Black History - March 26 - April 2

3/26/2009, 12:07 a.m.

1948 €" Labor leader A Phillip Randolph issues a threat before the Senate Armed Services Committee, declaring that unless more is done to end segregation and discrimination in the military, he would launch a campaign encouraging Black youth to employ civil disobedience to resist the draft. His threat helped to bring an end discriminatory practices in the U.S. armed forces.

1980 €" Olympic legend Jesse Owens dies at 66 in Tucson, Ariz. Owens won four track and field gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany embarrassing German leader Adolph Hitler and undermining his ideology of White Aryan superiority.

April 1

1868 €" HamptonUniversity is founded during Reconstruction in Hampton, Va. The school is now one of the leading Black educational institutions in America.

1950 €" Surgeon Charles Drew dies at 45 in an automobile accident near Burlington, N.C. Drew developed the concept of a blood bank for storing large amounts of plasma. Anyone who has ever received a blood transfusion is indebted to Dr. Drew. He had dedicated his life to insuring that increased scientific knowledge actually led to the betterment of human life.

1984 €" Sensational, Washington, D.C. born R&B singer Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his father during an argument. Gaye was 38 €" just one day short of his 39th birthday. The senior Gaye later died of pneumonia.

[This Week in Black History is compiled by Robert Taylor. He welcomes comments and additions at SirajT12@yahoo.com or brief messages at 202-657-8872.]