Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Today in Black History

October 25

Benjamin O Davis Sr became the first Black general in US Army, 1940
Gen. Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. (July 1, 1877November 26, 1970) was an American general and the father of Benjamin O. Davis Jr. He was the first African-American general in the U.S. Army.
Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., was born in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 1877. His biographer Marvin Fletcher (author of America's First Black General, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., 1880-1970) has presented evidence of his birth records indicating that he was born in May 1880 and later lied about his age so that he could enlist in the army without the permission of his parents. It is the earlier date that appears on his grave at Arlington National Cemetery, however.) He was a student at Howard University when—as a result of the start of the War with Spain—he entered the military service on July 13, 1898 as a temporary first lieutenant of the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out on March 6, 1899, and on June 18, 1899, he enlisted as a private in Troop I, U.S. 9th Cavalry Regiment (one of the original Buffalo Soldier regiments), of the Regular Army. He then served as corporal and squadron sergeant major, and on February 2, 1901, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in the Regular Army.