- A. 1967 - First African American appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States: Thurgood Marshall
- B. 1968 - First African-American woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives: Shirley Chisholm (Democrat; New York) *1972 - First African American to campaign for the U.S. presidency in a major political party: Shirley Chisholm (Democratic Party)
- 1870 - First African American elected to U.S. Congress: Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels (Republican, Mississippi)
- 1986 - First African-American musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the inaugural class: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, and Little Richard.
- 1956 - First African-American male star of a network television show: Nat King Cole, The Nat King Cole Show
- 1968 - First African-American interracial kiss on network television: actors Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner
- 1947 - First African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era: Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers).
- 1884 - First African American to play professional baseball at the major-league level: Moses Fleetwood Walker.
- 1975 - First African-American manager in Major League Baseball: Frank Robinson (Cleveland Indians)
- 2007 - First African-American NFL head coach to win the Super Bowl: Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts), Super Bowl XLI
- 1872 - First African-American nominee for Vice President of the United States: Frederick Douglass by the Equal Rights Party.
- 1870 - December: First African American elected to U.S. House of Representatives: Joseph Rainey (Republican, South Carolina)
- 1990 - First African American elected president of the Harvard Law Review: Barack Obama *2008 - First African American to be nominated as a major-party US presidential candidate: Barack Obama, Democratic Party *2008 - First African American elected president of the United States of America: Barack Obama