Today in black history: Happy birthday, Hank Aaron, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hits 38,000 points, Bob Douglas to the Hall of Fame, and more
The Undefeated edition’s black facts for Feb. 5
1934 — Henry “Hank” Aaron is 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 — 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. 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 — Bob Douglas, regarded by many as the father of black professional basketball, is the first African-American elected to the 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 earned a 2,318-381 record, including an 88-game winning streak during the 1932-33 season.
1989 — Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first NBA player to score 38,000 points.
1990 — Columbia University graduate and Harvard University law student Barack Obama becomes the first African-American named president of the Harvard Law Review.