April 18, 1926 – Wallace Triplett – The First African American Drafted By The National Football League
Wallace Triplett (By Bowman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Wallace Triplett was born on April 18, 1926. Triplett was the first African American drafted in the National Football League. Triplett was one of the first African American players for Penn State while in college. He was drafted in the 19th round and 192 pick by the Detroit Lions in the 1949 NFL Draft. Triplett holds the Lions single game record in kick off return yardage in a single game at 294 yards. This record is also good enough to earn him the number two ranking overall in the NFL for return yardage in a single game.