Browse or search our African American History timeline. Events on the timeline include key moments in specific HistoryMaker's lives as well as important historical dates.

May 16, 2005
| Betty Gross Passed Away

Nursing education administrator and nurse Betty Gross passed away on this date at the age of 90.


May 16, 1997
| President Clinton Apologizes for Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

President Bill Clinton gave a formal apology to the Tuskegee study patients and their families for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment on this date.


May 16, 1979
| A. Philip Randolph Dies

Labor organizer A. Philip Randolph passes away in New York City.


May 16, 1968
| Memphis Sanitation Strike Settled

The city of Memphis, Tennessee settled its sanitation strike on this date, six weeks after Dr. King was assassinated.


May 16, 1967
| Massachusetts City Honors Jan E. Matzeliger

It was declared Jan E. Matzeliger Day on this date in Lynn, Massachusetts. Matzeliger was being honored for his shoe-making invention.


May 16, 1966
| Janet Jackson is Born

Grammy-winning R&B singer and actress Janet Jackson was born on this date in Gary, Indiana. Jackson has been performing since she was a child. She started her acting career with roles on the television series Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes, and Fame. She then moved on to singing and performing. Some of her biggest musical hits include Control and That's the Way Love Goes.


May 16, 1958
| Minyon Moore is Born

Public affairs director Minyon Moore was born on this date in Chicago, Illinois.


May 16, 1955
| Victor McCrary is Born

Technology executive Victor McCrary was born on this date in Washington, District of Columbia.


May 16, 1952
| Keith H. Williamson is Born

Corporate executive and corporate lawyer Keith H. Williamson was born on this date in St. Louis, Missouri.


May 16, 1940
| William Baxter is Born

Basketball official William Baxter was born on this date in New York, New York.


May 16, 1938
| First Black Certified By a Surgical Board

William H. Barnes became the first Black to be certified by a surgical board on this date.


May 16, 1937
| Donald Stull is Born

Architect and architecture chief executive Donald Stull was born on this date in Springfield, Ohio.


May 16, 1937
| Essex Finney is Born

Agricultural engineer Essex Finney was born on this date in Powhatan County, Virginia.


May 16, 1932
| Isaac "Redd" Holt is Born

Jazz musician Isaac "Redd" Holt was born on this date in Rosedale, Mississippi.


May 16, 1932
| Rodney Reed is Born

Educator Rodney Reed was born on this date in New Orleans, Louisiana.


May 16, 1929
| The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. is Born

U.S. congressman The Honorable John Conyers, Jr. was born on this date in Detroit, Michigan.


May 16, 1911
| A. Paul Moss is Born

Nonprofit executive A. Paul Moss was born on this date in Springfield, Ohio.