OCTOBER 19, 1960
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of more than 50 people arrested for staging a lunch counter sit-in in downtown Atlanta. Robert F. Kennedy, the presidential campaign manager for his brother John F. Kennedy, will help to secure King's release eight days later.
1944: Urged on by Mary McLeod Bethune, the U.S. Navy announces that black women will be allowed to join the Women Accepted for Volunteer Service (WAVES). Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances Wills will be the first African American officers in WAVES when they are sworn in on Dec. 21, 1944.
1959: Patty Duke, age 12, debuts on Broadway as Helen Keller, alongside Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker. The acclaimed production will close on July 1, 1961, after a run of 719 performances. Bancroft and Duke will reprise their roles in the 1962 film version and will win Academy Awards for best actress and best supporting actress.