Today in Black history: Dancer Anne Raven Wilkinson born, ice-cream scoop invented, ‘Lift Every Voice’ co-composer gets U.S. stamp and more
The Undefeated’s Black facts for Feb. 2
1897 — Alfred L. Cralle invents the ice-cream scoop (U.S. patent No. 576395), although he never profited from it. He was a businessman who worked for his father in the carpentry trade. Cralle’s invention was originally called the Ice Cream Mold and Disher and was designed to keep ice cream and other foods from sticking.
1915 — Biologist Ernest E. Just receives Spingarn Medal awarded annually by the NAACP for outstanding achievement by an African American for his pioneering work in cell division and fertilization.
1935 — Anne Raven Wilkinson is born. She was the first Black woman to receive a contract to dance full time with a major ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo of New York City at the age of 20 in August 1955. She was promoted to soloist during her second season with the troupe and remained with the company for six years.
1948 — President Harry S. Truman sends Congress an anti-lynching message urging the adoption of a civil rights program, including establishing a fair employment practices commission and anti-poll tax measures.
1988 – James Weldon Johnson, co-composer of the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” is commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp. He was the first African American accepted to the Florida Bar and the first executive secretary of the NAACP.