he was too old and might embarrass himself and hurt the cause of integration. Leonard was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked him number 47 on its list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All-Time. Leonard’s biography, “Buck Leonard: The Black Lou Gehrig,” was published in 1995.
· November 27, 2007 William Karnet Willis, hall of fame football player, died. Willis was born October 5, 1921 in Columbus, Ohio. He played college football at Ohio State University and in 1944 was named an All-American. After graduating in 1945, Willis took a job as the head football coach at Kentucky State College. Since the National Football League unofficially barred African Americans from playing, in 1946 Willis joined the Cleveland Browns of the All-America Football Conference, becoming the first African American to play in the conference. In his rookie season, he had to sit out the game against the Miami Seahawks because African Americans were forbidden by law from competing against white players in Miami, Forida. Willis played professional football for 8 seasons and was named All-Pro each season. In 1971, Willis was inducted into the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame and in 1977 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On November 3, 2007, Ohio State University retired his number 99 jersey number.