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Grand Rapids, MI 49503

 

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PROMINENT & HISTORICAL ICONS OF GRAND RAPIDS

Rev. William Abney

Paul Collins

Xavier Davis

DeBarges

Stephen Drew

Dr. Julius Franks

Sherman D. Gillespie

Al Green

Adina Howard

Dr. Randal Jelks

Dr. Edward Jones

Benjamin Logan II

Elias Lumpkins, Jr.

Buster Mathis, Jr.

Paul Mayhue

Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Joseph McMillan

Montford Point Marines

Rev. Lyman S. Parks

W. L. Patterson

Dr. Patricia Pulliam

Ted Raspberry

Roy Roberts

Dr. Marvin Sapp

Reuben Smartt

Cedric Ward

and more...

August 1868

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress.

The amendment's first section includes several clauses including the Citizenship Clause nullifying the Supreme Court's decision which had held that Americans descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States

August 1872

Elijah McCoy was born free in Ontario in 1844 and later, he and his family moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan. Becoming a certified mechanical engineer, his first noted invention was an automatic lubricator allowing trains to run faster and longer. With nearly 60 patents, McCoy is also noted for designing the folding ironing board and lawn sprinkler.

McCoy is attributed the popular expression “the real McCoy”, meaning the real thing. One theory is that railroad engineers looking to avoid inferior copies would request his product by name.

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August 1999

The first non-white to become head-of-state, as well as the oldest, in South Africa’s history in 1994, Nelson Mandela concluded his presidential role in June 1999. At the age of 75, Mandela led the African National Congress party to win in South Africa’s first multi-racial election dismantling the apartheid system.

Mandela only served one five-year term. Having retired from active politics, Mandela became engaged in a number of philanthropic activities.

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