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David A. Smith

Real estate entrepreneur David A. Smith was born on August 29, 1915 in Clinton, Louisiana. Smith has the distinction of being one of the first African American real estate brokers in Denver, Colorado. His paternal grandfather, Walter Smith, was a contractor and built most of the homes, churches and schools in Clinton, Louisiana. As a child, Smith moved with his mother to New Orleans, Louisiana where he attended a private school, Gilbert Academy, before moving to Denver, Colorado and graduating in 1933 from Manual High School. Continuing his education, Smith attended Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas until 1935 before receiving his B.A. degree in economics from West Virginia State College in 1938. Completing his studies at the University of Denver in 1940, Smith received his M.A. degree in economics.

Smith began his professional career as an office assistant to Governor Neely of West Virginia. In the 1940s, he enlisted into the segregated United States Army. Here, he served as an officer in the 477th Bomber Group in Tuskegee, Alabama. He was one of the officers who fought against the discrimination that existed at Freeman Field and was arrested. After an honorable discharge, Smith returned to Denver and started several small entrepreneurial businesses including a liquor store and a real estate agency. He became one of the first African American real estate appraisers and brokers for the city of Denver. During his time, he became one of the most successful African American real estate brokers in Denver.

Smith retired in the late 1990s, and his daughter has continued to maintain his real estate practice. Smith has received several awards for being an outstanding businessman and is a member of several organizations including the Urban League and the NAACP. Smith passed away on January 24, 2010.

Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.079

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/19/2006

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Middle Name

A.

Schools

Manual High School

University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff

West Virginia State University

University of Denver

Gilbert Academy

First Name

David

Birth City, State, Country

Clinton

HM ID

SMI13

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Phoenix, Arizona

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Colorado

Birth Date

8/29/1915

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Denver

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Death Date

1/24/2010

Short Description

Real estate entrepreneur David A. Smith (1915 - 2010 ) was one of the first successful African American real estate brokers in Denver, Colorado.

Employment

Dave Smith Realty

Federal Housing Administration

Veteran's Administration

Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

Union Pacific

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David A. Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David A. Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David A. Smith describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David A. Smith describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David A. Smith recalls visiting his maternal grandparents in Clinton, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David A. Smith describes his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David A. Smith describes his mother's decision to move to Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David A. Smith describes his neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David A. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David A. Smith describes his experiences of segregation in New Orleans

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - David A. Smith remembers his role models as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David A. Smith describes his mother's professions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David A. Smith recalls his early impressions of Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David A. Smith describes his experiences of racial discrimination in Clinton, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David A. Smith describes his homes in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David A. Smith recalls his decision to attend Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David A. Smith remembers his college roommate, Adolphus Smith

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David A. Smith describes his mother's aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David A. Smith describes his undergraduate education

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David A. Smith describes his experiences during the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David A. Smith describes his move to West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David A. Smith recalls his work in the office of Governor Matthew M. Neely

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David A. Smith describes his positions in West Virginia and Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David A. Smith recalls his enlistment to the U.S. Army Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David A. Smith describes the U.S. Army bases where he was stationed

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David A. Smith describes the Freeman Field mutiny, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David A. Smith describes the Freeman Field mutiny, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David A. Smith describes the Freeman Field mutiny, pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David A. Smith recalls obtaining a liquor license and opening a store

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David A. Smith remembers becoming a real estate appraiser

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David A. Smith recalls founding his real estate business

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David A. Smith describes the practice of restrictive covenants

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David A. Smith remembers civil rights leaders and events

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David A. Smith recalls the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David A. Smith reflects upon his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - David A. Smith describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - David A. Smith describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - David A. Smith reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David A. Smith narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David A. Smith narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Dorothy McIntyre

Pioneering aviator and retired educator Dorothy Layne McIntyre, was born in Le Roy, New York in 1917. She completed her elementary and secondary school education in Leroy, enrolled in West Virginia State College, and was accepted into the Civilian Pilot Training Program. She received a pilot’s license form the Civil Aeronautics Authority in 1940, becoming one of the first black licensed pilots among American women.

During World War II, McIntyre taught aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training School No. 453 in Baltimore, Maryland while simultaneously working as a secretary for the Baltimore Urban League. She applied for admission to WASP, a program staffed by women pilots who ferried bombers during the war, but was denied because of her race. After moving to Cleveland, Ohio, she was employed as a bookkeeper for businessman Alonzo Wright and taught for a time in the Cleveland Public Schools.

