February 19, 1890 Isaiah Mays received the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military decoration, for his actions during an engagement with robbers. Mays was born enslaved on February 16, 1858 in Carters Bridge, Virginia. By May 11, 1889, he was serving as a corporal in Company B of the 24th Infantry Regiment.
February 16, 1904 James Baskett, actor and the first male performer of African descent to receive an Oscar, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Baskett appeared on Broadway in the all-black musical revue “Hot Chocolate” in 1929. He also appeared in a number of all-black films, including “Harlem is Heaven” (1932) and “Straight to Heaven” (1939).
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Previous Days in African American History
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- Ira Tucker, Sr. – June 24th in African American History
- November 3rd in African American History – The Commonwealth of Dominica
- January 8th in African American History – James Edward Cheek
- March 29th in African American History – John Aaron Lewis
- October 9th in African American History – Eugene Jacques Bullard