CuriShorts
CuriPow on 01/24/2021

The Jones-Shafroth Act

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act, more commonly known as the Jones Act, which made residents of Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking U.S. possession, American citizens. It replaced the Foraker Act of 1900, which established a civilian government on the island and was named after its chief sponsor, Sen. Joseph Foraker (R-Ohio).

CuriPow on 01/23/2021

Wave Runner

Duke Kahanamoku came to be known as the father of international surfing, but the Hawaiian native made his first splash as a swimmer at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Born in Honolulu in 1890, Kahanamoku struck gold by setting a world record in the 100-meter freestyle and earned a silver medal in the 200-meter relay. He won two more golds at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, a silver at the 1924 Paris Olympics, and a bronze at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Kahanamoku's swimming and surfing talents caught the attention of Hollywood, and over the course of nine years, he appeared in nearly 30 movies. Kahanamoku went on to serve as sheriff for the City and County of Honolulu for 26 years. When the legendary swimmer and surfer died at the age of 77, he was remembered for his athletic talent and sportsmanship.

CuriPow on 01/22/2021

Breaking The Ranks

Young-Oak Kim, a Korean-American and United States Army officer during World War II and the Korean War and a civic leader and humanitarian. He proudly led the famed all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II and volunteered to serve in the Korean War, where he fought with distinction.

CuriPow on 01/21/2021

State Governing

In 1872 Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback a former slave born in Virginia became the first black governor of any state. He served from December 9, 1827, to January 13, 1873, while the Louisiana governor Henry Clay faced impeachment proceedings.

CuriPow on 01/20/2021

Windy City

Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable, born in St. Marc, Sainte-Domingue (now Haiti), was a black pioneer trader and discoverer of the settlement that later became the city of Chicago.

CuriPow on 01/19/2021

The Killing Fields

Dith Pran was a Cambodian-American, journalist, and photojournalist. He was also the inspiration for the Academy-Award winning film The Killing Fields, a story about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia based on the experiences of two journalists.

CuriPow on 01/18/2021

The Forgotten Samurai

Yasuke (1555 - 1590) was Japan's first samurai of black African origin. Yasuke’s origins are shrouded in mystery. He was probably born between 1555 and 1566, but even that is not certain. Historians are not even sure of the origin of his name, though it is most likely the Japanese form of his original name. According to one source, he may have been a Makua from Mozambique. It has also been suggested that he was from Angola or Ethiopia. Additionally, he may have been a European-born slave from Portugal.

CuriPow on 01/17/2021

Hall of Fame Inductee

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Thomas Jesse Fears was the son of an American mining engineer, Charles William Fears, who had married a Mexican local, Carmen Valdes. The family moved to Los Angeles when Tom was age six. There, he began to display his ample work ethic by unloading flowers for 25 cents an hour, and later serving as an usher at football games for double that amount.

CuriPow on 01/16/2021

Chocolate ER

In 1891 Provident Hospital in Chicago, Illinois was the first African American hospital owned and operated in the United States. Founded by Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, his aim was to create a hospital where black doctors and nurses could be prepared, and black patients could receive care without fear of racial bias.

CuriPow on 01/15/2021

Fashion Forward

Born in Guadalupe, Adrienne Fidelin posed for several photographers in Paris in the 1930s, including Roger Parry, Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, and Man Ray.

CuriPow on 01/14/2021

The Real McCoy

Elijah McCoy was working as a fireman on the Michigan Central Railroad, shoveling coal and lubricating engine parts with a handheld oil can when he realized that there must be a better, more efficient way of delivering oil to the vital gears, screws, and cylinders that kept the mighty locomotive engine running. He wondered if a mechanical device existed that could automatically drip the proper amount of oil into the moving parts of the engine whenever and wherever needed so that a train would no longer have to be stopped every few miles to be manually lubricated. After experimenting for two years in a makeshift machine shop, McCoy came up with a design for a special “lubricating cup” that could be fitted into the steam cylinders of locomotives and other stationary machinery.

CuriPow on 01/13/2021

Woman Made Of Fire

Margarete Bagshaw was a featured lecturer and has spoken across the country – including the Smithsonian N.M.A.I. in Washington DC for “Women’s History Month” to San Jose State University to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Bagshaw was the opening speaker for the National Association of Art Educators first-ever Leadership Conference in 2014 and was scheduled to be one of their keynote speakers at their National Conference in New Orleans, LA in March of 2015. Her memoirs "Teaching My Spirit To Fly" was published in 2012.

