March 11, 1909 John Melville Burgess, the first African American diocesan bishop in the Episcopal Church, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Burgess earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in social work from the University of Michigan in 1930 and 1931, respectively.
March 10, 1908 Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer, Sr., civil rights leader, was born in Forrest County, Mississippi. A successful businessman, Dahmer owned a store, sawmill, and a 200 acre farm. He served several terms as president of the Forrest County Chapter of the NAACP and led voter registration drives during the 1960s.
March 9, 1930 Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist, trumpeter and composer, was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Coleman began touring with rhythm and blues shows in 1949 and in 1958 led his first recording session, “Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman.”
March 8, 1902 Louise Beavers, stage, film, and television actress, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Beavers’ initial acting experience was gained on the stage where she sang in many musical comedies.
March 7, 2002 Charles Howard Wright, physician, author, and museum founder, died. Wright was born September 20, 1918 in Dothan, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State College in 1939 and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College in 1943.
March 6, 1940 Wilver Dornell “Willie” Stargell, hall of fame baseball player, was born in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. Stargell was signed by the Pittsburg Pirates at the age of 18 and made his major league debut in 1962.
March 5, 1968 Ralph Henry Johnson, Medal of Honor recipient, was killed in action. Johnson was born January 11, 1949 in Charleston, South Carolina. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in July, 1967.
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