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Bruce Gordon

Corporate executive and civic leader Bruce Gordon was born on February 15, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey. His parents, Walter and Violet Gordon, were both educators. Gordon attended Gettysburg College in Gettysburg and graduated with his B.A. degree in 1968. He later enrolled in the Sloan Fellows Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and graduated from there with his M.S. degree in management in 1988. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Gettysburg College in 2006.

In 1968, Gordon was hired by Bell of Pennsylvania. He also wrote a weekly column for a suburban Philadelphia paper, Today’s Post. Gordon became a sales manager in Bell Atlantic’s marketing department in 1972. By 1976, he was a management supervisor in marketing, and earned a promotion to divisional operations manager in 1981. From 1983 to 1985, Gordon’s role involved oversight of the company’s phone center stores. Following that position, he was promoted to general manager of marketing and sales, and then became vice president of marketing in 1988. After Bell Atlantic merged with GTE Communications in 2000, Gordon was promoted to president of the Retail Markets Group of the company then known as Verizon Communications. He retired after thirty-five years of service in 2003. Gordon was elected president of the NAACP in 2005, and served in that capacity until 2007. He has also served on a variety of boards, including CBS Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Tyco International Ltd. In September 2012, he became the chairman of the board of ADT Corporation.

In 1998, Black Enterprise magazine named Gordon as its “Executive of the Year;” and, in 2002, Gordon was ranked number six on Fortune Magazine’s list of the “50 Most Powerful Black Executives.” He was recognized as one of “100 Most Influential Black Americans and Organization Leaders” in Ebony Magazine in 2006. Gordon is married to his second wife, Tawana Tibbs, a former Verizon employee who serves as president of the Board of Trustees of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. He has one son, Taurin, from his first marriage.

Bruce Scott Gordon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.214

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/10/2013

Last Name

Gordon

Maker Category
Middle Name

Scott

Occupation
Schools

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

First Name

Bruce

Birth City, State, Country

Camden

HM ID

GOR04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

2/15/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Corporate executive Bruce Gordon (1946 - ) known as a key marketing executive at Bell Atlantic and GTE Communications – Verizon Communications. He also served as president of the NAACP from 2005 to 2007.

Favorite Color

Blue

The Honorable Lorraine Miller

Former clerk of the United States House of Representatives Lorraine C. Miller was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Lena Marie and Johnnie C. Miller. Miller was heavily involved in the Baptist Church as a child, and both of her parents believed ardently in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In the early 1970s, Miller enrolled at Jarvis Christian College outside of Dallas, but she quickly changed career paths and began attending the University of North Texas. She then graduated from North Texas in 1975 with her B.A. degree in political science.

Upon graduation, Miller worked as a high school government teacher in Fort Worth. She then decided to pursue a political career and worked as an intern for the Maryland Legislature in Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s. Soon after moving to Washington, she enrolled in classes at American University and started working for United States Congressman Jim Wright. Miller would go on to work for Wright for eleven years, including serving as his executive assistant when he was speaker of the house from 1987 to 1989. Then, she worked for House Speaker Tom Foley and U.S. Congressman John Lewis in the early 1990s. Miller would later attend Georgetown University and graduate with her executive M.B.A degree.

In the mid-1990s, Miller served two years in the White House as the deputy assistant to President William J. Clinton. She then served as the director of government relations for the Federal Trade Commission from 1995 to 1999. In 1999, Miller became chief of the Consumer Information Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission. Then, in 2001, she served as senior advisor to House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi until 2007, when Pelosi named Miller the new clerk of the House of Representatives. Miller would become the first African American to both hold that seat and to serve as an officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. She held the seat until 2011.

In 2004, Miller was elected president of the Washington, D.C. branch of the NAACP. Then, in 2008, she was elected to the NAACP National Board of Directors.

Lorraine C. Miller was intervied by The HistoryMakers on July 27, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.215

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/27/2013

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Como Montessori

University of North Texas

Harvard University

Georgetown University

Como Elementary School

Jarvis Christian College

American University

First Name

Lorraine

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Worth

HM ID

MIL10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

To God Be The Glory Great Things He Has Done

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/6/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Chocolate)

Short Description

Federal government appointee The Honorable Lorraine Miller (1948 - ) served over thirty years in the United States government and was the first African American to hold the seat of clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Employment

