On August 22, 1950, officials of the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accept Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York, making her the first African American player to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition.
Growing up in Harlem, the young Gibson was a natural athlete. She started playing tennis at the age of 14 and the very next year won her first tournament, the New York State girls’ championship, sponsored by the American Tennis Association (ATA), which was organized in 1916 by Black players as an alternative to the exclusively white USLTA. After prominent doctors and tennis enthusiasts Hubert Eaton and R. Walter Johnson took Gibson under their wing, she won her first of what would be 10 straight ATA championships in 1947.
Colonial Newspaper Printer And Publisher
Little is known about the early life of Ann Smith, other than she was raised in Boston, and had a solid education. At the age of twenty-seven, she married James Franklin, printer and publisher of The New England Courant. James’ hostility toward church and government authorities resulted in a jail term for printing “scandalous libel.”
After his release from prison, James was ordered to cease printing the Courant, and publication of the newspaper was turned over to James’ apprentice and younger brother, Benjamin Franklin.
Ann Smith Franklin, born in 1696, was America’s first female newspaper editor, almanac writer, and inductee into the Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of Rhode Island. You might recognize her by her last name – she was the wife of James Franklin, older brother of founding father Benjamin Franklin.
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