1947 April 15

Jackie Robinson Breaks Baseball Color Line


Jackie Robinson made his major league baseball debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play in major league baseball. Because of his role in desegregating major league baseball, Robinson is one of the iconic figures in American history. The historic game was played at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn, New York. Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians became the first African-American in the American League on July 5, 1947.

In one sidelight of his career, Robinson was called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), on July 18, 1949. The committee wanted a prominent African-American to rebut remarks by the noted singer and left-wing activist Paul Robeson, who had recently criticized U.S. Cold War policy. Although Robinson was never very politically active, on May 13, 1958, he was so upset by President Dwight Eisenhower’s lack of leadership on civil rights that he sent to president an angry letter.

Watch Jackie Robinson steal home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XY-XshGhMU

Listen to the song, “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” (Co-written by Count Basie): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-7Ac2LVVYU

Read: Arnold Rampersad, Jackie Robinson: A Biography (1997)

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