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Notable moments: Blacks in American History

3/21/2013, 10:39 a.m.

Africans first arrived in America as slaves in 1619. That time period marked a turning point, not just in American culture, but the lives of hundreds of Black men and women. Africans became African Americans, creating a new identity and a new culture for themselves. Eventually leaving behind centuries of traditions, African Americans learned a new way of life, making so many major contributions in America and worldwide that no one publication or website could list them all. Below are just a few notable moments in Black history.

April 14, 1775: Pennsylvania Abolition Society was the first civil rights organization to fight for the freedom of slaves. Pennsylvania abolitionists issued the first antislavery petitions to Congress in 1790.

Jan. 1, 1808: Law banning importation of enslaved persons went into effect.

Jan. 16, 1808: Newspapers reported importation of 39,310 enslaved persons between 1804 and 1807.

March 16, 1827: Freedom's Journal, the first African American newspaper was founded by Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm.

Aug. 21, 1831: Nathaniel "Nat" Turner, a slave, led a slave rebellion that resulted in the largest number of deaths during an insurgence.

Sept. 1850: Harriet Tubman became the conductor of the Underground Railroad.

March 6, 1857: Dred Scott unsuccessfully sued for his freedom.

Jan. 1, 1863: Day of Emancipation

March 3, 1865: Freedmen's Bureau was established.

July 4,1881: Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute, the leading Black agricultural and industrial school.

Sept. 29, 1910: The National Urban League was founded in New York City as the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes.

Feb. 13, 1920: Negro National League, led by Chicago American Giants owner/manager Rube Foster, was one of several Negro baseball leagues established while sports remained segregated.

Jan. 15, 1929: Martin Luther King Jr. was born.

Oct. 27, 1940: General Benjamin O. Davis became the first Black U.S. Air Force general.

Dec. 10, 1950: Ralph Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Aug. 28, 1955: Emmett Louis Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi at age 14 for flirting with a White woman.

Dec. 1, 1955: Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on the bus so a White passenger could sit down, sparking a 381-day bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala.

Dec. 5, 1955: The Montgomery Bus Boycott began.

Jan. 11, 1957: Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded.

July 6, 1957: Althea Gibson became Wimbeldon Champion.

April 15, 1960: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was established.

July 23, 1962: Jackie Robinson was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Aug. 28, 1963: The March on Washington, for jobs and equality, was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who gave his famous I Have a Dream speech.

Sept. 15, 1963: Four Black girls, 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, were killed by Ku Klux Klan members in the bombing of the Sixteenth St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

Dec. 10, 1964: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday, the first Selma March; 600 Civil Rights marchers were attacked with billy clubs and tear gas.