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Born December 13

Ella Baker was one of the great civil rights leaders of the 20th century. Baker was instrumental in the fight for equality in the United States. She worked alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall. We remember Baker's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including artist Grandma Moses.

1952: Sylvester Ritter, aka Junkyard Dog, U.S. professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment and World Championship Wrestling, is born in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

1948: Lester Bangs, influential U.S. music journalist who wrote for Creem and Rolling Stone magazines, is born in Escondido, California.

1934: Richard D. Zanuck, U.S. film producer who won an Academy Award for "Driving Miss Daisy," is born in Los Angeles, California.

Richard Zanuck (Associated Press)The production company Zanuck founded with David Brown produced "The Sting" in 1973, as well as Steven Spielberg's first feature film, "The Sugarland Express," in 1974 and Spielberg's first blockbuster, "Jaws," in 1975, according to his 2012 obituary by The Associated Press. "The Sting" also won the best movie Oscar, although Zanuck and Brown were not listed as its producers. "Jaws" was nominated for best picture, as was the Zanuck-produced "The Verdict." Read more

 

 

 

1924: George Shuba, U.S. Major League Baseball outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers known for a famous photo in which he shook Jackie Robinson's hand, the first interracial handshake documented in professional baseball, is born in Youngstown, Ohio.

George Shuba (Photo by Getty Images / Kidwiler Collection / Diamond Images)Shuba, who was white, congratulated his teammate on the Montreal Royals near home plate after Robinson hit a three-run homer April 18, 1946, off Jersey City Giants pitcher Warren Sandell. The moment shared by a smiling Robinson and Shuba was captured in a famous photograph and dubbed "A Handshake for the Century." Shuba reportedly hung a copy in his living room, according to his September 2014 obituary by The Associated Press. Read more

 

 

 

1923: Larry Doby, U.S. Major League Baseball center fielder for the Cleveland Indians who was the second African-American player in the major leagues, is born in Camden, South Carolina.

1916: Archie Moore, U.S. professional boxer who holds the record for most career knockouts (131) and was the light heavyweight world champion from 1952 to 1962, is born in Benoit, Mississippi.

In a sport built on self-promotion and over-the-top theatrics, Moore was a maestro. Starting out during the Depression, Moore made a name for himself fighting in low-dollar – or no-dollar – undercard fights in small towns throughout the South and Midwest. He was a natural boxer with a reputation for outthinking opponents who should have dominated him based on size and reach. Nicknaming himself the Mongoose, Moore took pride in finding and exploiting the weaknesses in his opponents. Read more

 

 

 

1910: Sol Saks, U.S. screenwriter who created the television series "Bewitched," is born in New York, New York.

Sol Saks (Photo by Peter Kramer/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment )Saks wrote the pilot script for "Bewitched," but he never wrote another episode of the ABC series about a witch married to a mortal, according to his 2011 obituary by The Associated Press. The show starring Elizabeth Montgomery ran from 1964 to 1972. Longtime friend Paul Wayne told the Los Angeles Times that the pilot script earned Saks royalties for life. Read more

 

 

 

1910: Van Heflin, U.S. actor who won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in "Johnny Eager," is born in Walters, Oklahoma.

1903: Ella Baker, U.S. civil rights activist who worked alongside the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is born in Norfolk, Virginia.

Since Baker was most in her element behind the scenes, she didn't become as well-known as some other civil rights leaders. It appeared that this was fine by her – indeed, it was what she preferred. In her own words, "You didn't see me on television, you didn't see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come." Throughout her life and her career as an activist, she put her skills to work, bringing people together to make change happen. Read more

 

 

 

1871: Emily Carr, Canadian artist known for her depictions of indigenous people and Canadian landscapes, is born in Victoria, British Columbia.

1818: Mary Todd Lincoln, U.S. first lady and wife of President Abraham Lincoln, is born in Lexington, Kentucky.

Click to discover notable people who died this day in history including artist Grandma Moses.