Only one source claims this is the birth date of Eunice Hunton Carter (1899-1970), but while double-sourcing is usually required, she is a lady whose life we can celebrate any day of the year.
She was Smith College Class of ’21, the first African-American woman to receive a law degree from Fordham University and the first black woman assistant district attorney in New York State. As an assistant D.A., she convinced her boss – D.A. Thomas Dewey – to pursue a case against Lucky Luciano and helped send the mob boss to jail for ten years.
The granddaughter of a slave who was able to purchase his freedom just before the Civil War, Eunice Hunton carried on a family tradition of accomplishment – her father had founded the black division of the YMCA and her mother was a social worker.
She married Lisle Carter, one of New York’s first African-American dentists. Their son Lisle Carter Jr. became an attorney and fathered five children, one of whom – Steven L. Carter – is a Yale law professor as well as an author. His first book was a bestseller – The Emperor of Ocean Park.
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Belated birthday wishes to Van Cliburn, who turned 78 last Thursday. He’s still the only classical musician ever to have a NYC ticker-tape parade held for him. And that’s because he singlehandedly won a major Cold War victory when he was named winner of the USSR’s first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 – reportedly they had to ask Kruschev’s permission to give him first place.
Here he is on a return visit in 1962: