In Tuskegee, AL the U.S. Public Health Service begins examining the course of untreated syphilis in black men, not telling them of their syphilis or their participation in the 40-year study.
President F.D. Roosevelt appoints Mary McLeod Bethune to head the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. In the 1936 elections blacks abandon their tradition allegiance to the Republican Party to vote for Roosevelt and his New Deal.
Track and field athlete Jesse Owens wins four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. His victories derail Adolf Hitler's intended use of the games to showcase Aryan supremacy.
William H. Hastie becomes the first black federal judge.
In a knockout in the first round of their rematch, heavyweight champion Joe Louis gets his revenge on Max Schmelling of Germany, the only boxer to have knocked out Louis in his prime.
Singer Marian Anderson performs at the Lincoln Memorial before an audience of 75,000 after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to all her to sing at Constitution Hall.
Benjamin O. Davis becomes the first African-American promoted to general in the U.S. armed forces.