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“B” is for Bethune, Mary McLeod (1875-1955)

“B” is for Bethune, Mary McLeod (1875-1955). Educator, social activist, government official. Born in Mayesville, Bethune attended Scotia Seminary for Negro Girls and Moody Bible Institute. Unable to get an overseas missionary assignment because she was Black, she began the career as an American educator that would bring her national acclaim and provide her a platform for activism and racial equality. In 1904 Bethune opened the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls—that small school soon became a major institution. In 1923 her school merged with the Cookman Institute and Became Bethune-Cookman College. She was founder and president of the National Council of Negro Women and vice president of both the National Urban League and the NAACP. From 1936 to 1944, Mary McLeod Bethune was director of the Office of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.