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Donna Thompson

Healthcare executive Donna Thompson was born on January 2, 1957 in Decatur, Illinois. She graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1975, and received her diploma in nursing from Decatur Memorial School of Nursing in 1977. She worked as a pediatric nurse at Decatur Memorial Hospital until 1980, when she became a neonatal transport nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. Thompson went on to earn her B.S. degree in nursing in 1986 and her M.S. degree in nursing in 1988, both from DePaul University in Chicago. Thompson also completed the Kellogg School of Management's CEO Perspectives program in 2010.

Thompson served as the manager of the pediatric intensive care unit at Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital from 1983 to 1991. She was then hired as the director of nursing as Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In 1995, Thompson became the chief operating officer of Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) in Chicago, and was promoted to chief executive officer in 2004. Thompson organized the Stand Against Cancer program in 2002, and the Pin-A-Sister/Examínate Comadre program in 2007. Under her leadership, ACCESS became one of the largest federally qualified health centers in the country, as well as the largest provider of Medicaid and Medicare managed primary healthcare in Illinois. Thompson was also a co-founder of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force.

Thomas received numerous awards for her work in the healthcare field, including the Nursing Star Award from the Illinois Association of Visiting Nurses in 2003, the Chicago Athena Award from Athena International in 2007, the Outstanding Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement Award from United Way of Metro Chicago in 2009, and the National Medical Fellowship Leadership in Healthcare Award in 2015. She was also named as “One of Chicago's Most Influential Women” by N’Digo Magazine in 2009. From 2003 to 2006, Thompson served as a Robert Wood Johnson executive nurse fellow. Thompson also served as a board member for Access DuPage, and chaired the board of directors for The Chicago Network. She was also a co-founder of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force.

Thompson and her husband, Robert, have two children.

Donna Thompson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.091

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2018

Last Name

Thompson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Oakland Elementary School

Stephen Decatur High School

Woodrow Wilson Junior High School

Decatur Memorial Hospital School of Nursing

DePaul University

First Name

Donna

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

THO28

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Stay In The Game.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

1/2/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Sushi

Short Description

Healthcare executive Donna Thompson (1957 - ) served as the chief executive officer of Access Community Health Network, the largest primary care provider for minority patients in Illinois.

Employment

Decatur Memorial Hospital

St. John's Hospital

Michael Reese Hospital

Christ Hospital

Access Community Health Network

Favorite Color

Pink

Charles Evers

Civic activist and political leader Charles Evers was born on September 11, 1922 in Decatur, Mississippi to Jess Wright and James Evers. Evers received his B.S. degree from Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi in 1950.

Evers enlisted in the United States Army and served overseas during World War II. After his return to the U.S., he began working as the first African American disc jockey at WHOC Radio station in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1951. There, he worked for a family-run funeral home, operated a taxi service, a bootleg liquor business and operated the Evers Hotel and Lounge, which featured blues bands. Evers was active in the Mississippi branch of the NAACP and became the chapter’s state voter registration chairman in 1954. He also became involved with the Regional Council of Negro Leadership in 1952, and often spoke at its national conferences. In 1956, Evers moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he operated Club Mississippi, the Subway Lounge and the Palm Gardens nightclubs. After the assassination of his brother, Medgar Evers, he returned to Mississippi in 1963 and became the field director for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP. In 1969, Evers was elected as mayor of Fayette, Mississippi, the first African American to be elected to this position in the state of Mississippi during the post-Reconstruction era. Evers ran unsuccessfully for governor of Mississippi in 1971 and for United States Senate in 1978, each time as an independent candidate. He remained as mayor of Fayette until 1989. After losing the mayoral election in 1989, Evers became the store manager of WMPR 90.1FM in Jackson, Mississippi.

Evers has often been honored for his work in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1969, the NAACP named him Man of the Year. He was also selected as a Mississippi delegate for the Democratic National Convention in 1972. Evers, has also published two autobiographies, Evers, in 1971, and Have No Fear, in 1997. He has served as an informal advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, George C. Wallace, President Ronald Reagan, and Robert Kennedy.

Evers has seven children; Patricia Murchinson, Charlene Evers-Kreel, Carolyn Crockell, Shelia Evers Blackmond, Yvonne Evers, Wanda Evers and Rachel Evers.

