This Day in History: 1908-05-05

Clinton Everett Knox is born in Silver Springs, Maryland. Knox became the first African American secretary to the United States Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the West African Republic of Dahomey (now the country of Benin) and as U.S. Ambassador to Haiti. While serving in Haiti, Ambassador Knox and Consul General Ward L. Christensen were held hostage for almost 20 hours on January 24, 1973, until they were released in exchange for the release of 12 Haitian prisoners, safe conduct to Mexico, and a ransom of $70,000. Learn more.