1990- Iconic leader Nelson Mandela was released leaving Victor Verster. Mandela gave a speech that day declaring his commitment to reconciliation and peace in racial ties to the white minority, but urged that the struggle of apartheid was not over.
1956- Arsenio Hall, the first Black late-night talk show host, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Hall’s self-named talk show lasted from 1989 to 1994. The show was revived in 2013, but due to low ratings canceled in 2014.
1970- Joseph Searles III became the first African American floor member and floor broker of the New York Stock Exchange.
1946- Talented dancer, choreographer, actor and singer Gregory Hines was born in New York City, NY.
1968- At 16 years old, Henry Lewis became the first African American to lead a symphonic orchestra in the United States, when he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording, “Down Hearted Blues.” The single went on to sell 800,000 copies for Columbia Records.