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What Happened on October 19th? Interesting Facts About This Day in Black History


Black history is continuously shaped by numerous events happening over time. Over the years, there have been significant moments that have changed the lives of black people. October 19th is one such day. Several events occurred that contributed to the development of black history. What happened on October 19th? 

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October 19, 1944

African-American women weren’t allowed to serve in the United States Navy after the end of World War I due to racial segregation. At that time, they served in non-combat roles like nurses, but after the war ended, the authorities imposed a blanket ban that thwarted their ambitions to serve their country.

However, pressure groups, including the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) fought for the inclusion of women. Former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt pushed back on the idea until he realized he would lose the black vote if he resisted calls to reintegrate African-American people into the army.

As a result, he reopened the navy to African-American women on October 19, 1944. They nominated Frances Eliza Wills and Harriet Ida Pickens to become the first African-American women. Despite these accommodations, black women were underrepresented.

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October 19, 1870

The House of Representatives got its first African-American representative – Joseph Haney. Rainey,  Robert B. Elliot, and Robert Carlos Delarge.

Joseph Rainey was the first African-American to receive this honor. He represented South Carolina and became the first African-American speaker in the House and longest-serving representative. 

Robert Elliot also represented South Carolina. During his time in office, she focused his efforts on fighting for civil rights.

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Robert Carlos was a representative of South Carolina state. He was of the opinion that white and black Southerners should be protected from terrorism.  

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October 19, 1960

Martin Luther King Jr, together with 51 protesters, were arrested in Atlanta, Georgia after they refused to leave a store. They did this to protest the segregation laws enforced in the South during the Jim Crow era.

Black people were forbidden from being served at department lunch stores and had separate facilities from white people. To force the removal of such laws, Martin Luther and the 51 did a sit-in in 1960. 

They were arrested under a law that made refusing to leave private property illegal. 16 protesters were released, but Martin Luther was charged and sentenced to six months.

John F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate at the time, helped Martin Luther secure his freedom. This won him the black votes, which saw him win the presidency in the next election.

If you’re scratching your head, asking, what happened on October 19th? Well, these are some of the events that have shaped black history. 

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