Civil Rights

1988 22¢ Black Heritage: James Weldon Johnson
June 17, 1871

Birth of James W. Johnson

James Weldon Johnson was born on June 17, 1871, in Jacksonville, Florida.  A poet, songwriter, diplomat, and activist, he was the first African American executive secretary of the NAACP.

Read Article
1991 52¢ Great Americans: Hubert H. Humphrey
May 27, 1911

Birth of Hubert Humphrey

Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr. was born on May 27, 1911, in Wallace, South Dakota. He was a leading political figure in the mid-1900s, promoting the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and more.

Read Article
1989 25¢ Black Heritage: A. Philip Randolph
April 15, 1889

Birth of A. Philip Randolph

Asa Philip Randolph was born on April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida. Randolph was a respected and outspoken proponent of the rights of minority labor. He was greatly feared by his opponents, not because of his temperament, but because of his power to create change.

Read Article
2020 55¢ Voices of Harlem – Nella Larsen
April 13, 1891

Birth of Nella Larsen

Harlem Renaissance novelist Nellallitea “Nella” Walker Larsen was born on April 13, 1891, in Chicago, Illinois. Though her writing career was brief, Larsen produced some of the first groundbreaking works to focus on mixed race identity and the feeling of not belonging.

Read Article
2005 37¢ To Form a More Perfect Union: Selma March
March 21, 1965

Final Selma March Begins

On March 21, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led the third (and finally successful) march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest for voting rights.

Read Article
2014 91¢ Literary Arts: Ralph Ellison
March 1, 1913

Birth of Ralph Ellison

Ralph Waldo Ellison was born on March 1, 1913, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A self-proclaimed Renaissance Man, Ellison was a talented musician and writer, most famous for his novel, Invisible Man.

Read Article
1998 32¢ Folk Musicians: Josh White
February 11, 1914

Birth of Josh White

Joshua Daniel White was born on February 11, 1914, in Greenville, South Carolina. A trailblazing musician, White broke barriers with many notable firsts…

Read Article
1961 8¢ Champions of Liberty: Mahatma Gandhi
January 30, 1948

Mahatma Gandhi Assassinated

On January 30, 1948, a Hindu extremist assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.  Gandhi used civil disobedience and hunger strikes to fight discrimination and push for India’s independence from Great Britain, among many other causes.

Read Article
1962 4¢ Sam Rayburn stamp
January 6, 1882

Birth of Sam Rayburn

Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn was born on January 6, 1882, in Kingston, Tennessee. Famous for his integrity, Rayburn served as Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone else and spent 49 consecutive years in Congress.

Read Article

Love history?

Discover events in American history – plus the stamps that make them come alive.

Subscribe to get This Day in History stories straight to your inbox every day!