This Black History month we salute African Americans who made American history.  On this day in black history:


Legendary writer and author, Alex Haley died of cardiac arrest on this day in history. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," passed away at the Swedish Hospital Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. He was 70 years old.


President Lyndon Johnson appointed, Andrew Brimmer, governor of the Federal Reserve Board on this day in history. In doing so, Brimmer became the first African-American to have a position such as this.


On this day the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The bill prohibited any state, local government or public facility from denying access to anyone because of race or ethnic origin. This bill allowed the U.S. Attorney General and Federal Government the power to bring school desegregation law suits and cut-off federal funds to companies or states who discriminated. It forbade labor organizations or interstate commercial companies from discriminating against workers due to race or ethnic origins. Lastly, the federal government could compile records of denial of voting rights. President Lyndon Johnson signed the legislation into law on July 2. Georgia governor, Lester Maddox, would become the first person prosecuted under the Civil Rights Act.


Soul singing icon, Roberta Flack, was born on this day in Asheville, North Carolina. Born into a musical family, Flack was born to sing. She graduated from Howard University with a BA in music. Soon after the songstress was discovered singing and playing jazz at a Washington nightclub by pianist Les McCann. He put in a good word for her at Atlantic Records, they signed her and the rest is history.


Attorney Ronald Brown, became the first African American elected to the national chairman of the Democratic Party. In 1994 Brown was appointed Secretary of Commerce, under the Clinton administration and served until he died in a plan crash. Brown and 32 other passengers were killed in 1996 when their plane crashed traveling on a diplomatic mission in Croatia.


Grace Towns Hamilton, a politician and civil rights activist, was born on this day. Hamilton made her mark on history by becoming the first African-American woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1965. She served in Georgia House of Representatives until 1984.

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