By Chris Ezeh & Martin Adams
Christiaan Neethling Barnard from South Africa became the first surgeon to perform the first human open heart transplantation in 1967.
1752 Benjamin Banneker, with nothing more than an eighth grade education and a pocket watch he received as a gift to guide him, built a clock completely made of wood.
1792 Benjamin Banneker, self-made astronomer, published his almanac, which offered weather data, tidal information on the Chesapeake Bay, medical remedies, and abolitionist essays.
1834 Henry Blair receives a patent for his invention of a corn-planting machine.
1843 Norbert Rillieux’s developed a method for refining sugar. It consisted of a series of vacuum pans combined in a step-by-step process to make heated evaporated sugar into crystalized granules.
1872 Elijah McCoy acquired his first patent for his invention of a device that allowed machines to lubricate while still in operation.
1878 Inventor J. R. Winters develops a fire escape ladder. Inventor W. A. Lavalette receives a patent for a variation on the printing press.
1884 The first African-American medical society, the Medico-Chirugical Society of Washington, D.C. is founded April 24. Granville Woods receives his first two patents, for a steam boiler furnace and a telephone transmitter.
1885 Sarah Goode receives a patent for a folding cabinet bed.
1892 Andrew Beard is granted a patent for his rotary engine. Sarah Boone came up with an idea for a narrow wooden board, with collapsible leg supports and covered with padding. Prior to her ironing board, this task normally required taking a plank and placing it between two chairs or simply using the dining table.
1897 Andrew J. Beard invents the “Jenny Coupler,” an automatic system for coupling railroad cars.
1921 Bessie Coleman is the first African American worldwide to become a licensed airplane pilot. Her accreditation is from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in France.
1923 Garrett A. Morgan, inventor of the gas mask, receives the patent on November 20 for the automatic traffic light, which he sells to General electric for $40,000.
1935 Chemist Percy Julian develops physostogmine, a drug for the treatment of the eye disease glaucoma.
1980 Levi Watkins, Jr., is the first surgeon to implant an automatic defibrillator in the human heart, a device that corrects arrhythmia, or a failure of the heart to pump properly.
1983 Guion S. Bluford, Jr., participates in a mission of the space shuttle Challenger, making him the first African-American in space.
1985 John P. Moon, a pioneer in personal computer technology, is appointed chief of Apple Computer’s peripheral devices division, and starts working on the revolutionary new disk for the Macintosh computer.