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Black History Month - Heart Surgery with Dr. Daniel Williams

In the United States of America, the month of February is Black History Month.  It is a time to remember the achievements of men and women of color made throughout the history of this country.  From a time of slavery to a time of freedom that did not really feel all that free, to a movement that would change the nation forever, men and women of color have played key roles in making a better quality of life for all mankind.

 

 

Daniel Hale Williams was born on January 18, 1856, five years before the outbreak of the Civil War.  His childhood began in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, as the son and fifth of seven children of an African-American barber and a Scots-Irish, African American mother.  Around the age of nine, Daniel’s father died of tuberculosis and his mother, unable to support all the children, sent some to live with relatives.  

 

Daniel became and apprentice to a shoemaker in Baltimore, Maryland.  He became unhappy and ran away to his mother, who had moved to Rockford, Illinois.  Daniel eventually followed his father’s footsteps, along with one of his five sister, opening a barbershop in Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Daniel discovered his true passion after a move to Janesville, Wisconsin.  While in Janesville, Daniel became fascinated by the local physician!

 

At the age of 20, Daniel became an apprentice for Dr. Henry Palmer, a surgeon, and then began studying at Chicago Medical Center.  Upon graduating, Dr. Daniel Williams went into private practice in Chicago, Illinois.  He was one of four black doctors in the city at the time.

 

Much of Chicago, and elsewhere in the United States, was still segregated, including hospitals, which would often refuse to hire black doctors and nurses and refuse to treat black patients.  Dr. Williams dreamed of a better world; a world where doctors and nurses could be trained regardless of skin color, a world where all patients would be treated the same.

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TFFCM Celebrates Black History Month: The Tuskegee Airmen Breaking Barriers


In the United States of America, the month of February is Black History Month.  It is a time to remember the achievements of men and women of color made throughout the history of this country.  From a time of slavery to a time of freedom that did not really feel all that free, to a movement that would change the nation forever, men and women of color have played key roles in making a better quality of life for all mankind.

 

The Wright brothers took their first flight in 1903.  Six short years later, in 1909, the United States military began using airplanes, with World War I was the first major conflict to significantly utilize aircraft.  However, in the United States, the honor and privilege of flying a plane was reserved only for white males.  It was not the only limitation placed on African-Americans in the military.  Many top officials believed that African-Americans were too uneducated, untrainable, and unreliable for many positions within the military.

 

But African-Americans were not to be deterred.  In 1917, several African-American males attempted to become aerial observers, however their request was rejected.  For the next two decades, African-Americans advocated for the right to enlist and train as military aviators, with little success.  In 1939, Congress finally passed a bill which designated funding for the training of African-American pilots, albeit in civilian flight schools.  Per tradition, however, black men were trained separately from their white counterparts.  One of these schools was at the Tuskegee University, a private, black university started by Booker T. Washington in the late 1800s, and located in Tuskegee, Alabama.

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TFFCM Celebrates Black History Month: Notable Achievements by Tuskegee Airmen

Notable Achievements by Tuskegee Airmen

 

Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., who was a lieutenant when he flew as a member of the 99th during the war, became the first African-American to become a four-star general.

 

Marion Rodgers, also a member of the 99th during the war, went on to work for NORAD and was a program developer for the Apollo 13 project.

 

Lucius Theus, an aviator, stayed in the military, rising to the rank of major general.  During his time, he worked to implement a direct deposit system for service members.

 

C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson was the first African-American to receive a commercial pilots certificate in 1932, and the first to make a transcontinental flight.  He also flew Eleanor Roosevelt (wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt) when she visited the Tuskegee air base. 

 

Captain William A. Campbell was the only Tuskegee Airman to earn two Distinguished Flying Crosses.  He became the Group Commander of the 322nd after the war and remained in the military throughout the Vietnam War and Korean Conflict.  He retired as a full Colonel.

 

Joseph D. Elsberry shot down three enemy aircraft during one escort mission, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross.  He was the first Tuskegee Airman to shoot down three enemy aircraft in one day.