Charles Evers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.105

Sex

Male

Interview Date

05/24/2017

Last Name

Evers

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Decatur Consolidated School

Newton High School

Alcorn State University

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

EVE02

Favorite Season

All Seasons Except Winter

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Mississippi

Birth Date

9/11/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Jackson

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Anything

Short Description

Civic activist and political leader Charles Evers (1922 - ) the brother of slain civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, was the first African American mayor elected in Mississippi post-Reconstruction era.

Employment

WHOC Radio

WMPR Radio

Fayette City Government

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:276,4:33278,526:37663,621:46430,1384:55820,1449:57750,1476:69730,1598:96968,1919:125234,2290:132205,2396:141520,2526:165944,2892:166854,2905:169948,3313:176825,3446:203090,3769:229008,3999:233645,4100:259170,4456:259530,4461:276306,4854:280572,5271:320914,5811:325514,5942:334490,6101$0,0:2079,94:2387,99:3696,132:4004,138:5544,182:7469,223:12320,322:12705,328:13013,333:13937,346:45520,767:69604,1429:82460,1583:89066,1647:89470,1670:94684,1738:95152,1853:99726,2001:105544,2026:106129,2739:135370,3002:136620,3090:152345,3384:189172,3499:216300,3704
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Evers' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Evers lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Evers describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Evers describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Evers lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Evers remembers his community in Decatur, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Evers describes his relationship with his brother, Medgar Evers

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Evers describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Evers talks about his early education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Evers describes his father's lumber stacking business

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Evers recalls his decision to enlist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Evers remembers B.B. King

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Charles Evers recalls his start in the funeral business

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Charles Evers talks about his experiences during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Evers remembers picking pecans with Medgar Evers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Evers remembers his family traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Evers recalls his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Evers remembers his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Evers remembers the lynching of James Tingle

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Evers remembers his friendship with Jackie Robinson and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Evers remembers returning to Mississippi after World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Evers describes his early involvement with the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Evers remembers his reason for moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Evers talks about his employment as a bootlegger in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Evers describes his brothel on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Evers recalls his confrontation with the mafia in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Evers talks about his daughters

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Evers remembers Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Lorman, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Evers remembers investigating the death of Emmett Till

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Evers describes the assassination of his brother, Medgar Evers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Evers remembers his role in the NAACP after Medgar Evers' death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Evers remembers the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Evers recalls his decision to run for mayor of Fayette, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Charles Evers remembers the Selma to Montgomery March and the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Evers recalls his election as mayor of Fayette, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Evers remembers his gubernatorial campaign in Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Evers talks about the acquittal of Medgar Evers' murderer

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Evers talks about William Waller and Barack Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Evers talks about leaving the Democratic Party

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Evers remembers his campaign for U.S. Senate

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Evers describes his relationship with President Ronald Reagan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Evers remembers President Richard Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Evers reflects upon his contributions to the City of Fayette, Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Evers talks about joining the Republican Party

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Evers talks about his work in the radio industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Evers describes his management of WHOC Radio in Jackson, Mississippi

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Evers talks about his support for President Donald John Trump

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Evers reflects upon his legacy and message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Evers reflects upon his family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Evers narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$8

