Resources for Teachers and Students

 May 15 in History

This Day in History provided by The Free Dictionary

 Today's birthday

Today's Birthday provided by The Free Dictionary

For the week of May. 9, 2021

Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (1837-1921): African-American. Soldier and legislator. Born free, Pinchback joined the Union Army during the Civil War and raised a company of African American volunteers. After the war he entered politics and served as lieutenant governor and acting governor of Louisiana. Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1872 and to the United States Senate in 1873, he was prevented from taking office by the opposition of Whites who claimed there had been voting irregularities on his election.

Inauguration of Nelson Mandela (1994): South Africa. On this day Nelson Mandela became the first Black president of South Africa, after the nationis first elections in which citizens of all race were allowed to vote. The inaugural ceremonies, attended by leaders from around the world, marked the end of South Africais system of white minority rule, which for decades had maintained the brutal system of racial separation and inequality know as apartheid.

Irving Berlin (1888-1989): Jewish Russian American. Song writer. Berlin wrote the lyrics and music to some 1500 songs, including the scores for many stage and screen musical comedies. Among the Berlin songs that have become classics of American popular music are his first, iAlexanderis Ragtime Bandi (1911), iWhite Christmas,i Easter Parade,i and iGod Bless America.i

William Grant Still (1895-1978): African American. Composer and Conductor. Still was the first African American to compose a symphony and the first to conduct a symphony orchestra, but he made his living playing in orchestras and jazz bands. In his own compositions, the most famous of which are his Afro-American Symphony (1951) and the opera Troubled Island (1949), he often incorporated jazz elements.

Jo Louis (Barrow) (1914-1981): African American. Prizefighter. Joe Louis was the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1947, defending the title 24 times.

Our Lady of Fatima Day: Portugal. This commemorates the miracle of the vision of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to shepherd children on May 13, 1917.

Betty Carter (1929-1998): African American. Jazz singer. Betty Carter was unique among jazz vocalists, composers, and arrangers, her distinctive style embodying an approach to jazz that created the model for modern jazz singing. Growing up in Detroit, Carter sang with Charlie Parker and later joined the Lional Hampton band. 1961, she recorded the classic album, Ray Charles and Betty Carter. Carter received the National Medal of Arts in 1997.