 

Captain Alva Temple, Lieutenant Harry Stewart, Lieutenant James Harvey III, and Lieutenant Herbert Alexander where the four pilots who participated in the US Continental Gunner Meet in Las Vegas, Nevada.  They missed none of their targets and took first place in the conventional fighter class.

 

Charles E. McGee remained in the military throughout Korea and Vietnam, flying a total of 408 fighter combat missions, the most of any Tuskegee Airman.  He would retired from the Air Force as a Colonel, having received numerous medals for his service.

 

Percy Sutton left the military after World War II, and went on to graduated from law school.  He became a nationally recognized civil rights attorney and represented Malcolm X.   He later co-founded Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, which grew to include 19 stations.

 

Second Lieutenant Wendell Oliver Pruitt is credited with disabling a German destroyer and shooting down three names planes.  He was a formidable fighter pilot, especially when paired with Lieutenant Colonel Lee A. Archer, Jr.  Together, the two were nicknamed the “Gruesome Twosome.”

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Sitting for Equality: The Women Who Came Before Rosa Parks

Every February, children throughout the United States are taught the story of Rosa Parks, the black women who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white person.  Her refusal, her determination to make a stand - or in this case, take a seat - for equal rights led to a cascade of events.  Rosa’s stand - seat - is inspirational, but did you know that she was not the first to refuse to give up her seat?

 

In fact, Rosa’s lawsuit was not even the one which eventually led to the desegregation of buses.  It was the lawsuit of Browder v. Gayle, a federal lawsuit which led to the Alabama being ordered, first by a district court, then by the Supreme Court of the United States, to desegregate the bus system, as segregation violated the 14th Amendment right to protection for equal treatment.

 

Approximately two months after Rosa began her lawsuit against the state of Alabama, civil rights activists became concerned.  Rosa’s lawsuit was likely to be stalled through appeals in state courts.  While the bus boycott was going strong, activists knew that they would not be able to sustain the boycott for years, thus they sought a way to take a segregation case to the federal courts.

 

Fred Gray (a black, civil rights lawyer), E.D. Nixon (president of the NAACP in Montgomery), and Clifford Durr (a white lawyer and civil rights activists) began researching how to bring a case to federal courts.  Five women were approached: Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder Coleman, Susie McDonald, Mary Louise Smith, and Jeanette Reese.  All these women had been refused to give up their seats on a bus and faced discrimination.  They agreed to be plaintiffs in a federal civil action lawsuit, allowing them to bypass the Alabama court system.

 

Browder v. Gayle was filed in US District Court on February 1, 1956.  On June 13, 1956, the District Court ruled “the enforced segregation of black and white passengers on motor buses operating in the City of Montgomery violates the Constitution and laws of the United States.”  On November 13, 1956, the District Court’s ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Supreme Court also ordered the state of Alabama to desegregate their buses.  On December 20, W.A. Gayle, mayor of Montgomery was handed an official notice by federal marshals to desegregate the buses.

 

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Rosa Parks: Sitting for Equality

Rosa Louise McCauley was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama.  Her grandparents, both former slaves, took in Rosa and her mother after her mother divorced her father.  From a young age, her grandparents instilled in her a belief of racial equality, however, Rosa grew up surrounded by racial discrimination.  A standout moment in her childhood was her grandfather standing in front of the their home with a shotgun, while members of the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street.

 

Rosa was educated in a segregated one-room schoolhouse, to which she was forced to walk, while the white children were taken by buses to a newer school building.  It was through buses that Rosa began to realize “there was a black world and a white world.”  Rosa began attending a laboratory school set up by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes for secondary education, but never completed her studies.  She left to care for her ailing grandparents and mother.

 

Rosa McCauley became the more well-known Rosa Parks in 1932, when she married Raymond Parks, a barber and a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Even within the NAACP, Rosa continued to face discriminate, not for the color of her skin, but for her sex.  Rosa was the only women in the Montgomery chapter and the sectary for E.D. Nixon, who claimed “Women don’t need to nowhere but in the kitchen.”  When Rosa questioned him about her position, he said, “I need a secretary and you are a good one.”  Through her work with the NAACP, Rosa was exposed to, and researched for, the legal problems of black men and women, such as the Scottsboro Boys, the rape of Recy Taylor, and the murder of Emmett Till.

