Tag Archives | US Stamp
George Elliott Olden

George Elliott Olden – January 25th in African American History

January 25, 1975 George Elliott Olden, graphic designer and the first African American to design a United States postage stamp, died. Olden was born November 13, 1920 in Birmingham, Alabama, but raised in Washington, D.C. Olden excelled at art from a young age and while still in high school drew cartoons and served as Art […]

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Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf)

Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf) – January 10th in African American History

January 10, 1976 Chester Arthur Burnett (Howlin’ Wolf), blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, died. Wolf was born June 10, 1910 in White Station, Mississippi. During the 1930s, he performed in the South with a number of blues musicians, including Robert Johnson and Son House. His first recording, “How Many More Years,” was produced in […]

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Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey – December 22nd in African American History

December 22, 1939 Ma Rainey, the “Mother of the Blues,” died. Rainey was born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett in Columbus, Georgia in either September, 1882 or April, 1886 and first appeared on stage at the age of 14. In 1904, she began performing with her husband billed as “Rainey & Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues.” […]

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Dinah Washington

Dinah Washington – December 14th in African American History

December 14, 1963 Dinah Washington, blues and jazz singer, died. Washington was born Ruth Lee Jones on August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As a child, Washington played the piano and directed her church choir and by 16 she was touring the United States on the black gospel circuit. During this period, she performed in […]

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James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson – June 26th in African American History

June 26, 1938 James Weldon Johnson, author, diplomat, poet, songwriter, and civil rights activist, died. Johnson was born June 17, 1871 in Jacksonville, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree from Atlanta University in 1894 and 1904, respectively. In 1900, Johnson along with his brother, John Rosamond, co-composed “Lift […]

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McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters)

McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters) – April 30th in African American History

April 30, 1983 McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters), blues musician and “the father of Chicago Blues,” died. Waters was born April 4, 1913 in Issaquena County, Mississippi. He started out playing the harmonica but by age 17 he was playing the guitar at parties. In 1943, Waters moved to Chicago and drove a truck and worked […]

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Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington – April 29th in African American History

April 29, 1899 Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, composer, pianist and big band leader, was born in Washington, D. C. Ellington began taking piano lessons at the age of 7 and at 14 wrote his first composition, “Soda Fountain Rag.” At the age of 18, he formed his first group, The Duke’s Serenaders, who played throughout […]

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