This Day in Black History: Jan. 9, 1866

Fisk University holds its first classes.

Posted: 01/09/2012 07:00 AM EST

Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, opened its doors to newly freed slaves and held its first classes on this day in 1866. “The first students ranged in age from 7 to 70, but shared common experiences of slavery and poverty — and an extraordinary thirst for learning,” according to the school’s website. The milestone came barely six months after the end of the Civil War and two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.


Also on this day, in 1914, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.


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