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Daily Black History Facts Today April 2nd
1796: Toussaint L’Ovuerture lead French forces to
1997: Controversy surrounds debate to teach Ebonics in CA school.
1939: Birth of Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay,
Jr.) was an American singer-songwriter and musician.
Gaye helped to shape the sound of Motown Records
in the 1960s with a string of hits, including “How
Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” and “I Heard
It Through the Grapevine”, & duet recordings with
Mary Wells & Tammi Terrell, later earning the titles
“Prince of Motown” & “Prince of Soul”. During the
1970s, he recorded the concept albums What’s Going
On and Let’s Get It On and became one of the first
artists in Motown to break away from the reins of its
Gaye’s later recordings influenced several R&B
subgenres, such as quiet storm and neo-soul. Following
a period in Europe as atax exile in the early 1980s,
Gaye released the 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit
“Sexual Healing” and the Midnight Love album.
He was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay, Sr. a
day before his 45th birthday, at their house in the West
Adams district of Los Angeles. Since his death, Gaye
has been posthumously honored by many institutions,
including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award,
the R&B Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame.
1932:William “Bill” Pickett, a cowboy, rodeo, and Wild
West show performer, died as a result of being kicked in
the head by a wild bronco after his retirement. Born in
the Jenks-Branch community of Travis County, Texas
near Taylor, Texas on December 5, 1870, he invented
the technique of bulldogging, the skill of grabbing
cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground.
It was known among cattlemen that, with the help of
a trained bulldog, a stray steer could be caught. Bill
Pickett had seen this happen on many occasions. He
also thought that if a bulldog could do this feat, so
could he. Pickett practiced his stunt by riding hard,
springing from his horse, and wrestling the steer to the
ground. Pickett’s method for bulldogging was biting a
cow on the lip and then falling backwards.
Pickett soon became known for his tricks and stunts at local country fairs.
With his four brothers, he established The Pickett Brothers Bronco Busters and
Rough Riders Association. The name Bill Pickett soon became synonymous
with successful rodeos. He did his bulldogging act, traveling about in Texas,
Arizona, Wyoming, and Oklahoma.
In 1905, Pickett joined the 101 Ranch Wild West Show that featured the likes
of Buffalo Bill, Will Rogers, etc & soon became a popular performer who
toured around the world and appeared in early motion pictures, such as a movie
created by Richard E. Norman. Pickett’s ethnicity resulted in his not being
able to appear at many rodeos, so he often was forced to claim that he was of
Comanche heritage in order to perform.
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