Keller Williams Preferred Properties

United States House of Representatives

Office of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

American Federation of Teachers

Office of the Vice President of the United States

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Federal Trade Commission

White House

Democratic Steering and Policy Committee - U.S. House of Representatives

Fort Worth Independent School District

Favorite Color

Emerald Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:10064,231:18170,378:18860,386:19550,393:39015,651:39291,656:39636,662:43526,714:44306,728:44930,737:53330,818:53967,829:62582,937:62910,942:90454,1318:90766,1323:92638,1365:95212,1410:109640,1621:113962,1664:120950,1726:121622,1738:126758,1838:129681,1888:130550,1905:131024,1919:131419,2076:162162,2330:162554,2335:172500,2448$0,0:384,19:832,28:1536,43:1792,48:3640,61:4537,76:5848,95:7090,114:8539,143:10954,184:11506,194:12058,204:12403,210:15301,274:15991,285:16336,291:17785,317:26404,413:30750,495:32882,527:36170,537:36538,542:38286,561:39390,575:41322,600:42058,614:42426,619:44082,649:49392,710:50448,724:51328,736:52384,752:55730,774:56720,787:58007,812:58898,823:59294,828:69134,928:70610,947:72168,978:74710,1020:75612,1033:80196,1077:83031,1123:83355,1128:83841,1137:84246,1143:99475,1285:99815,1290:100325,1298:105170,1383:106275,1404:106870,1413:109845,1448:110185,1453:110695,1460:119527,1636:119835,1641:120451,1655:121067,1661:121452,1667:122607,1690:123685,1705:124224,1713:124763,1721:125918,1750:127227,1775:129860,1780:132533,1814:140270,1910:142370,1945:142895,1951:143630,1959:144890,1987:146360,2005:149650,2035:151810,2062:154330,2092:154810,2097:155410,2116:156730,2150:158050,2168:158650,2206:165752,2239:176960,2354
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Lorraine Miller's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her mother's profession

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her grandfather's work

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her father's service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her uncle's decision to move to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her father's business relationship with U.S. Representative Jim Wright

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her father's service in World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her parents' relationship

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers the Como neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers her early exposure to music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about Juneteenth

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her parents' involvement in the NAACP

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about voter intimidation in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls the shift to single member districts in the Fort Worth City Council

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her early academic interests

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her sister's musical talent

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers her involvement in the community

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her civil rights activities in Fort Worth, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers her influential teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls her early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her decision to attend the Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers the Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls her decision to study political science

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls transferring to North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls transferring to North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about the teaching philosophy at historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls the influence of the Black Power movement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about the black politicians from Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls joining U.S. Representative Jim Wright's staff

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls working on Jim Wright's reelection campaign in 1980

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about the lack of funding for black voter mobilization

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls her work in the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers the ethics investigation against Jim Wright

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her strategy for political success

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes the demographics of Jim Wright's staff

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remember U.S. Representative Jim Wright's resignation

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers working for U.S. Representative Tom Foley

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls studying at Georgetown University and Harvard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about her graduate education

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about the rise of Newt Gingrich

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers the Republican Revolution of 1994

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers her relationship with Republicans in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her challenges at the Federal Trade Commission

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about partisan turnover in the House of Representatives

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her responsibilities on the Federal Trade Commission

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes how she came to work for the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls the controversy over unregulated billing by telecommunications companies

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers directing the White House Community Empowerment board

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes the effects of No Child Left Behind on the American Federation of Teachers

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about the inefficiencies of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller talks about the attempts to privatize the education system

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - The Honorable Lorraine Miller remembers the presidential election scandal of 2000

