50 years ago today, Arthur Ashe became the first black male to win the US Open tennis championship. In order to compete in the historic event (and avoid the Vietnam war) the Army 1st Lieutenant who was discharged one year later, accepted his brother Johnnie’s decision to serve an additional tour in Vietnam in Arthur’s place. Ashe also was the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. (1968)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in Florence (1504)
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was published (1952)
- The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was inaugurated in Washington, DC, with the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (1971)
- The first Oprah Winfrey Show aired (1986)
- The Republic of Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia (1991)
And, on this day in 2005, Russians flew humanitarian aid to the United States following Hurricane Katrina, landing three Il-76 aircraft at a disaster aid staging area in Little Rock, Arkansas, marking the first time Russia’s international aid group EMERCOM had flown such a mission to North America. The delivery of more than 60 tons of medical supplies, rations, tents, blankets and 6 tons of drinking water, also set in motion a cooperative relationship between the two countries’ two disaster aid agencies, FEMA and EMERCOM. (Photo by pixinn.net, CC)
The science-fiction television show created by Gene Roddenberry was set in the 23rd century and starred William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. The NBC show has since spawned multiple TV series, as well as comics, toys and a movie empire. Fans of the franchise, called Trekkies, often cite the show as an inspiration for technological inventions like the cell phone and computerized tablets. The Original Series which included one of television’s first multiracial casts is also noted for its progressive civil rights stances.
WATCH clips from the top 10 episodes.