August 5th People

August 5th

08-05-1907 – 1994 Ernestine “Tiny” Davis – Born in Memphis, Tennessee. She was an African American jazz trumpet player and vocalist and a member of the all-female band, the International Sweethearts of Ernestine %22Tiny%22 DavisRhythm. The band was not only female but racially integrated as well. They were popular during WWII and played at the Apollo Theater in New York, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington D.C. Louie Armstrong tried (unsuccessfully) to lure Davis away from the band by offering her ten times her salary. In 1947 she left the band to form her own group, Tiny Davis and her Hell Divers. They played the Apollo and other New York clubs. During the 1950s Davis and her lesbian lover of 40 years, drummer Ruby Lucas, opened a gay club in Chicago called Tiny and Ruby’s Gay Spot. Davis passed away in 1994.

 

08-05-1928 – 02-11-2010 Heward Grafftey – Born in Montreal, Quebec to a prosperous family. He was a Canadian politician and businessman. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1958 general election. A resident of the Eastern Townships, he was the Member of Parliament from the riding of Heward Grafftey 2Brome-Missisquoi from 1958 to 1968. Due to his relatively short stature and impish looks, Grafftey earned the nickname of “The Gnome from Brome” during his 20 years in politics. He was married and had three children. The marriage ended in divorce. He neither declared nor denied being homosexual. “I never had to come out, because it was never an issue. I was never in. I was always me,” he once said. Grafftey declared his sexual orientation when he disrupted and stormed out of a service at St. George’s Anglican Church in Montreal after the priest delivered what he considered a homophobic sermon. He died in 2010 form complications from Parkinson’s disease.

 

08-05-1974 Rufus Gifford – Born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is an American diplomat  serving as the 60th United States Ambassador to Denmark. Gifford is openly gay and married to Dr. Stephen DeVincent. The couple married on October 10, 2o15 in a ceremony at Copenhagen City Hall. In 2016, Gifford co-wrote a cookbook with his husband, titled The Ambassador’s Kitchen.

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