On this day in black history: Lauryn Hill wins five Grammys, first African-American woman earns M.D. degree and more
Black History Month: The Undefeated edition Feb. 24
1864 — First black woman in the United States receives an M.D. degree
Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who graduated from the New England Female Medical College, became the first black woman in the country to receive an M.D. degree. From 1852 to 1860, she worked as a nurse in Massachusetts, and later became one of the first African-Americans to publish a book when she released Book of Medical Discourses.
1966 — Kwame Nkrumah ousted in military coup
Kwame Nkrumah helped lead Ghana out of British rule and into a state of independence in 1957. He was the country’s first president and named president for life by both his political party and the people. Yet while on a peace mission to Vietnam, a military coup removed him from office, and he sought asylum in Guinea.
1985 — First black ambassador to Republic of South Africa appointed
Then-President George H.W. Bush nominated Edward Perkins to be ambassador of South Africa, making him the first black person to hold the position. From 1986 to 1989, Perkins was ambassador of the then-apartheid South Africa. He later became director general of the U.S. foreign service from 1989 to 1992, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations until the following year and U.S. ambassador to Australia from 1993 to 1996.
1999 — Singer Lauryn Hill wins five Grammys
Hip-hop and rhythm and blues artist Lauryn Hill took home five awards at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards — the most by a woman at that time — for her 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Overall, the album received 10 nominations.