On this day (January 17, 1923) 29 lynchings were reported. It should be pointed out that these were the ‘reported’ lynchings, with the actual number of the unreported incidents a lot higher.
The 1st and 2nd sessions of the Third Pan-African Congress (January 17, 1923) were held in London, with the second held meeting held in Lisbon. Considering that it happened on the same date as the reported lynchings, one can only assume this was one of the many things discussed.
Jewel Plummer Cobb was born (January 17, 1924) and became a huge name in the science community as a cancer research biologist. She became the first African American to hold the role of President at the California State University in Fullerton. This is way back in 1924, so calling her climb up the ladder as a cancer research biologist an achievement is an understatement. Besides the racial prejudice, she had to deal with anti-woman prejudice despite being completely qualified for her position. Throughout her career, she was also a notable member of the National Science Board.
Lawrence Douglas Wilder was born (January 17, 1931) and is best known as the 66th Governor of Virginia. He was the first African-American elected as Governor in any state since Reconstruction, and the second African American to be elected in Virginia. His political roots are ingrained in Virginia, and he also held the title of 78th Mayor of Richmond, Virginia.
Barbara Jones died on this day (January 17, 1996) in Houston, Texas. She was the first female African American voted for the Texas Senate in 1966. Among her other victories that were the first of its kind, she became the first African-American to represent a former Confederate state in Congress. There was a bit of irony attached to that, although it was unintentional. She died of pneumonia on this day at Austin Diagnostic Medical Center, but will be remembered as a pioneer.