Alvin Drew, an African-American NASA astronaut, became the 200th person to walk in space. He conducted this spacewalk as a member of the six-person crew on STS-133, the 39th and final mission of Space Shuttle Discovery. Drew’s milestone excursion outside a spacecraft in orbit took place just a little over 16 years after fellow astronaut... Continue Reading →

A large-scale celebration was held for the opening of the new Sellwood Bridge spanning the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The deck arch bridge, connecting  Portland's Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhoods on the east side of the river with Oregon Route 43/Macadam Avenue on the west side, replaced a bridge with the same name that had been... Continue Reading →

Marshall W. "Major" Taylor (1878-1932), the first African-American to become a world-champion cyclist, departed the Australian city of Melbourne via train during the course of his second racing tour in the Land Down Under. (His first tour in Australia took place the previous year.) The Indiana-born Taylor had launched his professional cycling career at New York... Continue Reading →

Robert Smalls, whose courage and sailing expertise gained freedom for himself and other slaves during the Civil War, died at his home in Beaufort, South Carolina, at the age of 75. Smalls had been born into slavery in that city in 1839. When he was 12, his master sent him to Charleston to work there as... Continue Reading →

Today in African-American Transportation History - 1997: A Trailblazer Retires from the U.S. Air Force African-American aviation pioneer and U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major General Marcelite Jordan Harris retired after more than three decades of service in the nation's military aerial service branch.  Harris, who was born in Texas in 1943, initially sought to pursue... Continue Reading →

The comparatively brief but historically significant U.S. Navy career of Lieutenant Commander Edward Swain Hope, who had been the highest-ranking African-American naval officer during World War II, came to an end when he was officially released from active duty. Hope was born in 1901 in Atlanta. While his naval service did not actually take place... Continue Reading →

Sir William Arrol, one of the most renowned civil engineers of the Victoria Era, died at his home in the Scottish town of Ayr at the age of 74. “A GREAT BRIDGE BUILDER,” proclaimed the headline in the next day’s edition of the London Standard for the article announcing his death. The article stated, “Sheer... Continue Reading →

During a ceremony at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Continental Airlines officially named a Boeing 737-824 jet after African-American aviation pioneer Marlon DeWitt Green. This ceremony took place a little over six months following Green’s death in Denver at the age of 80 and nearly a half-century after his landmark legal battle against Continental... Continue Reading →

A new lighthouse began operations in the part of central California that is about halfway between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Piedras Blancas Light Station, specifically located a little over five miles (8.1 kilometers) west by northwest of the town of San Simeon, has since served as a key navigational aid for... Continue Reading →

Frederick Douglass, who became a leading statesman and abolitionist of unsurpassed eloquence, was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. (As was the case with many other slaves, Douglass grew up not knowing the exact date of his birth; ultimately, however, he chose February 14 as the date for celebrating his birthday each year.) By... Continue Reading →

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