For the week of Jun. 20, 2021
Joseph H. Rainey (1832-1887): African American. Congressman. The first African American elected to the United States House of Representatives, Rainey was elected to five terms. He served his North Carolina district from 1869 to 1879, supporting improvement of conditions for Indians on reservations and the granting of full constitutional rights to Blacks.
Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994): African American. Athlete. Although Wilma Rudolph spent her childhood wearing a leg brace to support a lame leg, she overcame her handicap and became a champion sprinter, eventually setting a world record in the 200-dash. In the 1960 Olympics she was the most successful competitor in track and field events, as the individual winner of the 100- and 200-meter dashes and a member of the winning team in the 4x100-meter relay.
National Day: Luxembourg. Also celebrated as the Kingis birthday, this day commemorates Luxembourgis gaining independence from Belgium and the Netherlands in 1848.
Battle of Little Bighorn (1876): American Indian. On this date at Little Bighorn River, General George A. Custer was killed and his command annihilated by combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. The determined resistance of the nomadic Plains tribes in the protection of their hunting grounds and way of life earned them a number of military victories before they were defeated by the stronger U.S. government forces.
Helen Keller (18-11968): American. Author and educator. Left deaf and blind by illness at the age of 19 months, Helen Keller learned to speak and then to read and write Braille with the help of her remarkable teacher, Annie Sullivan. After graduating cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1904, she devoted her life to writing and social activism, particularly in aid of people with one or both of her disabilities. She traveled throughout the world, spoke out on public issues, and wrote numerous books, including iThe Story of My Life (1902) and Helen Kelleris Journal (1938). Her Extraordinary achievements made her an international heroine and an inspiration to millions.
Stonewall Rebellion (1969): Gay/Lesbian. In the early morning of this day, New York City police entered a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and began harassing and taunting the patrons with anti-gay comments. The patrons fought back in a protest that lasted for the next three days. For Many gays and lesbians, this protest marks the first organized effort in the United States by gays and lesbians to openly gain equality under the law.