Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, dies. After hs son renames the organization and integrates it into orthodox Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan reclaims and rebuilds the nation of Islam.
In "Regents of the University of California vs Allan Bakke" the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the principle of affirmative action but establishes more restrictive guidelines.
Civil rights leader Andrew Young is elected may of Atlanta, GA. He holds the post until 1989.
Jesse Jackson campaigns for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday, January 15th, is observed for the first time as a federal holiday.
President George Bush nominates General Colin Powell to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the first black officer to hold the highest post in the U.S. military.
L.Douglas Wilder takes office in Virginia as the nation's first elected African-American governor.