DATitle
Charles Evers describes his early involvement with the NAACP
Charles Evers remembers the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
Transcript
So, when do you get involved with civil rights or the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]?$$Medgar [Medgar Evers] and I started NAACP, before I went, before I went to Chicago [Illinois]. Here's what happened. Roy Wilkins, Gloster Current [Gloster B. Current], the so called big shot darkies who's head of the NAACP, had heard and, and President Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] had heard about Medgar and I trying to get Negroes to do certain things. Let me tell you how got that, here I go again. One day Medgar and I was in Decatur [Mississippi] standing on the courthouse square. I like to tell this story. And an old white man, half bent over, walk by me and look at me and said, "Let me tell you niggers something." I flinched and Medgar said, "No, no Charles [HistoryMaker Charles Evers]." "You all niggers won't never be nothing. Until you all learn how to vote." I looked at him, "You hear me? Until you learn how to vote." I say, "What do you mean by that?" He said, "Who's the mayor?" I said, "I don't know." "Who the sheriff?" I said, "I don't know." "You see what I'm telling you? You see what I'm telling you niggers?" So, Medgar kept telling me, "No Charles, no Charles," 'cause he, he's always the peace maker. So, he said, "Until you all learn how to vote, you ain't gonna never be nothing." And that stuck with me. And I told her [sic.], I say, "You know what?" I went home and I asked my women, then they didn't know. And they didn't know, I mean I think they knew but they didn't know, they just knew of them. And from that day on, we went back, went back to Alcorn [Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College; Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi] and started getting our school mates to go back home in their neighborhood up in Delta [Mississippi Delta] and get our folks and go register and they had hell broke out. That's when we started. And John Kennedy was president and just become president. And he heard about the Evers boys. Course, I mean, 'cause at that time, for, for, for niggers trying to register in Mississippi was, that was headlines and he got up and he, and he called Medgar, President Kennedy called Medgar. And Medgar went and met with him and they became friends. And then when he was killed and Bobby [Robert F. Kennedy] and I were friends before when that sort of put the family together. Between Medgar and John and me and Bobby. And then when John was killed--they both came to Medgar's grave, and when John was killed I went up and Ethel [Ethel Skakel Kennedy] and we had, by that time we had gotten to be good friends, the Kennedys and, and me. And that's how it happened one of those kinds of crazy ways.$$All right.$$And then we, then after that I became--Medgar became head of the NAACP.$$Okay, well (unclear) let me see we're in 1948 now. So let's, let's before we go forward. You all start the NAACP, now was first chartered in, in Vicksburg [Mississippi] right? And then they had to recharter it again? But, do you know about the Misssis- Mississippi State Conference, which led a lot of the, the demonstrations and voter registrations (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Medgar was the head of that, yeah.$$--in Mississippi.$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$And Medgar was the one that lead that. 'Cause became Medgar took over it was quiet, it was very quiet. But, Medgar became the field secretary of the NAACP.$$Do you know these names like Aaron Henry?$$Oh yes indeed. Aaron was president of the branch up in Clarksdale [Mississippi]. He was the first black elected official in state--Mississippi State Legislature.$$Okay.$$My dear friend.$$And, and what about Winson Hudson?$$Oh yeah. The Hudson sist- big women they call them like they call them the big women, two sisters. And they all from--they were over Leake County, Carthage [Mississippi].$$Okay. And the C.C. Bryant?$$Oh yeah, C.C. them was down there in Hattiesburg [Mississippi].$$Okay, so they all these were all people who worked (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) All of them, part of--$$Now, C.C. worked with the--establishing the first Freedom School or what?$$Yeah.$$Tell me of what, what was a Freedom School?$$Freedom was just a school trying to teach us how to become citizens what to do, and what a citizen should do. And C.C. headed up in Hattiesburg. And he's gone too now. All of them gone, I'm the only one left. Isn't that something, and, and I look around all the time say, "Charles [HistoryMaker Charles Evers] are you next. Stop kidding yourself," I'm not kidding myself. Because all them old friends of mine, all my dear friends gone. 'Cause we were in there together. And I when I was in Philadelphia I started a movement in Philadelphia, Mississippi. With my funeral home [Charles Evers Funeral Home]. And I, and I, I'm black disc jockey ever worked in a white radio station [WHOC Radio, Philadelphia, Mississippi].