For the last several years Major League Baseball has honored Jackie Robinson on April 15 by wearing his number in every ballpark around the country.

On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson changed everything. Buck O'Neill, former Negro League star, was on an Army base in the Philippines in 1945 when an officer summoned him at 10 p.m. with the news. O'Neill grabbed the microphone and screamed throughout the base: "Branch Rickey has signed Jackie Robinson to an organized baseball contract.''

Two years later, on this date, Jackie Robinson changed the game, and the country, by becoming the first African-American to play in the major leagues.

Robinson provided the first step in the desegregation of baseball, and the first step in the post-war civil rights movement in America. It was difficult and dangerous. Death threats and racial epithets came in his first year in pro ball (1946), and it got worse when he got to the big leagues.

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