On February 27:
Feb. 27, 1869 – John W. Menard spoke in Congress in defense of his claim to a contested seat in Louisiana’s Second Congressional District. Congress decided against both claimants. Congressman James A. Garfield of the examining committee said: “it was too early to admit a Negro to the U.S. Congress.” Menard was the first black to make a speech in Congress.
Feb. 27, 1988 – Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal (bronze) at the Winter Olympic Games.