McIntyre was the subject of the dance production, Take-Off From a Forced Landing, created by her daughter, award-winning choreographer, Dianne McIntyre. She was a member of the Tuskegee Airman’s Alumni Association and was profiled in Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Science.

McIntyre was married to Francis Benjamin McIntyre for more than fifty years.

McIntyre was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 18, 2004.

McIntyre passed away on August 30, 2015.

Accession Number

A2004.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/18/2004

Last Name

McIntyre

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Le Roy Junior-Senior High School

West Virginia State University

Cleveland State University

Civilian Pilot Training Program at West Virginia State University

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Leroy

HM ID

MCI02

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Morocco, North Africa, France, Spain

Favorite Quote

You're Kidding.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

1/27/1917

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Death Date

8/30/2015

Short Description

Airplane pilot Dorothy McIntyre (1917 - 2015 ) was one of the first African American female licensed pilots. During World War II she taught aircraft mechanics at the War Production Training School in Baltimore, Maryland.

Employment

War Production Training School No. 453

Greater Baltimore Urban League

Cleveland Public Schools

Small Business

The Ohio Department of Aging

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy McIntyre's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her father, how her parents met and her paternal family ancestor

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre recalls her father's work and her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre describes the size of Le Roy, New York and the Tonawanda Reservation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her earliest childhood memories in Culpeper, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy McIntyre describes Le Roy, New York and the history of the Great Migration

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her family moving north and her paternal uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy McIntyre describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Le Roy, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about playing sports at Le Roy High School in Le Roy, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre describes being discriminated against by her principal at Le Roy Elementary School in Le Roy, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre recalls her decision to attend West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre describes becoming a pilot and the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre shows her pilot's license and describes what she learned in training

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about Bessie Coleman and the International Women's Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre explains why she loves flying airplanes

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about teaching men about aircraft mechanics at War Production Training School No. 453 in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about teaching a lab at West Virginia State College in Institute, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dorothy McIntyre describes marrying her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre describes meeting her husband and working for the Greater Baltimore Urban League in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre describes the different jobs she held in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about starting a family in Glenville, Cleveland, Ohio and her husband's family background

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her husband's parents and her husband's job with the U.S. post office

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her teaching career in the Cleveland, Ohio public schools and her medical history

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about the accolades she has received for teaching and aviation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre remembers potentially dangerous flying incidents as a pilot

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre recalls flying a Piper J-3 Cub airplane

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre reflects on the recent interest in the role of African Americans in U.S. military history

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre remembers her maternal grandmother's belief in education and her maternal great-uncle who was a professor at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her husband's job at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company's factory in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about her and her husband's involvement in church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy McIntyre compares the treatment of African Americans in the 1940s to 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her experiences of racial discrimination, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre describes her experiences of racial discrimination, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre gives advice to African American students

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about young African Americans dropping out of high school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy McIntyre talks about Jean Murrell Capers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy McIntyre shares memories of her students

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy McIntyre narrates her photographs, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy McIntyre narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy McIntyre narrates her award from the International Women's Air & Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$7