 

By December 1, 1955, Montgomery, Alabama had passed a city ordinance segregating bus passengers by race.  Specific rows of seats were reserved for whites only, designated by a sign on the bus, which drivers could move or remove altogether.  Over time, drivers adopted the practice of moving the sign if the whites only section filled up.  Blacks were to move and give up their seats to the whites, even if it meant they had to stand.

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Black History Month: Mary Louise Smith, Remembering the Women Who Came Before Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, a woman, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white person.  This act ignited a spark in the American Civil Rights movement, leading to boycotts of the busses and demands to an end of racial segregation.  But everyone knows about Rosa Parks and her famous refusal!  But, do you know about the woman who came before Rosa?  About the other women who refused to give up their seats?

 

Mary Louise Smith was born in 1937, to a Catholic family in Montgomery, Alabama.  During her childhood, she attended and graduated from St. Jude Educational Institute.  On October 21, 1955, at the age of 18, Mary was returning home by way of the Montgomery city bus.  At a stop after Mary had boarded and seated, a white passenger boarded.  There was no place for the white passenger to sit.  Mary was order to relinquish her seat.  She refused.  Mary was arrested and charged with failure to obey segregation orders and given a nine dollar fine, which her father paid.  

 

Like Claudette Colvin, Mary was considered and rejected as the person to build a lawsuit around against segregation of city buses.  She was rejected in part for her age, which was thought to be too young, but also because of a rumor that her father was alcoholic.  Until the Browder v. Gayle lawsuit, Mary’s arrest, and the incident which led to her arrest, were kept quiet, known only to family and neighbors.

 

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Black History Month: Aurelia Browder Coleman, Remembering the Women Who Came Before Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, a woman, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white person.  This act ignited a spark in the American Civil Rights movement, leading to boycotts of the busses and demands to an end of racial segregation.  But everyone knows about Rosa Parks and her famous refusal!  But, do you know about the woman who came before Rosa?  About the other women who refused to give up their seats?

 

Aurelia Shines Browder Coleman was born on January 29, 1919, in Montgomery, Alabama, where she remained for her entire life, working a variety of jobs including nurse, midwife, seamstress, businesswoman and housewife.  Her education came later in life, not completing high school until she was in her 30s.  She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in science from Alabama State University, where she graduated with honors and was member of the National Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.  It was also during her time at college that she was inspired by a professor to become involved in tackling the injustices of the transportation system. 

 

On April 19, 1955, seven months before Rosa’s historic stand - or sit? - Aurelia refused to give up her seat to a white person.  Her refusal led to her arrest and imprisonment.  It also led to the filing of a lawsuit, Browder v. Gayle.  Four other black women were also part of the case - Susie McDonald, Jeanette Reese, Claudette Colvin, and Mary Louise Smith.  All had faced racial discrimination on public transportation.  Aurelia was chosen as the lead plaintiff on the case due to her middling age, 45.  Jeanette withdrew from the lawsuit shortly after it was filed due to pressure from the white community.

 

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Black History Month: Claudette Colvin, Remembering the Women Who Came Before Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, a woman, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white person.  This act ignited a spark in the American Civil Rights movement, leading to boycotts of the busses and demands to an end of racial segregation.  But everyone knows about Rosa Parks and her famous refusal!  But, do you know about the woman who came before Rosa?  About the other women who refused to give up their seats?

 

Claudette Colvin was born on September 5, 1939.  She lived in a poorer section of Montgomery, Alabama.  By 1955, Claudette attended Booker T. Washington High School, where she excelled.  Claudette was a dreamer - she wanted to be President someday!  Coincidentally, by March 2, 1955, Claudette was learning about the civil rights movement in school.  She had just written a paper about the local customs at department stores.  People of color were not allowed to try on clothes or shoes.  They were not allowed in the stores’ dressing rooms.

