1951 – The “Johnny Bright incident” occurs in Stillwater, Oklahoma
The Johnny Bright incident was a violent on-field assault against African American player Johnny Bright by a white opposing player during an American college football game held on October 20, 1951 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The game was significant in itself as it marked the first time that an African American athlete with a national profile and of critical importance to the success of his team, the Drake Bulldogs, had played against Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) at Oklahoma A&M’s Lewis Field. Bright’s injury also highlighted the racial tensions of the times and assumed notoriety when it was captured in what was later to become both a widely disseminated and eventually Pulitzer Prize-winning photo sequence.
Johnny D. Bright (June 11, 1930 – December 14, 1983) was a professional Canadian football player in the Canadian Football League. He played college football at Drake University. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame, the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame, the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1951, Bright was named a First Team College Football All-American, and was awarded the Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Sportsmanship Award. In 1969, Bright was named Drake University’s greatest football player of all time. Bright is the only Drake football player to have his jersey number (No. 43) retired by the school, and in June 2006, received honorable mention from ESPN.com senior writer Ivan Maisel as one of the best college football players to ever wear No. 43. In February 2006, the football field at Drake Stadium, in Des Moines, Iowa, was named in his honor. In November 2006, Bright was voted one of the CFL’s Top 50 players (No. 19) of the league’s modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.
In addition to his outstanding professional and college football careers, Bright is perhaps best known for his role as the victim of an intentional, most likely racially motivated, on-field assault by an opposing college football player from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) on October 20, 1951, that was captured in a widely disseminated and Pulitzer Prize winning photo sequence, and eventually came to be known as the “Johnny Bright incident.”
1950 – Tom Petty, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2017)
Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American rock musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. Petty served as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was also a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and his early band Mudcrutch.
Petty recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. In his career, he sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2002, Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Petty suffered cardiac arrest early in the morning of October 2, 2017, and died that night at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.
Petty was born October 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Florida, the first of two sons of Kitty (Avery) and Earl Petty. His interest in rock and roll music began at age ten when he met Elvis Presley. In the summer of 1961, his uncle was working on the set of Presley’s film Follow That Dream in nearby Ocala, and invited Petty to come down and watch the shoot. He instantly became an Elvis Presley fan, and when he returned that Saturday, he was greeted by his friend Keith Harben, and soon traded his Wham-O slingshot for a collection of Elvis 45s. Of that meeting with Elvis, Tom Petty said, “Elvis glowed.” 
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