In 1950 the Boston Celtics basketball team signs the first Black player in the NBA, Chuck Cooper. In 1954 Bell Lab scientists hold a news conference unveiling their new invention, the solar cell. In 1956 Rocky Marciano becomes the first heavyweight boxing champ to retire undefeated. His record was 49-0. And in 1959 the St. Lawrence Seaway is opened to shipping traffic.
Born on this date -- wireless inventor Guglielmo Marconi (1874), Supreme Court justice William J Brennan Jr (1906), newsman Edward R Murrow (1908), the first lady of song Ella Fitzgerald (1918) and basketball star Meadowlark [George] Lemon (1932).