$$Right, that comes next. I was just gonna ask you about one other person and that was Gilbert Mason [HistoryMaker Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Sr.]?$$Oh yeah Gilbert yeah from--he died a few years ago.$$Okay.$$Dr. Mason.$$And, and what did he do down in Biloxi [Mississippi].$$He was the pres- he was a doctoring, he was a doctor, he was president of the NAACP in the Biloxi branch.$$Okay, so they wanted to inte- integrate the beaches down there?$$Yeah, yeah we all inte- yeah he integrated, he lead the, I was there with him. He led the, the march on the beaches. We couldn't go on the beaches down there. But, Dr. Mason along with the rest of us. He led us and we followed him on the beaches. And they (unclear) but see, I ain't never turned the other cheek. And we weren't supposed to, but I'd fight them, I'd fight them rascals like nothing. And we all got fighting down there and totally, finally we totally integrated the beaches. Now we can go, you can go around there now. And slip on your, your bathing suit and sit down there as long as anybody else, there, whites all around you don't think nothing about it.$$Okay.$$Under Gilbert Mason, sure did.$After that, then Kennedy [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] is killed, and--$$Oh god.$$--you talk about that you were friends, you know, with the, Medgar [Medgar Evers] was friends with John and you were very good friends with Bobby [Robert F. Kennedy]. So, tell me what, what that was like? And about your re- tell us about your relationship with the Kennedy family?$$Well, we just became like Evers family, Kennedy family, that's all, that's all I can say. I'm close to Ethel [Ethel Skakel Kennedy] and all them now. In fact, I was with Bobby when he was shot, I was there when he was killed.$$Were you?$$I was right there, I was right there, yeah. When he was killed. We were in Los Angeles [California], campaign, we'd won the election. And when, and the when he went down stairs to the big ball, down to receive it and greet the people. And he said, "Come on Charles [HistoryMaker Charles Evers]." "I'll watch you on TV." "Oh come on damn it." I said, "Okay I'll be on down." He and Ethel and the rest of family went on down before me. I said, "Well hell, I'll go on down." I know I like that cracker, used to call him old peckerwood cracker all the time. I knew that cracker (unclear). So, I went on down by myself and I always stand right in front of him because he spoke too long. I always, I always do this (gesture) to him, when time was up. And so, I, I was came in as I always do, stood right by in front of him. He was on the stage speaking. And when he got--kept going, I (gesture) he was always watch me 'cause, I knew he's, he's, "Well I see it's time for me to go, I guess I spoke too long," or something like that. And thanked the people for it over and over again. And he turned, I thought he was coming down and let's go out the front [of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, California]. When he turned he went back through the ki- I never understood that to this day, why'd he go out through the kitchen. I guess that's the way he was supposed to go. Went back through the, that's where they shot him back in the door. And now I heard the shot. I thought it was balloon, had balloons everywhere. And so I heard, "They shot the senator." I broke on the stage he was laying I picked him up just held him. (Unclear), "Bobby please don't leave me, please don't leave me, please don't leave me us Bobby," and Ethel is screaming, I told Rosey Grier, "Hold Ethel." And, "Somebody call, call an ambulance, call a hearse quick, an ambulance." So, we got an ambulance I went with him to the hospital I stayed with him. He died I was right there. I, and we carried him back to New York [New York]. And that's another violated, then the men I saw going in to sit, I said no, they put in a casket, they, in there with the casket from New York, from California to New York. Right beside Bobby all the time. And then we left there on the train coming back from there. We had nothing but a stop, they brought him back to, to Washington [D.C.] to bury him. You know I couldn't go to that funeral. I just couldn't, I tried and I just couldn't. And that was the last time I saw him.$$Oh okay.$$I don't want to talk about it.$$Okay, all right.$$I'm sorry. We were so close and he believed in me and I believed in him. He, he would have made the greatest president. I'm sorry.$$No, that's, that's fine.$$And here gone, my brother and him. I have nobody left. So, but the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. That's what I have live by that. I'm sorry. But that, that's why I'm very remorseful about Bobby and Medgar so. And Ethel and I are supposed to go up there next month. She's down in Florida right now.$$Who is that?$$Ethel, Bobby's wife, Ethel Kennedy.

Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr.

A long time military officer, Major General Arthur Holmes, Jr. served almost four decades in the United States Army, retiring as a Commanding General. A highly distinguished officer, he won several awards and decorations such as the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal.

Holmes began his military career as a member of a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program in college. In June 1952, upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Filling a variety of roles, Holmes served twice as a Maintenance Battalion Commander, the second in Vietnam; a member of the Guidance and Procedures Branch of the Logistics Directorate for the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Chief of Ordnance Branch of the Officer Personnel Direc¬torate at the U.S Army Military Personnel Center before becoming Command¬er of the Division Support Command for the First Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Riley, Kansas; and subsequently served as Assistant Division Commander-Support for the same unit, the first Combat Service Support officer to fill the position. Holmes - then made history - becoming the first combat service support officer to serve as Executive Officer to the Secretary of the Army from 1977 until 1979. Holmes’ final post - before retiring in 1987 - was that of Commanding General, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command, where he oversaw the delivery of 30,000 tactical vehicles to the field with the highest level of user satisfaction yet achieved. On behalf of his service to the U.S. Army, in 1991, Holmes became am Inductee in the 1999 Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame.

Arthur Holmes, Jr. was born on May 12, 1931 in Decatur, Alabama. He earned his B.S. degree in chemistry from the Hampton Institute – now called Hampton University, and his M.B.A degree from Kent State (Ohio) University. Holmes is also a graduate of the Naval War College. Moving on from the military, he became highly involved in business and governmental life serving for eight years as Vice-President of Logistics Applications and then President and CEO of the Automated Sciences Group, Inc. - a high-tech corporation with 300 computer scientists and engineers and average annual revenue of $28 million. Holmes also served a seven year stint with the Montgomery County Planning Board, serving as a commissioner, and then vice-chair and chairman. Between 2002 and 2004, he served as Director of Go Montgomery! – a Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPWT) agency devoted to implementing the County’s Master Plan in all transportation regions. He took over the helm of DPWT, in October 2004.

Holmes is involved with many boards and organizations including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He and his wife, Wilma, have four children and six grandchildren, and they reside in Olney, Maryland.

Holmes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 29, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.100

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/29/2008

Last Name

Holmes

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Maynard Elementary School

Beardsly Junior High School

Austin-East Magnet High School

Hampton University

U.S. Naval War College

Kent State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Arthur

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

HOL12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego, California

Favorite Quote

We Can Do It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/12/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Major general Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. (1931 - ) retired from the military as Commanding General, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command, where he oversaw the delivery of 30,000 tactical vehicles to the field with the highest level of user satisfaction yet achieved. He also served as Director of Go Montgomery!, a Department of Public Works and Transportation in Alabama.

Employment

United States Army

Automated Science Group

Montgomery County Planning Board

Montgomery County Department of Transportation

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:4795,55:5095,60:5395,65:5695,77:6370,88:7045,99:12330,169:13130,182:15290,212:26170,380:30810,491:40062,597:40899,606:41829,618:44619,649:45084,655:69610,1012:85674,1240:86262,1248:86766,1255:87774,1269:88278,1276:90714,1314:91806,1350:116671,1624:134525,1901:137181,1959:137596,1965:137928,2008:150720,2220$0,0:3255,30:20832,340:21483,349:30392,382:46099,553:47003,562:52494,604:52874,610:56598,682:57966,705:58346,711:59030,722:74170,939:74600,945:81210,1009:103019,1343:103424,1349:107470,1392:114990,1534:117470,1559:121630,1642:122430,1653:128174,1703:129902,1729:130190,1734:139190,1914:140990,1959:146950,2006:147650,2017:150380,2068:150660,2073:155560,2159:159130,2278:159410,2283:176336,2516:177038,2528:201545,3015:201845,3020:206195,3102:217883,3324:218711,3342:219194,3352:235850,3679
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his family's frequent moves

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes remembers his childhood activities and best friend

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his early educational experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls the African American athletes of his youth

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls playing basketball at Austin High School in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers the home front of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls the heroism of Doris Miller

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his aspirations during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about the desegregation of the U.S. military

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his first impression of the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers his professors and classmates at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his ROTC training at the Hampton Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers his deployment to Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his U.S. military experiences in Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his return to the United States

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes the duties of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about equipment maintenance in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about the U.S. Army's weapons regulations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his career in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his deployment to Vietnam

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers the United States Naval War College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about the promotion process in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls the early African American generals in the U.S. military

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about personnel management in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls meeting General Colin L. Powell

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his appointment as the executive officer to secretary of the army

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his duties under the secretary of the army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers Clifford L. Alexander, Jr. and President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers fragging incidents during the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his leadership style in Vietnam

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about the prevalence of drugs in the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers meeting foreign dignitaries

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his promotion to brigadier general

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his responsibilities as a brigadier general

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about his graduate and professional training

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his responsibilities as a brigadier general

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his retirement from the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers joining the Montgomery Country Planning Board

