FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
Althea Neale Gibson (August 25, 1927 – September 28, 2003) was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and one of the first Black athletes to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title (the French Championships). The following year she won both Wimbledon and the US Nationals (precursor of the US Open), then won both again in 1958 and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all, she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments: five singles titles, five doubles titles, and one mixed doubles title. Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. “She is one of the greatest players who ever lived”, said Bob Ryland, a tennis contemporary and former coach of Venus and Serena Williams. “Martina [Navratilova] couldn’t touch her. I think she’d beat the Williams sisters.” In the early 1960s she also became the first Black player to compete on the Women’s Professional Golf Tour.
At a time when racism and prejudice were widespread in sports and in society, Gibson was often compared to Jackie Robinson. “Her road to success was a challenging one”, said Billie Jean King, “but I never saw her back down.” “To anyone, she was an inspiration, because of what she was able to do at a time when it was enormously difficult to play tennis at all if you were Black”, said former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. “I am honored to have followed in such great footsteps”, wrote Venus Williams. “Her accomplishments set the stage for my success, and through players like myself and Serena and many others to come, her legacy will live on.”
- 1718: HUNDREDS OF FRENCH COLONISTS ARRIVED IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. THIS DATE IS CONSIDERED BY SOME TO BE WHEN THE CITY WAS FOUNDED. OTHERS HISTORIANS CONSIDER THE EVENT TO HAVE HAPPENED EARLIER, SUCH AS IN MAY.
- 1875: BRITISH SWIMMER MATTHEW WEBB WAS THE FIRST DOCUMENTED PERSON TO SWIM ACROSS THE ENGLISH CHANNEL
- BORN 1913: WALT KELLY (POGO CARTOONIST)
- 1916: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ESTABLISHED
- BORN 1917: MEL FERRER (ACTOR)
- BORN 1918: LEONARD BERNSTEIN (COMPOSER)
- BORN 1927: ALTHEA GIBSON (FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER TO COMPETE IN U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 1950 AND IN WIMBELDON A YEAR LATER)
- 1940: FIRST PARACHUTE WEDDING TOOK PLACE, IN NEW YORK CITY
- 1944: PARIS WAS LIBERATED. GERMAN OCCUPYING-OFFICER GENERAL DEITRICK VON CHOLTITZ SURRENDERED TO FRENCH MAJOR GENERAL JACQUES LE CLERC
- 1945: BAPTIST MISSIONARY AND U.S. ARMY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER JOHN BIRCH WAS EXECUTED AS A SPY BY CHINESE COMMUNISTS
- 1981: CLOSEST APPROACH TO SATURN BY VOYAGER 2
- DIED 1985: SAMATHA SMITH (AN AMERICAN SCHOOLGIRL WHO RECEIVED WORLD-WIDE ATTENTION FOR WRITING TO SOVIET LEADER YURI ANDROPOV)
- 1989: CLOSEST APPROACH OF VOYAGER-2 TO NEPTUNE
- DIED 2000: CARL BARKS (ILLUSTRATOR OF DONALD DUCK)
- 2002: LARGEST (60 MILLION CUBIC FEET) SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED NASA BALLOON SET A WORLD RECORD
- 2004: TWO PASSENGER JETS THAT FLEW OUT OF MOSCOW’S DOMODEDOVO AIRPORT WITHIN 40 MINUTES OF EACH OTHER CRASHED WITHIN THREE OR FOUR MINUTES OF EACH OTHER, KILLING NEARLY 100 PEOPLE
- DIED 2009: EDWARD MOORE KENNEDY (POLITICIAN)
- 2011: AN EARLY MORNING 4.5-MAGNITUDE AFTERSHOCK CENTERED 31 MILES EAST OF CHARLOTTESVILLE, STRUCK 2 DAYS AFTER AN INITIAL 5.8-MAGNITUDE QUAKE IN VIRGINIA. THE AFTERSHOCK WAS FELT AS FAR AWAY AS PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW YORK.
- DIED 2012: NEIL ARMSTRONG (ASTRONAUT; FIRST TO SET FOOT ON THE MOON)
- DIED 2018: JOHN MCCAIN (U.S. SENATOR)