 

It was this paper she was thinking about on her bus ride home on March 2, 1955.  It was her only way home from school, as her parents did not have a car.  Claudette sat in the colored section of the bus.  But the white section filled up, forcing a white woman to stand.  The bus driver told Claudette, along with two other black girls to move and allow the white woman to sit.  Claudette refused saying, “It’s my constitutional right to sit her as much as that lady.  I paid my fare, it’s my constitutional right.”

 

Nine months before Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin was handcuffed, arrested, and forcibly removed from the bus, all the while proclaiming that her constitutional right was being violated.  Claudette later said that she “felt like Sojourner Truth was pushing down and one shoulder and Harriet Tubman was pushing down on the other - saying ‘Sit down girl!’”  Claudette also said she “was glued to [her] seat.” 

 

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Friendship 9 Conviction Overturned

On January 31, 1961, several young men, mostly from Friendship Junior College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, chose to eat lunch at the counter of a local McCrory’s Five & Dime.  They walked into the restaurant, sat down, and ordered hamburgers, soft drinks, and coffee.  The men were refused service and ordered to leave the establishment.  When the men refused, the police were called.  The young men were beaten, to the cheers of the crowd that had gathered.  The men were hauled off to jail.  They were given a choice: a $100 fine or 30 days of hard labor at the York County Prison Farm.  One man paid the fine.  The remaining nine chose to serve their time, sparking a “jail, no bail” movement.

 

What caused such an ordinary activity as going our for lunch to spark such brutal actions?  Simply the color of the men’s skin.  They were blacks, sitting at a “White’s Only” lunch counter.  They were not the first people of color to sit at the “White’s Only” lunch counter, nor would they be the last.  Their actions helped the sit-in movement continue to gain steam.  In addition to encouraging the sit-in movement, the group also started the “jail, no bail” movement.  By refusing to pay bail, the men showed complete dedication to the civil rights movements, and encouraged others to do the same.  When people of color were arrested and then paid their fine, they were paying for the city to continue to be able to arrest people like themselves.  By choosing to stay in jail (where they were not exactly model inmates, as they refused to work at least twice), they were forcing the white authorities to pay for their housing, food, and supervision for their 30 day imprisonment.  This idea spread, filling jail cells.

 

On Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett and Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III, the nephew of the judge that sent the men to the prison camp, overturned the conviction of the men who became known as the Friendship 9: John Gains, Clarence Graham, Willie Thomas “Dub” Massey (now a substitute teacher in the Rock Hill area), Willie McCleod, James Wells, David Williamson Jr., Mack Workman, Robert McCullough (deceased August 7, 2006), and Thomas Gaither (the only one who was not a student at Friendship College).  

  

As we approach Black History Month (February), we must remember to look back at incidents such as these.  As uncomfortable as remembering these events may be, they are part of our history as Americans.  To move forward in the present, we must remember the past, but not dwell in it, and, if possible, right the wrongs that have been made.

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TFFCM Celebrates Black History Month: George Washington Carver

In the United States of America, the month of February is Black History Month.  It is a time to remember the achievements that men and women of color made throughout the history of this country.  From a time of slavery to a time of freedom that did not really feel all that free, to a movement that would change the nation forever, men and women of color have played key roles in making a better quality of life for all mankind.

 

Near the end of the Civil War, a child, the last of many, was born to Mary and Giles, slaves to Moses and Susan Carver in Diamond, Missouri.  The date of birth for the child is unknown.  The child was named George Washington and given no surname, as his father was killed before his birth.  About one week after his birth, George was kidnapped, along with his sister and mother, and sold in Kentucky.  Moses was able to retrieve George and bring him back to Missouri.  In 1865, about one year after George was born, the Civil War ended and slaves were freed.  Moses and Susan chose to keep George and to educate him.  Since no school nearby would accept clack children, George adopted their surname and went on to become known to history as George Washington Carver.

 

George eventually received his high school diploma from Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.  After graduating high school, George applied and was accepted into Highland College, only to be denied admittance because of his race.  George then homesteaded a claim, and began conducting biological experiments and compiled a geological collection.  He began taking classes at a local college, where his drawings caught the attention of a professor who recommended he take botany classes.  George enrolled and became the first black student at Simpson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree.  He then went on the received his master's degree at Iowa State Agricultural College. 

