Black Facts for January 16th

1936 - Raymond A. Pearson v. Donald G. Murray (1936)

January 15, 1936, Decided

OPINION: BOND, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

The officers and governing board of the University of Maryland appeal from an order for the issue of the writ of mandamus, commanding them to admit a young negro, the appellee, as a student in the law school of the university. The appellee and petitioner, Murray, graduated as a bachelor of arts from Amherst College in 1934, and met the standards for admission to the law school in all other respects, but was denied admission on the sole ground of his color. He is twenty-two years of age, and is now, and has been during all his life, a resident of Baltimore City, where the law school is situated. He contests his exclusion as unauthorized by the laws of the State, or, so far as it might be considered authorized, then as a denial of equal rights because of his color, contrary to the requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The appellants reply, first, that by reason of its character and organization the law school is not a governmental agency, required by the amendment to give equal rights to students of both races. Or, if it is held that it is a state agency, it is replied that the admission of negro students is not required because the amendment permits segregation of the races for education, and it is the declared policy and the practice of the State to segregate them in schools, and that, although the law school of the university is maintained for white students only, and there is no separate law school maintained for colored students, equal treatment has at the same time been accorded the negroes by statutory provisions for scholarships or aids to enable them to attend law schools outside the state. A further argument in defense is that, if equal treatment has not been provided, the remedy must be found in the opening of a school for negroes, and not in their admission to this particular school attended by the whites.

The University of Maryland Law School was a private institution until

1966 - Bello, Alhaji (Sir) Ahmadu (1910-1966)

Alhaji (Sir) Ahmadu Bello was the Sardauna of Sokoto and leader of Nigeria’s northern region during the last years of British rule and early independence.  He was brutally murdered at his home during a 1966 coup d"état, one in a series of events characterizing Nigeria’s political instability.

Bello was born in the northwestern Nigerian city of Sokoto in 1910 into the family of a leading Islamic reformer.  After schooling and at the age of 23, Bello began his political career by seeking the post of Sultan of Sokoto.  Unsuccessful, he became the political leader of the Rabah District in northern Nigeria. During the 1940s Bello helped establish the Jammiyyar Mutanen Arewa, which later became the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) in 1951. He soon became president general of the NPC and minister of local government, works, and community development. Bello was appointed the first premier of northern Nigeria in 1954.

Unlike other Nigerian political leaders who envisioned a single, united nation after independence from the British, Bello saw his primary mission as protecting the interests of the people of northern Nigeria.  He soon found himself in opposition with Nigerian nationalists from the southern regions.  Bello, however, never sought leadership over all of Nigeria. He found fulfillment in his position as leader of the northern region and president general of the NPC, which at the time was the largest political party in Nigeria. Bello was made a Knight of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1959.

The importance of Bello in Nigeria’s political history can be seen in his leadership in the NPC.  He understood northerners’ concerns about domination by southern Nigerian politicians and seemed reluctant to embrace independence for that reason.  He also recognized its inevitability and worked to insure that the predominately Muslim north would not be excluded from various government development projects.  He sponsored the Bank of the North, the Northern Nigerian Development Company, and founded the

1929 - Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American civil rights activist who is best known for using non-violent civil disobedience tactics to secure equal rights for African Americans. He was named Michael King Jr. at birth but later changed his name to Martin Luther King Jr. He was born on January 15, 1929. His father was a Baptist minister and his mother was a school teacher. He first attended  Booker T. Washington High School and then entered  Morehouse College at the age of fifteen, where he received a degree in Sociology. He was initially reluctant to be a minister like his father but later entered the seminary from where he graduated in 1951. He then enrolled at Boston University where he received his Ph.D. in June, 1955. In Boston, he met Coretta Scott, whom he married and the couple had four children.

King was deeply resentful at the racial discrimination he faced while growing up. During his junior year at high school he was forced to stand up on a bus ride with his teacher to make room for white passengers. This played a part in his later venture into civil rights activism. In 1954, he became the pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He also became a member of the executive committee of NAACP i.e. the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Two incidents in 1955 led him to engage more actively in his cause for advancement of African American rights; the first was in March 1955 when a 15 year old African American girl named Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat in a bus for a white man and later in December 1955 when an elderly African American woman named Rosa Parks did the same. Both women were jailed but later released due to mounting pressure by the community. After the Parks incident, King and other activists planned a city wide boycott of the bus service. The boycott lasted for 382 days where African Americans chose to walk to work and were widely harassed, both physically and mentally. The city of Montgomery suffered massive losses and eventually

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1929 - About Martin Luther King Jr. - Personal Facts

On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His father was a baptist minister and his mom a schoolteacher. Martin Luther King Jr. grew up to be a very intelligent boy. In 1934, at the age of five, he was already in first grade. However, when his teacher learned of his age, he was expelled from school. This did not deter the smart King as he went on to finish high school and in 1944 began attending the Morehouse College in Atlanta.

In June of 1948, he graduated from college with a BA in Sociology. In September of the same year, King attended the Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. In May 1951, he graduated from Crozer with a Bachelor in Divinity. He went on to Boston University where he studied systematic theology as a graduate student.

On June 18,1953, Martin Luther King Jr. married Coretta Scott in Marlon, Alabama. In 1955, a lot of things happened to King"s life that will shape history. In June, King received his PhD. Months later on November 17, Yoland Denise, his first child was born. King will eventually be blessed with three more children: Martin Luther King III (1957), Dexter (1961) and Bernice Albertine (1963). December 1, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama after she refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white passenger. A few days later on December 5, King became the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and the bus boycott began.

Martin Luther King Jr. has many contributions to society that it will take a whole book to discuss it. Here are some of his most famous work:

Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested several times and had many threats to his life. On April 4,1968, he was shot and killed while standing at the balcony of his motel.

2009 - Burris, Roland (1937- )

On January 15, 2009 Roland Wallace Burris was sworn in as the U.S. Senator from Illinois.  Burris"s appointment made him the third African American U.S. Senator from the state and the sixth black U.S. Senator in the history of the United States.  The appointment, however, was marred by controversy as he was appointed to fill the Senatorial seat of President Barack Obama by Illinois governor Rod R. Blagojevich who had been arrested for allegedly attempting to sell that seat to the highest bidder.  

Roland W. Burris was born on the 8 August 1937 in the small community of Centralia located in Southern Illinois.  After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree at Illinois University Carbondale, he studied International Law at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and completed his law degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1963.

After graduating from Law School Burris became the first African American to hold the post of National Bank Examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the U.S. Treasury.  Burris also worked as a tax attorney, commercial banking officer, and bank vice president.  In 1973 he was appointed Director of the Department of Central Management Services for the state of Illinois under Governor Dan Walker.  He held the position until 1977.  In 1977 he served briefly as National Executive Director of Operation PUSH.  

In 1979 Burris won his first elected office when he became the Comptroller of Illinois.  Burris was repeatedly reelected and served until 1991.  He was elected Attorney General of the state in 1991 and served to 1995.  While on the campaign trail to become the first black elected Attorney General in the state"s history he aligned himself with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, supporting abortion rights and broader rights for gay men and lesbians.

A string of political failures peppered his career.  In 1984, he lost a race for the U.S. Senate; in 1994 he lost in his run for governor. One year later, in 1995, he lost to the incumbent Chicago mayor, Richard

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