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FEATURED: Paul Robeson (Photo: AP)

1816: The African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded

1866: Congress passed the Civil Rights Act.

1898: Talented actor, singer and advocate for civil rights, Paul Robeson was born (Died: 1976).

1926: A famous freak show performer ‘Zip the Pinhead’ (real name William Henry Johnson) passed away. He was born in 1842.

1939: Marian Anderson gave a free open-air concert for 75,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in DC after the DAR denied her use of Constitution Hall because of her race.

1947: The Journey of Reconciliation, the first interracial Freedom Ride began through the upper South in violation of Jim Crow laws. The riders wanted enforcement of the United States Supreme Court’s 1946 Irene Morgan decision that banned racial segregation in interstate travel.

1950: Juanita Hall won a Tony for her role as Bloody Mary in the musical South Pacific.

1968: Dr. Martin Luther King was laid to rest.

1978: George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin set a record for most points scored in a quarter.

1979: Keshia Knight Pulliam was born

1987: Jazmine Sullivan was born.

1988: Dave Prater of Sam & Dave passed away.

1988: Billy Ocean’s song ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’ went to #1.

1988: Brook Benton passed away.

1993: The Reverend Benjamin Chavis, Jr. was elected Executive Director of the NAACP.

1994: R Kelly Started a four week run at No. 1 with Bump ‘n’ Grind.

April 9th in Black History:  was originally published on