 

Booker T. Washington asked George to lead the Department of agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute.  It was during this time that George left his mark on history.  George reinvigorated farming in the South.  From growing cotton and tobacco, the soil in the South was depleted of minerals needed to have healthy, prosperous crops.  George encouraged farmers to plant peanuts to replenish the soil.  Since there was an overabundance of these crops, George developed over 300 peanut-related products including milk, chess, instant coffee, face powder, shampoo, ink, dyes, vinegar, soap, shoe polish, shaving cream, synthetic rubber, plastics, linoleum, chili sauce, flour, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and cooking oil.  George also discovered over 100 new products from sweet potatoes, 75 from pecans, and some from Georgia clay.  The exact number of products George invented is unknown because he only held three patents.  Why only three?  In George's words, "God gave them to me.  How can I sell them to someone else?"

 

George had a great love for God.  He was, in everything, the hand of God.  As a child, George developed a relationship with God after having another child tell him about prayer.  After the conversation, George went up into the barn loft and prayed.  He does not know what he said, only "that I felt so good that I prayed several times before I quit."  George was unable to enter a church for many years because of his race, but to him, Nature was God's house.  George called his lab "God's little workshop."  George sought to share his love of science and God, which he viewed as going hand in hand, with as many as possible.  As a leader at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), he encouraged young people to understand God by studying nature.

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TFFCM Celebrates Black History Month: The Story of Richard Allen

In the United States of America, the month of February is Black History Month.  It is a time to remember the achievements of men and women of color made throughout the history of this country.  From a time of slavery to a time of freedom that did not really fell all that free, to a movement that would change the nation forever, men and women of color have played key roles in making a better quality of life for all mankind.

 

On February 14, 1790, a slave was born to Benjamin Chew, who was a wealthy merchant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The child, named Richard, and his family, were then sold to Stokeley Sturgis, a plantation owner in Delaware.  The family was divided up when Sturgis faced monetary problems.  Richard remained with Sturgis, along with an older brother and a sister.  They continued to serve Sturgis, but also began attending meetings of the local Methodist Society, which welcomed all blacks, slaves and free men.  Richard attended classes every week and taught himself to read and write.  In 1782, Richard became licensed to preach.

 

Sturgis, who was a nonbeliever, encouraged Richard's and his family's attendance.  Richard said he and his brother decided to "attend more faithfully to our master's business, so that it should not be said that religion made us worse servants."  Sturgis, proud of his slaves, would boast to others "that religion made slaves better not worse."  He also told Richard to "ask the preachers to come and preach at his house."  During that meeting, the white preacher said that slave-owners were "weighed in the balance, and...found wanting."  It was a life changing message.

 

Sturgis, after converting, "believed himself to be one of that number and, after that, he could not be satisfied to hold slaves, believing it wrong."  In January of 1780, Sturgis told Richard that he could purchase his freedom for $2,000.  Richard set out to earn the money.  He worked for the Revolutionary forces to secure the money for his freedom, eventually taking the surname Allen to signify his status as a free man.

 

In 1786, Richard was finally able to purchase his freedom.  After gaining his freedom, he began preaching to blacks and whites in Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  Richard would travel, working only when he needed money.  "My usual method was, when I would get bare of clothes, to stop travelling and go to work.  My hands administered to my necessities," he explained.  He would often work as a sawyer and a wagon driver.  Richard said that he walked so many miles that his "feet became so sore and painful that I could scarcely be able to put them on the floor." 

 

One day, while preaching near Philadelphia, Richard was approached by a Methodist elder to preach to the blacks who attended St. George's Methodist Church.  The service took place at 5:00 am, so it would not interfere with the whites' service.  Richard agreed and moved to Philadelphia, where he met his wife, Sarah, who was also born a slave, but had since been freed.

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TFFCM Celebrates Black History Month: The Story of Sojouner Truth "Isabella Baumfree"


In the United States of America, the month of February is Black History Month.  It is a time to remember the achievements of men and women of color made throughout the history of this country.  From a time of slavery to a time of freedom that did not really feel all that free, to a movement that would change the nation forever, men and women of color have played key roles in making a better quality of life for all mankind. 

