On this day in black history: First ambassador appointed, Hank Aaron is born and more
Black History Month: The Undefeated edition Feb. 5
1934 — Henry “Hank” Aaron is born
Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama. He would enjoy a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball career with the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. He also happened to break Babe Ruth’s home run record, finishing with 755 career dingers.
1958 — First black ambassador in Europe
Clifton R. Wharton Sr. is confirmed as minister to Romania, becoming the first black person to head a U.S. embassy in Europe. Wharton was also the first African-American to enter the Foreign Service in 1925, after the passage of the 1924 Rogers Act, which consolidated the State Department’s Consular and Diplomatic Services. And he would be the only African-American admitted to the Foreign Service for the next two decades and as such was the first black career Foreign Service officer to become an ambassador.
1972 — First African-American elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
Bob Douglas, regarded by many as the father of black professional basketball, is the first African-American elected to Basketball Hall of Fame. Douglas founded the famous New York Renaissance basketball team and served as owner and coach from 1923-49. During that stretch, the team amassed a 2,318-381 record, including a 88-game winning streak during the 1932-33 season.
1989 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar breaks NBA record
Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first NBA player to score 38,000 points.
1990 — Barack Obama becomes president of Harvard Law Review
Columbia University graduate and Harvard University law student Barack Obama became the first African-American named president of the Harvard Law Review.