Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook form The Dance Theatre of Harlem



Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded Dance Theatre of Harlem as a reaction to the assassination of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dance Theatre of Harlem was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971)


Mitchell was inspired to start a school that would offer children — especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts. Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts. Dance Theatre of Harlem has achieved unprecedented success, bringing innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression to audiences in New York City, across the country and around the world


As an alum of New York City Ballet George Balanchine was extraordinarily generous with his choreographic library and allowed DTH to perform such ballets as: Serenade, Four Temperaments, Concerto Barocco.




  • Dance Theater of Harlem encyclopedia entry:


  • Dance Coalition Dance Theater of Harlem entry:



  • Arthur Mitchell Articles:



  • Arthur Mitchell entry on Black Past:




Arthur Mitchell


Other Happenings in 1969




  • Jan 3 Rep Adam Clayton Powell Jr seated by Congress
  • Jan 20 Richard M Nixon inaugurated as US president
  • Feb 5 US population reaches 200 million
  • Jun 16 Supreme Court rules suspension of Adam Clayton Powell Jr from House
  • Jul 8 US troop withdrawal begins in Vietnam
  • Jul 25 Edward Kennedy pleads guilty to leaving scene of an accident a week after the •Chappaquiddick car accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne
  • Aug 9 Manson family commits Tate-LaBianca murders
  • Sep 2 The first automatic teller machine in the United States is installed in Rockville Center, New York.




  • Jan 2 Australian Rupert Murdoch gains control of the ‘News of the World’
  • Jan 10 Sweden (1st Western country) recognizes North Vietnam
  • Jan 24 Spanish dictator General Franco announces state of emergency
  • Feb 4 The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat chairman of the PLO
  • Feb 8 Meteorite weighing over 1 ton falls in Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Feb 17 Golda Meir sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Israel
  • Apr 28 Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France
  • Jun 8 General Franco closes Spain’s frontier with Gibraltar
  • Jun 20 Georges Pompidou sworn in as President of France
  • Sep 1 Colonel Muammar Gaddafi deposes King Idris in the Libyan revolution
  • Sep 22 China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC
  • Oct 21 Bloodless coup in Somalia (National Day)


Arts and Sciences


  • Jan 2 Lorraine Hansberry’s “To be Young, Gifted & Black,” premieres in NYC
  • Mar 27 Black Academy of Arts & Letters forms in Boston
  • Apr 14 41st Academy Awards: “Oliver”, Cliff Robertson & Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand win (1st ever tie for best actress)
  • Apr 22 1st human eye transplant performed
  • May 5 Pulitzer prize awarded to Norman Mailer (Armies of the Night)
  • May 25 Sudanese government is overthrown in a military coup
  • May 31 Stevie Wonder releases “My Cherie Amore”
  • Jul 11 David Bowie releases the single “Space Oddity” 9 days before Apollo 11 lands on the moon
  • Jul 16 Apollo 11 launched, carrying 1st men to land on Moon
  • Aug 15 Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in New York State on Max Yasgur’s Dairy Farm
  • Sep 23 1st broadcast of “Marcus Welby MD” on ABC-TV
  • Nov 22 Isolation of a single gene announced by scientists at Harvard University


Human and Civil Rights


  • Jun 27 Police raid Stonewall Gay Bar in Greenwich Village, NY, about 400 to 1,000 patrons riot against police, it lasts 3 days
  • Aug 30 Racial disturbances in Fort Lauderdale Florida
  • Sep 14 Male voters of Swiss Canton Schaffhausen reject female suffrage
  • Oct 27 Ralph Nader sets up a consumer organization knowns as Nader’s Raiders
  • Oct 29 Supreme Court orders end to all school desegregation “at once”




  • Jan 28 1969 NFL Draft: O.J. Simpson from USC first pick by Buffalo Bills
  • Feb 4 John Madden is named head coach of NFL’s Oakland Raiders
  • Feb 7 Diane Crump becomes 1st woman jockey at a major US racetrack (Hialeah)
  • Jun 8 68th Men’s French Open: Rod Laver beats Ken Rosewall (6-4, 6-3, 6-4)
  • Jul 20 56th Tour de France won by Eddy Merckx of Belgium
  • Jul 26 Sharon Sites Adams, 39, becomes 1st lady to solo sail the Pacific
  • Nov 20 Brazilian soccer icon Pele scores his 1,000th goal

Leave a Reply