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about his directorship of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. remembers his transition to civilian life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about his work at the Montgomery County Department of Transportation

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes remembers his childhood activities and best friend
Maj. Gen. Arthur Holmes, Jr. recalls his appointment as the executive officer to secretary of the army
Transcript
Can you tell us about some of the places you lived and what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Well, in, in Decatur [Alabama], it was, it was right in the neighborhood and there wasn't much to do except, you know, you played marbles, you tried to play baseball in some of the yards. There wasn't a lot of recreation facilities for blacks in Decatur at that particular time. When we moved up in the Chattanooga [Tennessee] area, we were actually in a little town called Soddy, Tennessee [Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee] and there were twenty-one black families there and I can remember roaming the fields there and I remember we found some Indian cigars, so to speak, and we, you had to take those and, and (unclear) tobacco and you have to dry them out and I forgot to take them out of the oven (laughter) and my mom [Grace Bradley Holmes] found, found those things but I remember those, those were good days. We, we played cowboys and Indians [Native American] and that's when you had the guns with caps in 'em and it was a, I had a good childhood. I don't have bad memories of a childhood and I had a loving--a loving family.$$Okay, now what about Knoxville [Tennessee]? Now--$$In, in Knoxville, I went to, to the grammar school there for the second semester and I met my best friend, an individual, Edward Hill, who I talk with right now, once or twice a week. We're like brothers. There's nothing that Ed wouldn't do for me, I wouldn't do for him.$$Okay.$$And, and they called us Mutt and Jeff. I don't know whether you remember the cartoon, Mutt and Jeff. Mutt, Mutt was a very tall guy and Jeff was a very short guy so if you go to Knoxville, Tennessee, if you see Ed Hill, they'll, they'll know Art Holmes [HistoryMaker Major General Arthur Holmes, Jr.], they'll ask you about him because we just, we were very, very close.$$So was he very short?$$Yeah, he was very short. He didn't grow until he went to college and he, I think he's about 5', 5'9" now.$$Okay, and you're about 6'3" right?$$I'm 6'3".$$Okay, all right. So, Mutt and Jeff, yeah--$$Mutt and Jeff (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) it was a popular comic strip in all the papers in those days.$$That's right, yeah.$$Yeah.$Now what else about, when you were head of Ordnance for the (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I was head of the, of the Ordnance Corps [U.S. Army Ordnance Corps] for approximately eighteen months and after that I went to Fort Riley [Kansas] and I commanded the division support command in the 1st Infantry Division and I did that for eighteen months.$$Now about what year is this?$$Say again?$$What year is this?$$This would have been '75 [1975], '76 [1976] until early '77 [1977].$$Okay.$$And in early '77 [1977], I became the assistant division commander for the 1st Infantry Division. There were two assistant division commanders and I was one of those and I did that for approximately three months and then I was selected by the secretary of the army to be the executive officer to the secretary of the army, and that's the highest military officer in the secretary of the army's officer--office.$$Okay.$$And I was the first black to be an executive to the secretary of the army who was a black at that particular time, Clifford Alexander [Clifford L. Alexander, Jr.].$$Okay, all right, all right. Now this is in '76 [1976]?$$Seventy-five [1975], '76 [1976], '77 [1977], I was his executive officer for two years.$$Yeah, now Clifford Alexander was appointed by Jimmy Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.]?$$By Jimmy Carter.$$All right, okay, all right. Now, were you surprised when you were selected or did you--$$Oh, very much so. I was out at Fort Riley as the assistant division commander, I was waiting to go to another command to command a depot in Red River, Red River Depot [Red River Army Depot] in Texarkana, Texas and I'd been out in the field with checking troops and training and I came back and the commanding general secretary said, "They, secretary of the army's office would like for you to call him," and I said, "Fine." I said, who's the secretary of the army because at that particular time, there was a transition and I didn't know who had been. So they said, come up and they wanted to interview me and I said I'll never get that particular job, first being a tactical service officer as opposed to a combat arm's officer and my daughters [Deborah Holmes Cook and Sharon Holmes Key] were back here so I said, I'll get a free trip back here to see my daughters and my interview with the secretary of the army lasted approximately ten minutes and I walked out of there saying, well, you know, that was a, that was a good time, I got to see my daughters, and I went to the airport at Dulles [Washington Dulles International Airport, Dulles, Virginia], getting ready to go back to Kansas and I got a call that said, "Colonel Holmes [HistoryMaker Major General Arthur Holmes, Jr.], would you pick up one of the courtesy phones," and I picked it up and the guy who was the acting executive said, "The secretary of the army wants to talk with you," and so I was hang--holding on and he came back on and said, he had to go up and see the secretary of defense so he will call you tomorrow. So I said to him, "Hey, you can't keep me hanging like this. What is it?" And he said, you know, "I can't tell you that." He said, "The secretary of the army has to tell you his decision," but he said, "I don't think you'll be disappointed," and when I got back to Fort Riley, the next day, I got a call that said the secretary of the army wanted me to come to the Pentagon [Washington, D.C.] and be his executive officer.$$Well, okay then, that doesn't get too much better than this.$$It does not.$$Okay, so (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I--that was one of the happiest moments in my life--$$Okay.$$--my military life, I should say.

