On February 3, 1983, Henry Frye was sworn in as North Carolina’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Governor Jim Hunt appointed Frye as an associate justice.
On February 14, 1943, saxophonist Maceo Parker was born in Kinston. Perhaps best known for his work with James Brown, Parker brought funk to the soul music of the James Brown Band. For nearly 20 years, Brown’s call “Maceo, I want you to Blow!” summoned his unique sound.
On December 31, 1900, renowned sculptor Selma Burke was born in Mooresville.
On December 27, 1857, Republican Congressman, educator, and conservative and diplomatic advocate for racial equality Henry Plummer Cheatham was born with slave status near Henderson.
On December 5, 1962, a U.S. district court dismissed a suit against two Greensboro hospitals challenging “separate but equal” treatment in private, non-profit hospitals. The case was ultimately overturned on appeal.
On November 27, 1981, Mel Tomlinson made his debut as the only African American member of the New York City Ballet.
On November 27, 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a speech in Rocky Mount. Before a crowd of nearly 2,000 in the gymnasium at Booker T.