Browse or search our African American History timeline. Events on the timeline include key moments in specific HistoryMaker's lives as well as important historical dates.

April 21, 2003
| Nina Simone Dies

Legendary singer Nina Simone passes away in Paris, France. Simone was known for her soulfull and oft described sad sounds.


April 21, 1966
| First African American to Win Congressional Medal of Honor

Milton Olive, Jr., becomes the first African American to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The award is given posthumously after Olive dove on a live grenade, saving the lives of his fellow soldiers.


April 21, 1962
| Richard Hunt Exhibits Work

Richard Hunt, sculptor, becomes the youngest artist to exhibit at the World’s Fair in Seattle, Washington.


April 21, 1949
| Irma Daniels is Born

High school health teacher Irma Daniels was born on this date in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


April 21, 1947
| Larry Brown is Born

Auto sales entrepreneur Larry Brown was born on this date in Inkster, Michigan.


April 21, 1947
| Audrey Edwards is Born

Magazine editor and author Audrey Edwards was born on this date in Tacoma, Washington.


April 21, 1942
| Linda M. White is Born

Association chief executive and federal government administrator Linda M. White was born on this date in Cleveland, Ohio.


April 21, 1941
| Dr. Vivian Pinn is Born

Medical director Dr. Vivian Pinn was born on this date in Halifax, Virginia.


April 21, 1940
| Black Music Composition Chosen as Virginia's State Song

James A. Bland's song, <I>Carry Me Back to Old Virginny</I>, was chosen as Virginia's state song on this date.


April 21, 1938
| Harlem Suitcase Theatre Opens

The Harlem Suitcase Theatre opened on this date in New York City. Langston Hughes's one act play, <I>Don't You Want To Be Free?</I> was performed to open the theatre, starring a young James Earl Jones.


April 21, 1933
| Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Leads Demonstration in New York

Future Congressman and civil rights activist Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. led a demonstration at City Hall on this date in New York City. Powell became a U.S. Congressman representing Harlem, New York in 1945. Powell's demonstration urged for more doctors and better health services in Harlem.


April 21, 1928
| Chalmers Archer, Jr. is Born

Soldier and psychology professor Chalmers Archer, Jr. was born on this date in Tchula, Mississippi.


April 21, 1925
| Harrison B. Wilson is Born

University president and college basketball coach Harrison B. Wilson was born on this date in Amsterdam, New York.


April 21, 1924
| Clara Ward is Born

Gospel singer Clara Ward was born on this date in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ward and her group, The Ward Singers, were the number one Gospel group of the 1950s. Some of their hits include Surely, God Is Able, Packin' Up, and How I Got Over.