Preston Jackson

Sculptor, art educator and gallery owner Preston Eugene Jackson was born on March 1, 1944 in Decatur, Illinois. The son of Shirley Armstrong Jackson and foundry worker, T.J. Jackson, he grew up in Decatur where he began drawing at the age of seven. Jackson attended Oakland Elementary School and Stephen Decatur High School, where he ran the one hundred yard dash in 9.7 seconds. Graduating in 1962, he attended Millikin University while working at Revere Copper. In 1967, Jackson enrolled in Southern Illinois University where he earned his B.A. degree while playing jazz guitar with his group, Preston Jackson and the Rhythm Aces. Jackson, mentored by Marvin Klavin, obtained his M.F.A. degree from the University of Illinois in 1972.

From 1971 to 1972, Jackson served as an instructor of drawing and painting at Decatur’s Millikin University. He was professor of art at Western Illinois University from 1972 to 1989. Jackson joined the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 as professor of sculpture and head of the Figurative Area. Appointed chair of the Sculpture Department in 1994, Jackson served in that capacity until 1996. Since 1995, Jackson has served as owner of The Raven Gallery, home of the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.

As an artist, Jackson specializes in bronze and steel sculpture and painting. Best known for his work with bronze castings, Jackson has also created two-dimensional pieces and large monuments. Jackson is recipient of five state public art commissions through the state’s Capital Development Board. His works include a life size bronze Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Peoria; bronze façade and doors for the Cahokia Mounds Museum; a Martin Luther King memorial bust for Danville, Illinois; “Let’s Play Two,” a bronze relief of Ernie Banks for ESPN Zone in Chicago; “Dr. Dan,” a bronze bust of surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams for Northwestern University and a cast bronze sculpture of Irv Kupcinet for the City of Chicago. Jackson’s major exhibitions and shows include: “Duo Exhibit,” 1995, in Rockford and “Bronzeville to Harlem,” shown since 1997 in nine different cities. Inspired by African American oral tradition, Jackson created the exhibit, “Fresh from Julieanne’s Garden” which has been exhibited since 2004 in Chicago, Peoria, Madison, Wisconsin and other cities. Jackson’s lectures and workshops have been presented at Oklahoma City, Chicago, St. Louis, Jackson, Mississippi, Decatur and Bloomington, Illinois. His work has been displayed across the United States in exhibitions, and he was named the 1998 Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Currently, he serves as a professor of sculpture and the head of the figurative area at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is owner of the Raven Gallery, home to the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria. Jackson is the sculptor of The HistoryMakers bronze award statuettes.

Accession Number

A2006.168

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/13/2006

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Stephen Decatur High School

Oakland Elementary School

Southern Illinois University

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Millikin University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Preston

Birth City, State, Country

Decatur

HM ID

JAC21

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Isobel Neal

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Huh.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/1/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Thai Food, Seafood

Short Description

Sculptor Preston Jackson (1944 - ) specialized in bronze and steel sculpture and painting. He taught at many universities, most recently as a professor of sculpture and the head of the figurative area at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Jackson also owned The Raven Gallery, home to the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois.

