Fredrick Gregory

The first African-American to pilot a spacecraft.

The first African-American to pilot a spacecraft.

Colonel Frederick D. Gregory was the first African-American to pilot a spacecraft.

Born January 7, 1941, in Washington, D.C. to Francis A. Gregory and Nora Drew Gregory, he graduated from Anacostia High School, in Washington, in 1958 and  entered the United States Air Force Academy where he studied military engineering and received a bachelor of science degree from in 1964.

Since childhood, he had a passion for speed, racing a small aluminum boat in waters off Columbia Beach near Washington, D.C. He says, “I always wanted to fly.”

After graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1964, Gregory entered pilot training and attended undergraduate helicopter training at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. He received his wings in 1965 and was assigned as an H-43 helicopter rescue pilot at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, from October 1965 until May 1966. In June 1966, he was assigned as an H-43 combat rescue pilot at Danang AB, Vietnam. When he returned to the United States in July 1967, he was assigned as a missile support helicopter pilot flying the UH-1F at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.   Continue reading

NAACP Youth Council

naacp  youthnaacp  youthnaacp youthThe NAACP’s official organ, The Crisis Magazine, carried information on young people and encouraged formation of youth units for a number of years before any action was taken to form a division in the Association devoted to youth activities. In 1935, during the St. Louis Convention, a fiery address was made by one of the youth delegates, Miss Juanita Jackson, to create a department for youth.

Subsequently, on September 15, 1935, Miss Jackson joined the Association’s staff and became the first Youth Secretary. The NAACP National Board of Directors passed a resolution formally creating the Youth and College Division in March of 1936. Under the guidance of Ms. Jackson, a National Youth Program was created for youth members of the NAACP. This program provided national activities for youth that were supported by monthly meetings discussing local needs of the community. The major national youth activities were demonstrations against lynching and seminars and group discussions on the inequalities in public education.  Continue reading

Charles W. Buggs

waynestateA scientist and educator, Dr. Charles Buggs, of Brunswick, Georgia, conducted special research on why some bacteria (germs) do not react to certain medicines. In several articles, he presented his ideas on penicillin and skin grafting, and the value of chemicals in treating bone fractures.

In 1944, he contributed some of the results of his research to the world through 12 studies he helped to write. Three years later he wrote an important article on how to use germ-killing chemicals (antibiotics) to prevent and cure certain diseases. he also taught college biology, and made studies and suggestions on premedical education for African Americans. Dr. Buggs’ research and teaching contributed to a better understanding of health and of the human body.

James A Healy

Rev. James A. Healy, D.D.

Rev. James A. Healy, D.D.

Bishop Bacon’s successor, James Augustine Healy, was appointed February 12, 1875, and consecrated as Bishop of Portland at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (see Cathedral) on June 2, 1875.

James Augustine Healy became the first black bishop ordained in the United States. He was the son of an Irish immigrant, Michael Healy, who became a prosperous plantation-owner in Georgia, and a mulatto woman who was actually a slave.

James was educated in northern schools and later attended the newly established Holy Cross College. There he made his decision to enter the priesthood. He furthered his studies in Montreal and Paris where he was ordained in 1854 at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

After ordination Father Healy was assigned to Bishop John Fitzpatrick’s Boston Diocese. He remained there serving first at the House of the Angel Guardian, then as Chancellor of the Diocese and finally as pastor of St. James Church. When his appointment came as the second Bishop of Portland, he was forty-five years old.  Continue reading

Andrew Bryan

Rev. Andrew Bryan

Rev. Andrew Bryan

Andrew Bryan, the founder of the First African Baptist Church, was born enslaved in 1737, on a plantation outside of Charleston, South Carolina. He served as coachman and body servant to Jonathan Bryan, who along with his brother Hugh and several other planters, was arrested for preaching to slaves. Jonathan Bryan’s plantation became the center of efforts by dissenting group of planters to evangelize their slaves.

In 1782, Andrew was converted by the preaching of George Liele, the first black Baptist in Georgia, who was licensed to preach to slaves along the Savannah River. Liele baptized Andrew and his wife Hannah. When Liele and hundreds of other blacks left with the British later that year, Andrew continued to preach to small groups outside of Savannah. With his master’s encouragement, he built a shack for his small flock, which included a few whites. Although he brought hundreds into his church, 350 others could not be baptized because of their masters’ opposition.  Continue reading

Upcoming Black History Posts

  • Marion Anderson
  • Peter Williams, Jr.
  • Jersey Joe Walcott
  • Billie Holiday
  • Lillian Evans Evanti
  • Leroy "Satchel" Paige
  • Curtis Mayfield
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