 

In 1797, in Ulster County, New York, Isabella Baumfree was born to Elizabeth and James Baumfree, slaves to Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh.  Isabella was one of 13 children.  Isabella grew up speaking only Dutch until the age of nine, when she was sold to a new master, John Neely.  John and his family only spoke English and frequently beat Isabella because of miscommunications.  It was during her time with John that Isabella began her spiritual journey.  Religion turned into her refuge.  Isabella would have conversations with God in the woods and took to praying aloud during times of hardship.  Isabella was sold twice more, eventually ending up as a slave to John Dumont of West Park, New York.

 

Isabella would later describe her treatment at the hands of John Dumont as “cruel and harsh.”  No reason is given for this description, leading many historians to believe that she was sexually abused and harassed.  In 1815, Isabella fell in love with a slave from another farm named Robert.  The two had a daughter together, however, Robert’s master forbade the relationship and the two never saw each other again.  Dumont then forced Isabella to marry an older slave named Thomas.  Together, they had four children, one of which died.

 

In 1799, New York began negotiations to abolish slavery.  The emancipation date was set for July 4, 1827.  Dumont made a deal with Isabella; “if she would do well and be faithful,” he would release her one year before emancipation went into effect.  Dumont did not hold up his end of the deal, claiming a hand injury made Isabella unproductive.  Isabella continued working for him until she felt she had satisfied her obligation to him, at which point she left with her infant daughter.  She explained, “I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.”

 

Life remained hard for Isabella.  She was given refuge at the house of Isaac and Maria Van Wagenen, who defended her from Dumont when he tried to bring her back.  Shortly thereafter, Isabella learned that her five-year-old son, Peter, had been illegally sold to a farmer in Alabama.  With the help of Quaker activists, Isabella was able to go to court and have Peter returned to her.  This was one of the first times in which a black woman successfully challenged a white man in a United States court.

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TFFCM Celebrates Black History Month: The Story of Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr.

Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr., was born in the town of Paris, Kentucky, on March 4, 1877. His father, Sydney, was a former slave and son of Confederate Colonel John H. Morgan. His mother, Eliza Reed, was also a former slave who happened to be half American Indian. At the age of fourteen, Garrett quit school and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to work as a handyman for a wealthy landowner.  Garrett wanted an education and retained a tutor to instruct him during his stay in Cincinnati.  In 1895, Garrett moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to work for a clothing manufacturer repairing sewing machines.  It was at this job that Garrett made his first invention a belt-fastener for sewing machines.

 

In 1907, Morgan opened a sewing machine and shoe repair shop.  In 1908, Morgan established the Cleveland Association for Colored Men and married Mary Ann Hassek, his second wife.  They had three children together.  In 1909, he and his wife opened, “Morgan’s Cut Rate Ladies Clothing Store,” where they employed 32 people making coats, suites, dresses, and other clothing.

 

Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr., invented a traffic signal device after witnessing an accident. His device like others was manually operated; however, unlike other traffic signal devices Morgan’s could stop traffic in all directions to clear the intersection if needed.

 

Morgan’s greatest invention is a respirator safety hood. The hood allowed rescuers to go into a smoky building and rescue its occupants by using a damp sponge to cool the outside air while filtering the smoke from the air. It also had a hose attached that hung from the hood close to the ground allowing the person wearing the hood to breath clean air.  In later years Morgan added an air pack to his safety hood. Morgan’s hood was the most widely used safety hood in the country.  Unfortunately to attain that status Morgan had to hire a white man who claimed to be the inventor of Morgan’s safety hood.

 

In 1916, Morgan and three other men using Morgan’s respirator safety hood made a dramatic rescue saving workers trapped in a water intake tunnel being dug under Lake Erie, after a natural gas explosion and fire which took the lives of workers and the first police officers and firefighters who attempted to rescue them.

 

Garrett’s life is far too great to recount in a short article honoring him and recognizing his many contributions to the comfort and safety of the people of The United States of America during this, the final week of Black History month.

 

Garrett died in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio, on June 27, 1963.

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