On This Day
1789 – France: members of the National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism and abandon their privileges.
The National Constituent Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale constituante) was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789 during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly.
Born On This Day
1922 – Mayme Agnew Clayton, American librarian (d.2006)
Mayme Agnew Clayton (August 4, 1923 – October 13, 2006) was a librarian, and the founder, president, and leader of the Western States Black Research and Education Center (WSBREC), the largest privately held collection of African-American historical materials in the world. The collection represents the core holdings of the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum (MCLM) located in Culver City, California. The museum is the largest and most academically substantial independently held collection of objects, documents, and memorabilia on African American history and culture.
Over the course of 45 years, Clayton single-handedly, and with her own resources, collected more than 30,000 rare and out-of-print books. The collection is considered one of the most important for African-American materials and consists of 3.5 million items, according to UCLA Magazine. Her collecting grew from her work as a librarian, first at the University of Southern California and later at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she began to build an African-American collection. “Ms. Clayton, an avid golfer, traveled for her sport, trolling for rare finds wherever she went. The centerpiece of the collection that grew this way is a signed copy of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, from 1773. First published by an American of African descent, the book was acquired for $600 from a New York dealer in 1973. In 2002 it was appraised at $30,000,” according to the New York Times.
Other items in her collection include movie posters (one featuring Stepin Fetchit), newspaper clippings regarding actress Dorothy Dandridge, and a letter handwritten by educator Booker T. Washington.
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