Milestones

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Postal Service Honors Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993), the first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice, has been honored with a commemorative U.S. postage stamp. The postal service released the 37-cent stamp bearing his likeness in early January. It is the 26th stamp in the postal service's Black Heritage series. Marshall began offering his legal services to the NAACP in 1934. Four years later he was named chief counsel of the organization. Marshall became the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund's first director-counsel in 1940. During his 21 years in the position, he successfully argued the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court. He was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Curcuit in 1961 and served as solicitor general of the United States before being appointed to the highest court in the land. Marshall served on the Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991. Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells, Benjamin 0. Davis Sr., Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson are among those who have been recognized in the Black Heritage series.

First U.S. Bishop of Asian Descent Named

Monsignor Ignatius Wang, 68, was named a bishop in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco Dec. 13. Wang, who is Chinese American, is the first bishop of Asian descent in the United States. There are more than 60 million Catholics in the United States. A recent study found that only 2 percent of American Catholics are Asian; in California, Asians represent 7 percent of Catholics. Wang is currently chancellor of the archdiocese, which is considered a cabinet level, policy advisor position to the archbishop, He will be ordained as one of two auxiliary bishops in the archdiocese Jan. 30.

Robert Johnson Gets NBA Team

America's first Black billionaire will become the first African American majority owner of a major league sports team. Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, won the right to pay $300 million for an NBA expansion team in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 18. He beat out basketball legend Larry Bird and his team of 13 investors. The 2004-05 season will be the yetto-be-named team's first. Johnson also wants to buy into Major League Baseball and has informed baseball's leaders that he is interested in purchasing the Montreal Expos and moving them to the Washington, D.C., area.

Building African American Legacies

The C.B. King Federal Courthouse was dedicated Nov. 8 in Albany, Ga. It is the first U.S. courthouse in the South to be named in honor of a Black person. Southwest Georgia's first Black lawyer, Chevene Bowers King (1923-- 1988), defended civil rights workers - including Martin Luther King Jr. …