Good News in History, July 10

Daytona_School_with_Mary-Mcleod-Bethune140 years ago today, Mary McLeod Bethune was born to former slaves in South Carolina. She realized as a child, the importance of learning to read and set her sights on educating her family and other black children. In 1904, she rented a small house, made benches and desks from discarded crates and ink from elderberries, and opened a rigorous training school for girls in Daytona, Florida. Bethune also courted wealthy white benefactors like John D. Rockefeller to grow her school. In 1931, it became the Bethune-Cookman College. Later, Bethune became a close adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt and the only black woman present at the founding of the UN. Also… (1875)

So numerous were her awards, accolades and accomplishments that she has been called one of America’s greatest women, with “one of the most dramatic careers ever enacted at any time upon the stage of human activity.”

Mary_McLeod_Bethune_portrait-pubdomainBethune wrote later about opening her schoolroom with just $1.50, “I considered cash money as the smallest part of my resources. I had faith in a loving God, faith in myself, and a desire to serve.” She died in 1955. (Click to enlarge photo of school girls)







Training School for Negro Girls: Bethune had the girls rise at 5:30 a.m. for Bible Study. The classes in home economics and industrial skills such as dressmaking, millinery, cooking, and other crafts emphasized a life of self-sufficiency for them as women. Students’ days ended at 9 pm. Soon Bethune added science and business courses, then high school-level courses of math, English, and foreign languages. – CHECK out these Mary McLeod Bethune books.

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • Armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean conflict began at Kaesong (1951)
  • The Bahamas celebrated its first Independence Day after three centuries of colonial rule (1973)
  • Coca-Cola bowed to consumer pressure against New Coke and canceled it (1985)
  • The first elected President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, began his 5-year term (1991)
  • The South African cricket team was readmitted into the International Cricket Council following the end of Apartheid (1991)
  • Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was freed after nearly six years of house arrest in Yangon, Myanmar (1995)

And, today is Tesla Day, in celebration of the Serbian-born inventor, physicist, engineer, and futurist, Nikola Tesla, who was born on this day 158 years ago and whose theories and work on the use of electricity, wireless broadcast, and alternating current (AC) is today renown. (1856–1943)


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