1775—Blacks fight in two of the major battles of America’s war of independence from England—the battles of Bunker Hill and Breeds Hill. Two of the most outstanding soldiers were Peter Salem and Salem Poor.
1871—James Weldon Johnson is born in Jacksonville, Fla. Johnson is clearly one of the most multi-talented men in Black American history. He was a poet, writer, lawyer, diplomat and civil rights activist. Johnson was one of the leading figures in the Black cultural revolution of the 1920s known as the Harlem Renaissance. He was the first African American admitted to the Florida bar to practice law. He was the first Black executive of the NAACP. He served as one of the first Black diplomats to Latin America and he is co-author of the “Black” National Anthem—“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” He died in an automobile accident in 1938.