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
The Honorable Lorraine Miller describes her civil rights activities in Fort Worth, Texas
The Honorable Lorraine Miller recalls the controversy over unregulated billing by telecommunications companies
Transcript
Now I didn't ask you about the March on Washington. Now that was the August before JFK [President John Fitzgerald Kennedy] was assassinated (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right, yeah.$$Did you know anyone from Fort Worth [Texas] that went to the march?$$ There were, I had a couple of friends. I wanted to go and my mother [Lena Jones Miller] wouldn't let me go. But, I, I really, really wanted to come and she said, "Oh no, you're not going anywhere." We had a march downtown Fort Worth [Texas], the day of, and I begged my mom to let me go down there and she said, "Okay, you can go, but you and your sister [Maurietta Miller] can go, but you come right back home. I don't want you loitering and don't do anything. If somebody says something to you, you know, just don't, don't engage them." And then I had during the march, I had a guy that spat on me, and I remembered my mom's stern words, "Don't engage them. If somebody does anything to you, you know, turn the other cheek, don't get involved because I don't want you hurt." And I came home, I was madder than a wet hen and I told her I said, "You should have let me do something. I could have slapped him, I could have hit him." And she says, "No, and then you would have probably encountered him in a way that he could have hurt you." You don't know what, he could have had a knife or gun or whatever, so the better part of valor was to remain calm. She said, "That's why I didn't want you to go down there in the first place," so, anyway.$$I'm glad I asked that question. So did you get involved in NAACP Youth [NAACP Youth Council]?$$ Yes, we were. My father [Johnnie Miller], when my sister and I were way little, we had youth membership, and we went to the meetings. We had a very active NAACP [Fort Worth Tarrant County Branch NAACP, Fort Worth, Texas] at that time, very active. They were doing a lot of things and there were a lot of these critical meetings. I can just remember as a child the (unclear), we got to go to the NAACP meeting, only we just not gone tell anybody. And it was a critical time. You could feel it, you could sense it.$$Okay, okay. So, I guess the NAACP Youth was doing a lot of things in those days, I mean, really active.$$ Yes, yes. We're trying to, we're trying to revive it now. And it's coming back.$$Okay.$$It's coming back.$$Yeah, they had a different character from the regular NAACP.$$Yeah.$$It was more activist oriented.$(Simultaneous) All kinds of things, and we went through them thoroughly. I brought all of the telecommunications companies and their consumer affairs folks in; and I had our folks to really go through a phone bill, just get a typical phone bill and go through it. "Do you understand every charge to say, 'Why is it there,' just from our perspective," and then we brought the folks in and had them to do it, the same kind of analysis and you saw the discrepancies and I said, "Well why are you charging this person twenty-six cents for this particular fee for something and then charging thirty-one cents for the same thing?" "Oh, well this is to offset." You know they had all kinds, oh yeah, it was, they were skimming millions of dollars off the American consumer and that was one part of it, and then for people who were handicapped and had some kind of disability, oh my god, they were just being literally raped by the telecommunications companies because they put all kinds of fees on 'em and they knew if you were hard of hearing or blind, you're not examining your bill. And they would just arbitrarily attach fees that you would have no idea why and even if you used the product they were trying to sell--if you didn't they still charged you for it. So it was, it was a scam that we went to war with them on, and so I had all these backlog of complaints, while you're still trying to deal with the everyday complaints that consumers were having with the telecommunications (unclear), and then you had Reverend Jackson [HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson] and Reverend Sharpton [HistoryMaker Reverend Al Sharpton] who were saying, as we were, radio licenses and they were discriminating against African Americans (unclear). All of that was going on at the same time, so it was juggling a lot of balls in the air and trying to get them, trying to get them resolved. We did a fairly good job doing it but, and then you got the eight hundred pound gorilla of the [U.S.] Congress that was just breathing down your neck trying to, you know, every time we turned I had to spend more time preparing the chairman [William E. Kennard] for testifying on the Hill [Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.] which was so time consuming, but that was, that's the nature of the beast. And you just had to do it. So it was a l- it was, it was, it was tough.

Brig. Gen. Leo A. Brooks

Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Leo Brooks was born on August 9, 1932 in Alexandria, Virginia. Brooks was raised in Alexandria where his family has a long military tradition, dating back to Brooks’ great-grandfather. Brooks attended Virginia State University where he was also a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Brooks graduated from Virginia State University in 1954 and was a distinguished military graduate from ROTC. General Brooks was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps.

During his first overseas assignment, he received a Regular Army commission and was detailed to the Infantry, where he served as a platoon leader with the 2nd Infantry Division in Alaska. Following his Infantry detail, he rejoined the Quartermaster Branch and commanded two companies. His initial Pentagon assignment was as a budget liaison to the U.S. Congress for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, HQDA. He served two tours in Vietnam, first as an advisor to the Vietnamese Army and later as a Battalion Commander. Other key staff assignments included: Deputy Secretary of the General Staff for the Army Materiel Command and member of J4, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Considered one of the Army’s premier logisticians, his key senior-level assignments included four commands over a ten year period: Commander, Sacramento Army Depot; Commander, 13th Corps Support Command, Fort Hood, Texas; Commanding General, US Army Troop Support Agency, where he directed 178 commissary stores; and Commanding General of the Defense Personnel Support Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he directed the procurement and management of all food, clothing, textile, and medical supplies and equipment for all the military services. He retired while serving as a Major General in 1984 to accept an appointment as the Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia. Since he retired before serving three full years in grade, he was retired as a Brigadier General. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal.

General Brooks holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia State University, a Master of Science in Financial Management from George Washington University and the Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from New England School of Law. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the National War College in Washington, D.C. General Brooks’ family is the only African American family in the history of the United States to have a father and two sons to attain the rank of general in the army-BG Leo A. Brooks, Jr. (USA-Ret.) and General Vincent K. Brooks, Commander, US Army Pacific. He, and his wife, Naomi Lewis Brooks also have a daughter, Attorney Marquita K. Brooks. In retirement, he has served on many boards and councils. He currently is an elected member of the American Bar Association Council on Legal Education and Accreditation of law schools.

