On this day in 1608, Susenyos I was formally crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
In 1877, Frederick Douglass (pictured) was appointed as U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia by U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. Douglass’ appointment was confirmed by he Senate, making Douglass the first black person to receive a major U.S. government appointment.
In 1972, the USS Jesse L. Brown launched. It was a ship named in honor of Jesse L. Brown, who died during the Korean War. Brown was the first black naval officer to have a ship named in his honor.
In 2008, then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech on race titled “A More Perfect Union”. The speech was praised for Obama’s passion and his call for reconciliation by Americans on their racial differences.