CuriPow on 01/12/2021

The 99th Pursuit Squadron

On January 16, 1941, the War Department announced the formation of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, an African-American unit, and of the Tuskegee Institute training program. On March 7, 1942, the first graduating class of the Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Tuskegee Field included Col. (later Gen.) Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., who became the commanding officer of the 99th Fighter Squadron and later the 332d Fighter Group.

CuriPow on 01/11/2021

For Parents and Teachers Of Color

Selena Sloan Butler was an educator, child welfare advocate, and community leader. Throughout her life, Butler was active in many civic and service organizations, among them the American Red Cross, the Georgia Commission on Interracial Cooperation, and the Phyllis Wheatley branch of the Young Women's Christian Association. An organizer of the Atlanta Women's Club and Atlanta's Ruth Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, she also published "The Woman's Advocate," a monthly paper devoted to the concerns and interests of African American women.

CuriPow on 01/10/2021

Social Scientist For Civil Rights

Mamie Phipps Clark was born in Hot Springs, Ark., and Kenneth Clark was born and raised in Harlem, N.Y. Both obtained their bachelor's and master's degrees from Howard University. Influenced by her work with children in an all-black nursery school, Mamie decided to conduct her master’s thesis, "The Development of Consciousness of Self in Negro Pre-School Children". Not long after, she met her soon-to-be husband, Kenneth Clark, who partnered with her to extend her thesis research on self-identification in black children. This work was later developed into the famous doll experiments that exposed internalized racism and the negative effects of segregation for African-American children.

CuriPow on 01/09/2021

Dancer, Actor, Trailblazer

Sono Osato, the Japanese-American ballet dancer who created the role of Ivy Smith in the 1944 Broadway premiere of On the Town was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1919 to a French-Canadian mother and Japanese father, Osato began her professional career at the age of 14, when she auditioned for and was hired to join the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1934. She made history not only as the company’s youngest dancer, but also as the first American, and the first dancer of Japanese descent to join the internationally renowned troupe.

CuriPow on 01/08/2021

Twenty-one black women

In 1828 21 black women met in New York to draw up plans for the African Dorcas Society. This was the first black women's charitable group. Its principal objective was to aid young blacks in attending schools and supplying them with clothes, hats, and shoes.

CuriPow on 01/07/2021

Inventor, Engineer and The Edison Truth

Lewis Howard Latimer learned mechanical drawing while working for a Boston patent attorney. He later invented an electric lamp and a carbon filament for light bulbs (patented 1881, 1882). Latimer was the only African-American member of Thomas Edison's engineering laboratory.

CuriPow on 01/06/2021

Pioneering Punjabi

Kartar Dhillon was a South Asian American writer and activist. Her father, Mr. Bakshish Singh, was one of the first Punjabi pioneers to arrive in the United States in 1897. Her mother, Rattan Kaur, later joined him in 1910. The family lived primarily in Astoria, Oregon and, southern California, but her family maintained ties to the Sacramento Valley and father worked in the Sacramento Delta at one time.

CuriPow on 01/05/2021

Taking Flight

In 1933 Albert Ernest Forsythe (a physician and aviator) and Charles Alfred "Chief" Anderson (known as the father of Black aviation) were the first black pilots to make a round-trip transcontinental flight. They left Atlantic City on July 17, 1933, in their Fairchild 24 plane called The Pride of Atlantic City, arrived safely in Los Angeles, and completed their first round trip on July 28, 1933.

CuriPow on 01/04/2021

Into The Stars

Ellen Ochoa made history in 1993 when she boarded the space shuttle Discovery, thus becoming the first Latina astronaut to go to space. A pioneer in the field of spacecraft technology, she would later become the first Latina (and second female) director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She has spent a total of 978 hours in outer space and has at least three different inventions patented today.

CuriPow on 01/03/2021

First In The Country

Charles Hobson wanted to bring that community and residential feeling to the screen with “Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant,” which premiered in April 1968. The public affairs television program, which aimed to capture a realistic portrait of the neighborhood that countered negative stereotypes in the wake of local riots in 1964. A first of its kind in the United States at the time, a television series specific to African-American audiences.

CuriPow on 01/03/2021

The Emergency Quota Act of 1921

The most important legislation from the early twentieth century came in 1921. Referred to as the 1921 Quota Act, this legislation utilized immigration statistics to determine a maximum number of immigrants allowed to enter the United States from each nation or region. The numbers were skewed to favor immigration from western European nations while severely curbing immigration from areas perceived to be undesirable.

CuriPow on 01/02/2021

Changing Hearts And Minds

In 1820, The Emancipator was the first anti-slavery magazine, edited and published by abolitionist Elihu Embree who was once a slave owner himself.