1872 – He was born on the 27th day of June this year in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had escaped from slavery, Dunbar’s father was a veteran of the American Civil War.
1878 – He wrote his first poem this year at age 6 and gave his first public recital at age 9. Dunbar’s first published work came in a newspaper put out by his high-school friends.
1892 – His first collection of poetry, Oak and Ivy was published in this year. In addition, he attracted the attention of James Whitcomb Riley, the popular "Hoosier Poet".
1897 – He traveled to England this year to recite his works on the London literary circuit. After his return, Dunbar took a job at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
1900 – He was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and then he moved to Colorado with his wife on the advice of his doctors.
1906 – He died at age thirty-three on the 9th of February this year, and was interred in the Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.
1975 – The U.S. Postal Service issued a 10-cent commemorative stamp in honor of Paul Laurence Dunbar.