"I'm going to stray from my usual convention speech; I'm going to talk about something that may be difficult and uncomfortable, but what I'm going to say needs to be said."
On this day in 1963, in East St. Louis, Illinois, 200 people - 170 of them female, and majority African-American - engaged in a sit-in protest.
On May 8, 1967, A federal grand jury indicted Muhammad Ali for refusing to be inducted into the armed forces.
Stowe was highly active in the abolition movement. She and her husband supported the Underground Railroad and temporarily housed slaves in their home.
Called "general," "Moses" and "one of the bravest persons on this continent," Harriet Tubman, born around 1820, died today in 1913.
On February 25, 1870, Hiram R. Revels of Mississippi was sworn in as the first black U.S. Senator.
On Feb. 24, 1868 the House voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States.
Mentored along with Harry Belafonte and others by Paul Robeson, Poitier was red baited during the McCarthy period. He resisted naming names and studio demands that he sign loyalty oaths.
On February 19, 2002, Vonetta Flowers became the first black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games.
He became a leader of the abolitionist movement after escaping slavery in 1838, and went on to become an excellent lecturer and writer.