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107 Jamz Celebrates Black History Month – On This Day In Black History The Negro Baseball League Founded

African Americans have made a profound impact on this country, even though many of our accomplishments go unnoticed in American History books.  From bringing the world Jazz and Rap/Hip Hop to the countless inventions used in our daily lives like the traffic single, refrigeration, blood banks, performing the first successful open heart surgery down to America’s favorite snack the potato chip.  Whether you know it or not, Black History is celebrated 365 days a year.

(Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

African Americans have made a profound impact on this country, even though many of our accomplishments go unnoticed in American History books.  From bringing the world Jazz and Rap/Hip Hop to the countless inventions used in our daily lives like the traffic single, refrigeration, blood banks, performing the first successful open heart surgery down to America’s favorite snack the potato chip.  Whether you know it or not, Black History is celebrated 365 days a year.  Unfortunately African Americans are seldom credited with the many inventions that have helped shape our modern-day society.  Black History Month gives us an opportunity to give credit, were credit is long over due.  Knowledge is power.  It’s our duty to make sure our children and the world are made aware of our countless accomplishments as a people.  That said……..

On this day in Black History

(Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)

February 3, 1903- Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight champion and won the “Negro Heavyweight Title”

At the height of the Jim Crow era John Arthur “Jack” Johnson aka the Galveston Giant was one of the greatest boxers who ever lived.  He fought a total of 114 fights with 80 wins, 45 by way of TKO and 13 loses.   He was flamboyant and known to cause white-driven race riots, do to his love of white women.  In spite of becoming the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915), he was one of the most hated men in America.  He even inspired the Mann Act, which made it illegal to transport a woman from one state to another for the purposes of an “immoral” act.

That very law was ultimately used to chase him into exile and away from boxing for a time.  Johnson was unfairly charged with violating the law in 1912 even though there was an little to no evidence.  Learn more about his colorful life here.

(Photo by Thomas Levinson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

February 3, 1920 -Negro Baseball League founded

The “Negro leagues” or ”Negro Major Leagues” were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and Latin Americans.  While organized leagues were common in black baseball, there were only seven leagues that were successful beginning at the time of their existence in 1920.  Due to integration, they were in decline by 1950.

February 3, 1948- Rosa Lee Ingram and Sons Condemned to Death

On this day in a one-day trial, Rosa Lee Ingram, a sharecropper and widowed Mother of four boys, became the center of one of the most-explosive capital punishment cases in history.  Ingram and two of her teenage boys were sentenced to die by electric chair, after an altercation with a White landowner in the state of Georgia.

On November 4, 1947, the landowner John Stratford, confronted Ingram and three of her sons over her mules invading his cornfield the small town of Ellaville.  Stratford was armed with a shotgun and pocket knife when he approached Ingram. Three of her sons overheard their mother yelling and rushed to her side armed with farm instruments.
Later, the 64-year-old man was found dead by way of blows to the head
according to the investigation.”

In several accounts, most notably in Janus Adams‘ “Sister Days: 365 Inspired Moments in African-American Women’s History,” said that Stratford struck Ingram in the head with the butt of his rifle after threatening to shoot her mules.  Other historical accounts of later testimony state Stratford threatened Ingram with sexual assault before striking her.  Rosa Ingram further claimed that Stratford had been “picking after her and insisting she needed a man after her husband died.”

End the end Ingram and two of her sons, Wallace, 16, and Sammy, 14, were convicted by an all-White jury to death.  Charles, 17, was at the scene but not charged due to lack of evidence.  As a result, the Ingram case struck a chord across the country.   Civil rights activists from NAACP branches around the nation, celebrities including Lena Horne and members from the religious community, all condemned the death sentence.  Learn more about their unbelievable story here.

(Photo by Al Pucci/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

February 3, 1956- Autherine Lucy becomes the first Black student at University of Alabama

Born on October 5, 1929 in Shiloh, Alabama Lucy had a ton of prior education before attending the University of Alabama.  She graduated from Linden Academy in 1947 and went on to attend Selma University in Selma, and even the all-black Miles College in Fairfield – where she graduated with a BA in English in 1952.

At the encouragement of her Miles classmate, Pollie Ann Myers, she decided to attend the University of Alabama as a graduate student.  Knowing gaining admission at the University, she enlisted the help of the NAACP, while Thurgood MarshallConstance Baker Motley, and Arthur Shores were assigned to be their attorneys.

She would ultimately win her right to attend the University of Alabama on this day.  Learn more here.

February 3, 1965- Geraldine McCullough Wins Widener Gold Medal

Once her husband Lester McCullough, Sr., showed her to the technique of welded sculpture the rest was history…literally.  Geraldine achieved national and international recognition in the art community with her steel and copper sculpture “Phoenix,” which received the George D. Widener Gold Medal for Sculpture in 1965.

Getty Images Sports

February 3, 1994- Lori McNeil makes tennis history

Lori McNeil made one of the biggest upsets in tennis history when she defeated the German in the first round of Wimbledon in 1994. Steffi Graf came into the 1994 Wimbledon Championships as strong favorite for the title having put together a run of 36 consecutive wins and 54 consecutive sets in the early part of the year.

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