The first African American to receive a Pulitzer Prize for drama was Charles Gordone in 1970 for the dramatic work No Place To Be Somebody. Gordone took the theater world by storm and brought a new type of race consciousness to the stage. His play came on the scene in the 1960s when people embraced the emergence of long-silenced African American voices. Its truths brought many awards to Gordone and the opportunity to produce more plays, screenplays, and creative projects.
Jesus Urquides was an already successful businessman upon arriving in Boise Idaho in the 1860's. He built a community better known as the "Spanish Village" or "Urquides Village," Urquides often referred to it as his "little world." Other Mexican Americans and mule packers settled into his community which consisted of 30 cabins, stables, and corrals.
Norma Alarcon is a feminist literary scholar. Alarcon has dedicated most of her work to the representation of Latina women in all aspects of life. She is perhaps one of the most widely recognized Chicana feminist activist scholars in the world.
Harold Amos a native of Pennsauken, N.J., who graduated from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass with a baccalaureate in 1941. He had gone there on an academic scholarship, something few African Americans received at that time. He also served in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in Europe during World War II. Following this service, he earned an MA from Harvard University and then received his Ph.D. from the HMS Division of Medical Sciences in 1952. From 1951 to 1952, he was a Fulbright scholar at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and, in 1954; he joined the Medical School faculty as an instructor in the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology. From 1968 until 1971, and again from 1975 until 1978, he served as chair of the department (now the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics).
In 1895 W.E.B Du Bois was the first black to receive a doctorate from Harvard University and the first black to receive a Ph.D. Du Bois is universally recognized as an educator, writer, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist and influential leader.
John Adams Hyman, politician, state senator, and congressman, was born a slave near Warrenton, Warren County. Sold and sent to Alabama, he returned to Warren County in 1865 a free man. With the rise of African American participation in North Carolina politics, Hyman became a delegate to the second Freedman's Convention held in Raleigh during 1866.
In 1977 veteran geophysicist and seismologist Waverly Person became the first black director of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Colorado. He was assigned to locate earthquakes, compute their size, and disseminate his findings quickly and efficiently to specific sites throughout the world.
Garrett Morgan was always interested in inventions. His tailoring business was equipped with machines that he personally designed. During the 1910s and 1920s, Morgan continued to invent new items. Most of these items were to improve safety on the streets and in the workplace. Morgan was most famous for patenting the first traffic signal in the United States. Morgan, himself an automobile owner, witnessed a crash between a car and a buggy. This event supposedly convinced the inventor to create the stoplight. On November 20, 1923, Morgan received his patent. His traffic signal was mounted on a T-shaped pole. It had three different types of signals stop, go, and stop in all directions. The stop in all directions signal was to allow pedestrians to cross streets safely. Morgan eventually patented this device in Canada and Great Britain as well. He sold his patent to General Electric Corporation for forty thousand dollars.
Wing Foon Ong was the first Chinese-American, who was not born in the United States, to be elected to a state House of Representatives when in 1946, he ran for the Arizona House of Representatives and won.
John Swett Rock, one of the first Black Americans to obtain a medical degree, also had a successful career as a teacher, doctor, dentist, abolitionist, and lawyer. Rock was born in Salem County, New Jersey, on October 13, 1825. Rock grew up in a slave-free state, but with modest means; his parents rejected the common, but often necessary, the practice of putting black children to work instead of attending school. His family encouraged his education up until the age of 18.
In 1922 Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months.
In 1945, Elizabeth (Wanamaker) Peratrovich (Tlingit Nation) a civil rights activist was instrumental in gaining passage of America’s first anti-discrimination law. Her husband Roy (also Tlingit Nation) was mayor of their small Alaskan town for several years, but they moved to Juneau, Alaska for greater opportunities for their children.
In 1897 The American Negro Academy was founded, with the purpose of studying various aspects of black life and establishing a black intellectual tradition. A leading figure in establishing the academy was Alexander Crummel, an American scholar and minister. Its membership of 40 included W.E.B. Du Bois, Kelly Miller, and Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Fred T. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero. In 1942, at the age of 23, he refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government's order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified due to military necessity.
Edward Franklin Frazier (a.k.a. E. Franklin Frazier) was an American sociologist whose work on African American social structure provided insights into many of the problems affecting the black community.
Recorded instances of Native American women taking contraceptives dates back to the 1700s, more than 200 years before the creation of a man-made substance by western medicine. One of the herbs used was the stone seed, employed by the Shoshone, while the Potawatomi used the herb dogbane.
The Heart Mountain War and Relocation Center opened in 1942. The first Japanese Americans arrived by train and the camp would hold a total of 13,997 Japanese Americans over the next three years, with a peak population of 10,767 during WWII.