DATitle
Dorothy McIntyre describes becoming a pilot and the Tuskegee Airmen
Dorothy McIntyre remembers potentially dangerous flying incidents as a pilot
Transcript
And then, what year was it? Third year, fourth year, first of the semester [at West Virginia State College, later, West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia], you could sign up, they would take you if you could pass certain things in aviation, you know. They had that training just before World War II [WWII] because they needed, they needed pilots, right?$$Okay.$$So, they would take one, they would take one woman and a group of ten men. I had no better sense than to sign up 'cause I wasn't afraid of flying. I had been on a, when I was twelve years old in Le Roy [New York], they used to have air shows. And you could go up, you know, take a flight, you know, ride with the pilot. My father [Clyde Layne] would go up with us, you know. So I wasn't afraid of that, but there was a very strenuous health examinations and so forth that you needed. I passed that, went on. When I finished that, some of the men went to Tuskegee [Alabama], Tuskegee. Do you know why they were trained at Tuskegee?$$No, why is that?$$I'll tell you. Yes, you do. You don't know. Well, they were trained at Tuskegee because they were trained on pursuit planes. They weren't bombers. They were on pursuit planes because these guys were over there bombing, you know, around Germany and all like that in this great big plane, you know, the bombers. And the Tuskegee Airmen on the smaller pursuit planes escorted them. In other words, they would shoot the Germans away before they could get to our bombers. Did you know that? Did you know that?$$I knew that they flew escort.$$They were the escort, and if any flack came, it came to them first because they were protecting. That's what they were. I belonged to them too. I have, I have a life membership in the Tuskegee Airmen because I flew with guys who were training in the basic training, see. And then they went to Tuskegee. I didn't wanna go to Tuskegee, too far south for me.$$We hear a lot about the Tuskegee Airmen and the 99th Pursuit Squadron [later 99th Fighter Squadron], the Black Eagles. We don't hear a lot about women pilots of your day (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well, I applied. Oh, they have, they had those WASP [Women Airforce Service Pilots], those women down in Florida? Oh, yeah, they had women. They could transport bombers over there to Europe.$$Okay, so there are some women who were flying?$$Yeah, so I was capable of going, taking that training and flying those planes over there--$$Okay.$$--for the bombers, sure. Sure, I applied, and I had my license, you know, especially, if you had a license. I applied, and guess what? They were all filled up. I don't know why, when they were begging for women. I had the good examinations and all, you know, my health was good. I don't know why, but they never had a black one any way. I didn't get in there. And then when I was in Baltimore [Maryland] with my sister [Ruth Layne Marshall], they were begging for pilots to come in to do something. All you had to do was have your license and come in. They were having a meeting for you to do, you know, before World War II, you did protective work in the sky, something we did, some kind of surveillance that we would do. And they said, "Oh, you can come and if you have a license, and we'll train you, and you can, you know, be one of those surveillance pilots." So we called before we went down. My sister went with me. We came to the door, had my license in my hand. They looked at me. They looked at her. They said, "Oh, I'm so sorry"--we came early, came early, and they said, "Oh, we just, we just have, we're just all filled with people." I said, "Look at all those vacant seats over there." I'm crazy. And they said, "Oh, I'm sorry." We were thrown, we were turned away at the door. But I'm used to it. I mean you have to be old and ready. Today you're not turned away. I know that. See, they, young people don't know what it was like. But I've been turned down in a way, and when there was no reason for it other than, the black (whispering).$--Experience in Rochester?$$Yeah, and flying from various airports (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, this is the famous one, Rochester, New York, up there. That's right near home [Le Roy, New York], right. So we used to have a minister from Rochester. He as a Baptist minister. He was this big. And I had to put the passenger in front, and then I had the controls behind. You know, it was just a two-seater like, but the pilot was here. So we said, all right, he says, "I'm not afraid to go up with [HistoryMaker] Dorothy Layne [McIntyre] 'cause I can trust her. Everybody say they afraid to go up with Dorothy Layne, but not me." I said, "Well, come on Reverend Rose [ph.], let's go." So I got him down there in the plane, went down to the end of the, you know, runway, and was ready, had full blast on that engine. And come on, and we were getting ready to take off. But I had a long runway, you know, enough running for me to get up. You know, I needed really a lot of force to get a big man up. And honey, when I was taking off and what was in front of us, the hangar, cause I had plenty of room to get over the hangar. And that hangar just came closer to me and closer to me. And he didn't know what was going on. And guess what I said out loud? "Help me, Lord," and that just plane just went up (laughter). It went, I'm not telling a tale, and it went on over that, over that hangar, and we kept on going, and he never knew what was going on. You're right. I said, "Help me, Lord," cause I knew I was gonna scrape that hangar. And he wasn't afraid to go up with Dorothy Layne. So I did that, and near misses. And then there was another guy, when I was training, he said, "Dorothy, you haven't learned how to loop yet, have you?" You know, we did loops, dives, everything that would teach you if the atmosphere puts you into that condition, know how to get out, right? If it got you hanging on your head, know how to get out of that. You know, if you go in a spin, like this, know how to get out the spin. The atmosphere will put you in that condition. You know, you've heard of weather, you know, weather all the time. If you're flying, how's the weather? Okay, so this student pilot and I, he said, "Come on, I'll teach you how to loop." I said, "Okay." So, we went down. You had to dive first, then come up and loop over your head and then come back down that same way. Guess what he did? He looped, he was showing me with the controls. He--I followed and I came up like this, and guess what? He got frightened and it hung, we hung on our heads. I said, "What's the matter with you? Reverse the controls." And he froze at the controls, and gasoline was coming out of the nose. You know, that's where the tank is, and I could smell something, and it was, I saw the gasoline dripping out of the nose. Honey, I knew what to do. I kicked those reverse to control, I kicked those pedals, reversed the controls, brought it out of the loop and came on down and landed. I said, "There you go. I'll never go up with you again." And guess what? He never, he never talked about our experience, never.$$He was probably embarrassed, you think?$$He was embarrassed. And then I never talked about it until years later because I didn't want him to be embarrassed. He got his license too, but that gas really got on me. I could smell it.