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Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

(1877–1970) U.S. army officer. Davis Sr. was born in Washington, D.C., and saw his first military service as a first lieutenant in the 8th Infantry Volunteers in the Spanish-American War ...

Davis, Benjamin O., Sr.

Davis, Benjamin O., Sr. (1880–1970)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

...in the army's traditional segregation by regiment. Davis retired in 1948 after fifty years of service. His son, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. , became America's first black lieutenant general. In 1998 , the 85‐year‐old retired general was awarded a fourth star by President Bill Clinton . [See also African Americans in the Military .] Bernard C. Nalty , Strength for the Fight: A History of Black Americans in the Military , 1986. Marvin E. Fletcher , America's First Black General: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., 1880–1970 , 1989. Clement Alexander...

Davis, Benjamin O., Sr.

Davis, Benjamin O., Sr. (b. 1 July 1877)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,088 words
Illustration(s):
1

..., Benjamin O., Sr. ( b. 1 July 1877 ; d. 26 November 1970 ), first African American general in American history. Evidence has been presented that Davis was born 28 May 1880 and then lied about his age to enlist in the army; the earlier date is the one on his tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery. Born to a government worker in Washington, D.C., Benjamin Oliver Davis came from a middle-class home and benefited from the educational opportunities this presented. He attended Washington's M Street High School, gaining a taste for military life in the cadet...

Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.  

(1877–1970) U.S. army officer. Davis Sr. was born in Washington, D.C., and saw his first military service as a first lieutenant in the 8th Infantry Volunteers in the Spanish-American War ...
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.  

(1912–2002) U.S. army officer and aviator. Davis Jr. was born in Washington, D.C., the son of the first African-American general. He graduated from West Point in 1936 as an infantryman ...
Harlem Hell Fighters

Harlem Hell Fighters  

The first African American National Guard regiment in the state of New York, the “Fifteenth New York,” numbered 2,053 men and 54 officers at the time it was called into ...
African-American troops

African-American troops  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Variously called negro, coloured, and black, the history of African-American soldiers is that of US race relations in general. Even after the abolition of formal discrimination by colour, advancement ...
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr.

Davis, Benjamin O., Jr. (b. 18 December 1912   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
870 words
Illustration(s):
1

... awarded Davis his fourth star, making him a full general. A pioneering figure for African Americans in the military, Davis died on 4 July 2002 . [ See also Davis, Benjamin O., Sr. ; Desegregation and Integration, subentry Armed Forces ; Korean War ; Military ; Military, Racism in the ; Tuskegee Airmen ; and World War II .] Bibliography Applegate, Katherine . The Story of Two American Generals: Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. and Colin L. Powell . Milwaukee, Wis.: Gareth Stevens Publishers, 1995. Davis, Benjamin O., Jr. Benjamin O. Davis Jr., American:...

Davis, Benjamin O., Jr.

Davis, Benjamin O., Jr. (1912–2002)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

..., Benjamin O., Jr. ( 1912–2002 ), first black lieutenant general. Born in Washington, D.C., the son of a black army officer, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. , young Benjamin Davis attended school in Tuskegee, Alabama, and Cleveland, Ohio, and the University of Chicago, before entering the all‐white U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where the last African American had graduated in the 1880s. Davis graduated in 1936 (35th in a class of 276). His request for assignment to the Army Air Corps was refused because there were no black aviation units; instead, he was...

Military

Military   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
13,601 words
Illustration(s):
5

...officers, Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Sr. and Captain Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Davis Jr. had graduated from West Point in 1936 , the first African American to do so since 1889 and the fourth overall. Davis Sr. won his commission by examination prior to his landing in the Philippines with the Ninth Cavalry in April 1901 . His commission came through just after he disembarked from USS Logan . Davis Sr. began his distinguished career as an officer as a second lieutenant in the Tenth Cavalry. In the period 1905–1940 , Davis Sr. had college duty as a...

African Americans in the Military

African Americans in the Military   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Military History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004

...At the outbreak of World War II, America reverted to its practice of turning to African Americans when it needed more troops. In 1940 , President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., to be the army's first black brigadier general, and opened the Army Air Corps to black pilots. These “Black Eagles,” including Davis's son, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. , who trained at Tuskeegee, Alabama, served in all‐black units. In 1941 , black labor leader A. Philip Randolph threatened a protest march on Washington for equal opportunity in the...

Harlem Hell Fighters

Harlem Hell Fighters   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,866 words
Illustration(s):
1

...saw combat as a regiment again, by the mid-1930s it had become the first National Guard regiment with an all-black officer corps, while its commander from 1938 to 1941 , Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Sr. , later became the first African American to attain the rank of general in the U.S. Army (Harris, 2002 , pp. 107–108). [ See also Conductors and Bandleaders ; Davis, Benjamin O., Sr. ; Desegregation and Integration, subentry Armed Forces ; Europe, James Reese ; France ; Harlem ; Jazz ; Military ; Military, Racism in ; New York ; New York City ; ...

