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Black Facts for September 30th

1950 - Civil Rights Act of 1960

AN ACT To enforce constitutional rights, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

SEC. 101. Chapter 73 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof a new section as follows:

§ 1509. Obstruction of court orders

Whoever, by threats or force, willfully prevents, obstructs, impedes, or interferes with, or willfully attempts to prevent, obstruct, impede, or interfere with, the due exercise of rights or the performance of duties under any order, judgment, or decree of a court of the United States, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. No injunctive or other civil relief against the conduct made criminal by this section shall be denied on the ground that such conduct is a crime.

SEC. 102. The analysis of chapter 73 of such title is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: § 1509. Obstruction of court orders.


SEC. 201. Chapter 49 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof a new section as follows:

§ 1074. Flight to avoid prosecution for damaging or destroying any building or other real or personal property

(a) Whoever moves or travels in interstate or foreign commerce with intent either;

(1) to avoid prosecution, or custody, or confinement after conviction, under the laws of the place from which he flees, for willfully attempting to or damaging or destroying by fire or explosive any building, structure, facility, vehicle, dwelling house, synagogue, church, religious center or educational institution, public or private, or

(2) to avoid giving testimony in any criminal

1998 - Bradley, Tom (1917-1998)

Thomas J. “Tom” Bradley, five-term Mayor of Los Angeles and the first major black candidate for Governor of California, was born in Calvert, Texas, on December 29, 1917, the son of Lee Thomas Bradley, a railroad porter, and Crenner Bradley, a maid.  He was the grandson of former slaves.

Bradley graduated from Los Angeles Polytechnic High School in 1937, and then attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) until 1940 when he left the institution to join the Los Angeles Police Department.  While at UCLA, Bradley joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.  In 1941 Bradley married Ethel Arnold.  The couple had three children, Lorraine, Phyllis, and a baby who died on the day of her birth.

Bradley rose to become a Lieutenant by 1960, the highest ranking African American at that time.  While serving on the force, he earned his law degree at Southwestern University in Los Angeles.

Admitted to the bar in 1962, he served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1963 to 1972.  Bradley’s sprawling 10th District in West Central Los Angeles covered the Crenshaw area, a multiethnic community that included many white voters.  With this base Bradley forged a coalition between middle class blacks and whites which was a major factor in his political success.

During his tenure on the Los Angeles City Council, Bradley criticized racist attitudes within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), including the Department’s handling of the 1965 Watts Rebellion.  In 1969, in his first mayoral bid, most polls showed him in the lead.  But his opponent, incumbent mayor Sam Yorty, with the backing of conservative police officers who resented Bradley’s criticisms, successfully played on white racial fears by falsely portraying him as a Black Panther Party supporter.

Bradley lost the 1969 race but when pitted against Yorty again in 1973, he won and became the city’s first black mayor in modern times.  Bradley was elected four additional times and thus served as mayor of Los Angeles for twenty years, again a record in the modern era.  His

1935 - Mathis, Johnny (1935 - )

John “Johnny” Royce Mathis, singer, was born in Gilmer, Texas on September 30, 1935, the fourth of seven children born to Clem, a chauffeur and handyman, and Mildred, a maid.  The Mathis family moved to San Francisco, Californias Fillmore District when Mathis was a young child.  When Clem Mathis, who had worked for a time in vaudeville, recognized his sons musical talent, the family scraped together $25, bought a piano and began teaching him songs and routines. Soon afterwards young Mathis started performing in church and school shows.

At the age of thirteen Mathis began taking lessons with Connie Cox, a San Francisco music teacher, paying for his training by working in the Cox home.  Mathis studied with Cox for the next six years, receiving voice training in classical music including opera. 

Mathis was also a star basketball player, high jumper, and track and field athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco.  In 1954 he enrolled at San Francisco State University on an athletic scholarship with the intention of becoming an English and physical education instructor.  While there he broke the University of San Francisco and later basketball great Bill Russells high jump record.

Mathis also often took part in San Franciscos famous Black Hawk nightclub jam sessions with a jazz sextet.  In 1955 club co-owner Helen Noga noticed his singing talent at one of these sessions and began scheduling him for performances around San Francisco nightclubs.  At one of these performances Mathis was offered a recording contract with Columbia Records.  On his fathers advice Mathis decided to pursue a musical career rather than compete in the Olympic tryouts that year. In 1956 he recorded his first jazz album, Johnny Mathis: a New Sound in Popular Song, which failed to impress the critics.

Fame, however, quickly came the following year.  Columbia Records Vice President Mitch Miller then persuaded Mathis to focus on romantic jazz ballads.  In late 1956 he recorded his first hit, “Wonderful! Wonderful!” which sold