Cornerstones of Black History--Mary McLeod Bethune - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/28/03

Cornerstones of Black History--Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune was born in the small town of Mayesville, SC, in 1875, but her dedication to equality and education is still changing lives to this day. As the president of the National Association of Colored Women and as a founder of the National Council of Negro Women, Bethune fought tirelessly for the rights of women of all races.

Bethune had a significant impact on general women's issues in her role as the special assistant to the secretary of war. She helped to establish and implement the Women's Army Corps--known as WAC--in 1945.

Her greatest impact on the black struggle was founding the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls in 1904, now known as Bethune Cookman College. She did this with $1.50, a lot of courage, commitment and a vision.

She also served in the Roosevelt administration as the director of Negro affairs and a special assistant to the president on minority affairs until her death.

Reported by: Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com

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