On this day in Black history: First Black United States sheriff, blimp patent and more

Written by on February 20, 2024

On this day in Black history, February 20:

— In 1874, the Texas Senate confirmed the election of Walter Moses Burton, the first Black elected sheriff in the United States.

— In 1900, John F. Pickering of Gonaives, Haiti, was granted a patent for his improved version of the airship, which later became known as the blimp. 

— In 1929, author and playwright Wallace Thurman had his first play, Harlem, open at the Apollo Theatre and later featured on Broadway. It ran through May the same year and as of 2024, has had 93 performances.

— Happy birthday to Sidney PoitierNancy WilsonTrevor NoahRobyn “Rihanna” FentyCharles BarkleyAnthony “Chico” Bean and Stephon Marbury.

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