Henry O. Flipper died #OnThisDay in 1940.

He was an American soldier, engineer, formerly enslaved, who in 1877, became the first African American to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, earning a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
After his commissioning, he was assigned to one of the all-black regiments in the U.S. Army, which were historically led by white officers. Flipper served with distinction during the Apache Wars and the Victorio Campaign, but was haunted by rumors alleging improprieties.
Eventually, he was court-martialed and dismissed from the U.S. Army.

In 1994, his descendants applied to the U.S. military for a review of Flipper's court-martial and dismissal. A review found the conviction and punishment were "unduly harsh and unjust"...
... and recommended Flipper's dismissal be changed to a good conduct discharge. Shortly afterwards, an application for pardon was filed with the Secretary of the Army, which was forwarded to the Department of Justice.
President Bill Clinton posthumously pardoned Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper on February 19, 1999, 118 years after his conviction.


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4 May
Mary Kenner was an inventor most noted for her development of the sanitary belt, also known as a menstrual pad. Racial discrimination caused her patent to be prevented for thirty years.

Kenner never made any money from the sanitary belt, because her patent expired and...
... became public domain, allowing it to be manufactured freely.

In an interview, she said, "one day I was contacted by a company that expressed an interest in marketing my idea. I was so jubilant ... I saw houses, cars, and everything about to come to my way."
"Sorry to say, when they found out I was black, their interest dropped. The representative went back to New York and informed me the company was no longer interested."

Between 1956 and 1987 Kenner received five total patents for her household and personal item creations.
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3 May
#OnThisDay in 1945, World War II: German ship "Cap Arcona" laden with prisoners from Nazi concentration camps is sunk by the Royal Air Force in the East Sea. 5,800 killed. This was one of the largest single-incident maritime losses of life in the Second World War. Image
For weeks after the attack, bodies of victims washed ashore, where they were collected and buried in mass graves at Neustadt in Holstein, Scharbeutz and Timmendorfer Strand.

Parts of skeletons washed ashore over the next 30 years, with the last find in 1971.
RAF Pilot Allan Wyse of No. 193 Squadron recalled, "We used our cannon fire at the chaps in the water... we shot them up with 20 mm cannons in the water. Horrible thing, but we were told to do it and we did it. That's war."
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2 May
I think you should know that Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury collaborated in a recording session featuring them singing There Must Be More to Life Than This, State of Shock and Victory, but the project was never completed because Michael Jackson brought a llama to the studio. ImageImage
Freddie’s manager Jim ‘Miami’ Beach said: “They got on well except for the fact that I suddenly got a call from Freddie, saying, ‘Miami, dear, can you get on over here… You’ve got to get me out of here. I’m recording with a llama… I’ve had enough and I want to get out.”
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2 May
Colorized by me: Queen Victoria's coffin in the Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor Castle, 1901.
Photographer unknown. 🇬🇧 Image
Victoria died of a cerebral haemorrhage.

In one of her last diary entries on 4 January 1901, she wrote: "From not having been well, I see so badly, which is very tiresome."
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30 Apr
Thread: Portraits of African Americans, formerly enslaved, taken in 1936-8.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs. via @librarycongress
Green Cumby, Henderson, Texas: "Durin' slavery I had purty rough times. My grandfather, Tater Cumby , was cullud overseer for forty slaves and he called us at four in de mornin' and we worked from sun to sun."
Minerva Bendy, born in Alabama and later moved to Texas: I was just about five years old when us make de trip to Texas. Us come right near Woodville and make the plantation. It a big place and dey raise corn and cotton and cane.
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29 Apr
#OnThisDay in 1945, Dachau is liberated by United States troops. On April 26, as American forces approached, there were 67,665 registered prisoners in the main camp and its subcamps.

Below you can see a survivor attacking a former SS camp guard after its liberation.
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As the Allies neared the camp on April 29, they found more than 30 railroad cars filled with bodies brought to Dachau, all in an advanced state of decomposition. In early May 1945, American forces liberated the prisoners who had been sent on the death march.
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