THE CITY MOURNED THE LOSS OF AN INNOCENT
On July 18th, 1964: The funeral of 15-year-old James Powell was held. Two days earlier, Powell was shot and killed by Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan in front of his friends and roughly a dozen other witnesses, a tragedy that sparked the momentous Harlem Riot of 1964. The riot began with an immediate rally of about 300 students from a school near where the shooting occurred, which was followed by six consecutive nights of rioting that manifested in attacks on the NYC Police Department, vandalism, and looting. Over two hundred outraged and sorrowful New Yorkers attended Powell’s funeral, which was strictly barricaded by the NYPD.
BLUES IN THE NIGHT CLOSED
On July 18th, 1982: The Broadway production of Blues in the Nights closed at the Rialto Theater after 53 performances. Despite its incredibly short run, the musical revue was critically acclaimed; although it didn’t win any major awards, it was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Lawrence Oliver Award for Best New Musical in 1983.
BORN ON THIS DAY: JONELLE ALLEN
On July 18th, 1944: Actress, singer, and dancer Jonelle Allen was born. Influenced by fellow Sugar Hill natives like Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, and Johnny Hodges, Allen began her career as an aspiring Broadway starlet in Joshua Logan’s The Wisteria Trees. Later in her career, her off-Broadway ventures earned her a Tony nomination for her role in Two Gentlemen of Verona, along with New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Drama Desk, Theatre World, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. She is best known for her role as the exuberant and forthright Doreen Jackson on NBC’s Generations.
Featured Image Courtesy of US Prison Culture