Weaver, Robert C.

Weaver, Robert C. (b. 29 December 1907)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,480 words

...was providing security for the event. The widespread publicity of this event in the African American press threatened to undermine Roosevelt's support in the black community. Asked to prepare a damage control strategy, Weaver used the incident to leverage the promotion of Benjamin O. Davis Sr. to the rank of general and to arrange for high-level positions in the war-preparedness effort for two other blacks, his old friend Hastie who became civilian aid to the secretary of war, and Campbell Johnson who was appointed as Negro adviser to the director of the...

World War II

World War II  

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History

...among the African American community, that military segregation served as an impediment to black civil rights. As a result, civilian civil rights leaders like A. Philip Randolph staged public marches and rallies to challenge the system, while military officers like Benjamin O. Davis Sr.—who during the war became America ’s first black general—worked within the armed forces to push toward integration. Almost all of the more than one million African Americans who served in the war did so in segregated units and often in more menial roles, such as cooks...

Spanish-American War

Spanish-American War   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,898 words
Illustration(s):
1

...McKinley, William, Administration of ; and Military, Racism in .] Bibliography Cashin, Herschel V. Under Fire with the Tenth U.S. Cavalry . New York: Arno Press, 1969. A history of the famous African American regiment. Fletcher, Marvin . America’s First Black General: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., 1880–1970 . Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1989. Fletcher, Marvin . The Black Soldier and Officer in the United States Army, 1891–1917 . Saint Louis: University of Missouri Press, 1974. Gatewood, Willard B. Black Americans and the White Man’s Burden, 1898–1903...

Roosevelt, Franklin D., Administration of

Roosevelt, Franklin D., Administration of   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
3,810 words
Illustration(s):
1

...1 million African Americans served between 1940 and 1946 ). But, second, the War Department ruled that segregation would be maintained in the army, even as the department took historic action regarding blacks in the military by promoting Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr. to brigadier general. Davis was the first African American to hold that rank. Also noteworthy, the department made a bold decision in October 1940 by announcing that white and black officer candidates would train together in the same camps and same classes even though many camps were...

Republican Party

Republican Party   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
4,596 words
Illustration(s):
1

...continued to desegregate the civil service and federal contractors during World War II. He also in 1937 appointed William Henry Hastie as a judge to the U.S. District Court for the Virgin Islands—making Hastie the first black to serve on a federal court—and in 1941 Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was the first black to be promoted to the rank of general in the U.S. Army. Black leaders such as the New York Democratic congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. developed close working relationships with Roosevelt, even though these partnerships were often contentious....

World War II and African American Women

World War II and African American Women   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
2,110 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Corps and of WAC recruits, probably members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion ( 6888th CPDB ), driving jeeps and drilling. U.S. Signal Corps cameramen also documented the arrival of the 6888th CPDB in England, where they met the African American general, Benjamin O. Davis Sr. The women in the 6888th CPDB were the only black women other than nurses to serve overseas during World War II. They served with distinction and were acutely aware that their accomplishments were important in the fight for equal rights at home. The Double V. The Negro...

Race and the Military

Race and the Military   Reference library

James Westheider

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...to improve during the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt . In 1936 , Benjamin O. Davis Jr. became the first African American to graduate from West Point since Charles Young , and in 1938 the army announced that African Americans would be recruited in proportion to their percentage in the civilian population. In April 1939 , Congress authorized the training of black Army Air Force pilots, and on 15 October 1940 , Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was promoted to brigadier general and thereby became the army's first minority general....

Political Participation

Political Participation   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
3,727 words
Illustration(s):
1

...in the Selective Service defense appropriation. The clause banned discrimination on the basis of “sex, race, or color” and required equal facilities in states where segregation was required by law. Colonel Campbell Johnson was appointed to the Selective Service, Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was promoted to brigadier general, and William Henry Hastie was appointed aide to the secretary of war. Also, in 1940 the African American Congressman Arthur Mitchell successfully campaigned to end the use of photographs in Civil Service applications. However, with...

Korean War

Korean War   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
3,142 words
Illustration(s):
1

...America's military forces. Although nearly four hundred thousand African Americans served during World War I, they made up less than 1 percent of all officers and continued to serve in segregated units. There were some small improvements before and during World War II. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. became the first African American to attain the rank of brigadier general. After America's entry into the conflict, both the navy and army air corps allowed blacks into service, and the famous Tuskegee Airmen distinguished themselves in combat. Despite valiant service in...

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