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Black History Month: 5 Incredible Facts

From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech to African-American inspired characters, these are 5 Incredible Black History Month Facts!

1. “I Have A Dream” Was Improvised

The most iconic part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was improvised. King had prepared a more political speech the night before. In the moment, he decided to speak from his heart, coining the historic phrase, “I have a dream.”

RELATED: The Unknown Origins of Black History Month in the U.S.

2. Vaccinations Came From Inoculation Traditions in Africa

A slave named Onesimus introduced vaccination to America. In 1706, Onesimus told Cotton Mather about the inoculation traditions in Africa. Mather then convinced Dr. Zabdiel Boylston to experiment with the idea amid a smallpox epidemic in 1721, and it turned out to be a success.

3. The Lone Ranger Was Inspired By An African American Cowboy

One in four cowboys was Black Freed slaves decided to pick up the cowboy lifestyle at the end of the Civil War. It’s even believed that the “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African-American named Bass Reeves.

4. Betty Boop’s Personality Was Stolen From Esther Jones

The cartoon character Betty Boop was inspired by jazz singer Esther Jones. Jones, known as “Baby Esther,” incorporated trademark “boops” and scat sounds into her performances. These sounds were adopted by cartoonist Max Fleischer for Betty Boop’s signature “Boop Oop A Doop!”

5. U.S. Interracial Marriage Ban

U.S. interracial marriage was banned in 1664 and not overturned until 1967 Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter were arrested in Virginia after marrying in the District of Columbia. Their case went to the Supreme Court, where the ban on interracial marriage was ruled unconstitutional.

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