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Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955

Born the fifteenth of seventeen children in Maysville, South Carolina, Mary Bethune became one of the most important African-American women of her time. As a child, she was educated by missionaries in South Carolina. Her dedication to education led her to found the Daytona Educational and Industrial School for Negro Women in 1904, which later became Bethune-Cookman College. In 1924 she was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women, and later she founded the National Council of Negro Women and served as its president. She became the first black woman to direct a federal office when she was appointed Director of Negro Affairs for the National Youth Administration in 1936. She worked as a consultant to the Secretary of War on the selection of the first female military officer candidates. She also served as a consultant to the United Nations on issues relating to racial affairs and understanding. Her work with Eleanor Roosevelt to found the President's "Black Cabinet" marked an important step in the struggle for civil rights.

Fitzpatrick, Sandra and Maria R. Goodwin. The Guide to Black Washington. Hippocrene Books: New York, 2001.

"Meet Mrs. Bethune." Mary Mcleod Bethune Council House. National Parks Service. . http://www/nps.gov/mabe/bethune/meet/frame.htm. 8 February, 2005. "National Women's Hall of Fame." http://www.greatwomen.org/women.php?action=viewone&id=18. 8 February, 2005.

"Women in History: Living Vignettes of Notable Women from U.S. History." Lakewood Public Library. http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/beth-mar.htm. 18 February, 2005.

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