Employment

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Bradley University

Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

Western Illinois University

Millikin University

Caterpillar Inc.

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Medium Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Preston Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson describes his paternal family's recollections of slavery

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson talks about his parents' move to Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson talks about sundown cities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson describes his childhood neighborhood in Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson talks about his dyslexia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson remembers Oakland School in Decatur, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson describes his experiences at Decatur's Oakland School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson describes his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Preston Jackson describes his family's religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Preston Jackson recalls his activities at Stephen Decatur High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Preston Jackson describes his decision to attend Millikin University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson describes his experiences at Millikin University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson describes his experiences at Southern Illinois University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson reflects upon his college experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson remembers Charles Koen and Leon Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson describes his musical career in southern Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson recalls his decision to obtain an M.F.A. degree

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson remembers the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson recalls the political climate of the 1960s in Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson recalls graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson recalls his influences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson describes his transition from painting to sculpture

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson remembers early exhibitions of his artwork

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson describes his philosophy of art

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson describes his work, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson describes two of his commissioned sculptures

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Preston Jackson describes his sculpture, 'A Masquerade'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Preston Jackson reflects upon the state of the art world for artists of color

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Preston Jackson reflects upon the changing art world of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Preston Jackson shares advice for young artists

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Preston Jackson describes his sculpture for Chicago's McCormick Place

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Preston Jackson describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Preston Jackson reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Preston Jackson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Preston Jackson describes his family

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Preston Jackson talks about practicing taekkyeon

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Preston Jackson describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATitle
Preston Jackson describes his childhood neighborhood in Decatur, Illinois
Preston Jackson describes his work, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden'
Transcript
What was some of the, what was your neighborhood like, were you in the country sort of like or semi country?$$Oh no, no, we were in the city [Decatur, Illinois].$$In the city.$$Yeah beautiful area of town, it was a mixed neighborhood. We had Germans on one end and well a little later on there was one Japanese kid and it was a mixed neighborhood, yeah. We really didn't know anything about a neighborhood that was all black, but we understood that the majority was black. And we understood what we all had in common, it was only 'til we went to school that it, it really dawned on us that we were different. You know kindergarten, that we were different and the jokes you know from slapstick stuff. The old vaudeville stuff from movies and, then it really sunk in and that was how we treated each other. What was funny and what was laughable you know and, and all of the humor that came out of being black and the cartoons, especially Disney [The Walt Disney Company] cartoons. And, and the guy [E.C. Segar] that did Popeye and Betty Boop you know, different cartoonist, but comic books especially Al Capp was very hard on, on black culture. Yeah, yeah it and so it crept, consciousness crept into our minds, and the irony of it all, most of it we saw as funny, until we reached an age whereas we had to be bus boys and we were treated different. And we begin to note that there were eating establishments that we could not go into.$Well can you describe some of the highlights in your career and some of the pieces you've cre- created and you know give us some stories behind some of those pieces. I know we don't have them in front of us but, if you can just give us a brief kind, and we will show some at one point (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I hope so right. Well the highest light, the brightest light would be what I'm doing now, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden,' you know.$$Now Julieanne was one of your relatives?$$Yeah my great-great grandmother you know.$$Okay.$$Yeah, Julie, 'Fresh from Julieanne's Garden,' this, I had an exhibit at the Cultural Center [Chicago Cultural Center] here in Chicago [Illinois] and now the exhibit is traveling, the pieces are traveling. It was a very successful show in many ways, one is that I got my point across, two I was able to tell my history, our history. And three, it you know, I, I started getting some pretty lucrative commissions from that, from that showing you know. So you know this is, this is the height, these are high times in my career, in the, I see future things. I feel very positive about future things happening you know, only thing that I'm very pessimistic about is pessimistic about is the fact that we always seem to find ourselves in wars. We, I mean if one war situation is over, we'll find another one you know, and I'm not saying we, but it happens all over the world. Some kind of conflict happens when our young people have to go off and get their bodies torn to pieces you know. So I do have this thing in the back of my mind if these situations aren't positive, then my life isn't you know. I mean I, I can't be fully happy or comfortable when those things are going on you know. Crime situation you know, and the direction parts of pop culture has turned you know and, and the results of it.