Year of Alabama History



June 27, 1880















June 21, 1865










June 22, 1937








June 24, 1896









June 25, 1957






Helen Keller

This Week in Alabama History

June 21 - June 27




Featured Event:

Helen Keller is born in Tuscumbia. Having lost both sight and hearing by illness as a small child, Keller's life story and activism inspired new attitudes toward those with handicaps.


Listen: Click the play button below to hear Archives Staff discuss this event on Alabama Public Radio.

Other Events this Week

President Andrew Johnson appoints Lewis Parsons provisional governor. Parsons, the grandson of Great Awakening leader Jonathan Edwards, was born in New York and moved to Talladega in 1840. Although a Unionist, Parsons followed moderate policies as he reorganized Alabama's state government under Johnson's reconstruction plan. His term ended in December 1865.


Alabama native Joe Louis defeats James J. Braddock at Chicago's Comiskey Park to become the first black heavyweight boxing champion since Jack Johnson in 1908. Born near Lafayette as Joseph Louis Barrow, the "Brown Bomber" held the world heavyweight title until 1948.


Booker T. Washington, president of Tuskegee Institute, becomes the first African American to be awarded an honorary degree by Harvard University. Born into slavery in Virginia, Washington moved to Alabama in 1881 to open Tuskegee Normal School. He soon gained fame as an educational leader among black Americans, a fact which Harvard recognized with a Master of Arts degree.


Macon County blacks kick off a boycott of white businesses at a mass meeting in Tuskegee attended by 3,000 people. The boycott was in response to a plan to protect white political power in Tuskegee by gerrymandering its city limits so that all but a few African Americans would reside outside the city. The boycott, which brought national attention to Tuskegee, was sustained for four years and met many of the goals of its originator, the Tuskegee Civic Association.