U.S. Army Brigadier General (Ret.) Leo A. Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 22, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.169

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/22/2013 |and| 12/2/2013

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

George Washington Carver High School

Central State University

Virginia State University

National War College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Leo

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

BRO55

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

The Buck Stops Here.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/9/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Major general (retired) Brig. Gen. Leo A. Brooks (1932 - ) served in the United States Army for over thirty years. His family was the first African American family with three members that have achieved the rank of General within two generations.

Employment

United States Army

Alfred Street Baptist Church

Fairfax County Elections

Philadelphia City Government

Favorite Color

Black, Gold

Timing Pairs
0,0:540,4:3900,61:15324,208:16836,237:27490,290:46342,482:55578,568:58058,640:69144,752:71936,775:72208,780:74722,806:82016,872:84480,921:84920,927:87560,972:88088,979:132213,1488:132537,1493:140668,1530:141136,1537:144334,1600:145270,1619:146050,1639:146596,1648:147610,1665:155593,1726:157650,1743:161670,1757:167870,1855:168556,1863:170270,1871:171854,1896:172718,1909:180340,1945:189320,2001:197544,2086:197880,2091:200652,2144:201744,2159:204012,2205:212630,2265:213380,2273:217008,2288:217332,2295:220706,2317:222812,2371:224372,2403:227414,2468:233610,2512:237445,2549:242020,2589:244020,2595:248348,2650:254052,2702:254462,2708:254872,2714:266157,2851:268700,2882:269712,2894:271276,2918:271644,2923:276442,2947:292365,3142:292625,3147:303592,3272:306863,3307:307444,3315:307859,3323:309768,3348:313990,3371:315385,3390:341130,3586$0,0:2931,21:26780,212:27460,230:27800,236:47540,397:53216,480:64468,624:78800,741:90985,885:91285,890:93085,927:93685,936:94360,949:122692,1289:123439,1299:136117,1429:144399,1557:149030,1616:149410,1622:154810,1672:156780,1697:172375,1899:197366,2113:200166,2134:200607,2142:217970,2311:220293,2358:226470,2418:226775,2424:227019,2429:227263,2434:241880,2635:246310,2692:271330,2915
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his father's education and employment

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about how his parents met and his family home

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the neighborhood he grew up in

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about Parker-Gray High School and integration in Alexandria, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his younger brother, Francis Brooks

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses the role of education in his family's success and describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about playing music and being a Boy Scout as a youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. comments on his primary and secondary education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers the stern lecture he got from his father about improving his grades

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his extracurricular activities in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. speaks about his teachers and mentors in high school and college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about being president of his fraternity and student government at Virgina State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes campus life at Virginia State University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses Petersburg, Virginia's military history

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his experience in ROTC

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about the first unit he was in at Fort Lee in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about enlisting into the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his experience in the 23rd infantry regiment at Fort Richardson in Alaska

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his family, his first ROTC assignment at Central State College and going to Vietnam

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses the history of Wilberforce University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about being an advisor in Vietnam during the war, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about being an advisor in Vietnam during the war, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses pursuing his graduate studies back in the United States

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about race relations and the greater opportunities for advancement in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his experiences as battalion commander, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his experiences as battalion commander, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his work at the Pentagon, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his work at the Pentagon, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his military awards and the problem of heroine amongst U.S. soldiers in Vietnam

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his second tour of duty in Vietnam and returning to the United States

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. discusses his attendance at the National War College in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his sons' high school experience in California

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his son, Vincent's college admissions experience, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his son, Vincent's college admissions experience, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr.'s interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. reflects upon his tour in Vietnam

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers his return to the United States

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about becoming Cambodian desk officer for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes U.S. involvement in Cambodia

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about how relocating to California affected his children

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls his promotion to colonel

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls a lawsuit during his U.S. military career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the U.S. Army's Total Force Policy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls gender integration in the U.S. military

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about gender discrimination in the U.S. military

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls the difficulties of motivating his officers

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers organizing the inventory management systems for the U.S. Army

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers Robert M. Shoemaker

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls his appointment to brigadier general

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about the promotion process in the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers his daughter learning to ride a horse

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the responsibilities of the Troops Support Agency Commander

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about the commissary business in the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the procurement process for government manufacturing contracts

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers overseeing two automation installation contracts for the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes the technological developments of computers for the U.S. military

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers becoming city manager for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his position as city manager in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers the cabinet of Philadelphia Mayor Reverend Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his role as city manager in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. remembers the MOVE crisis in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. recalls taking care of his father

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his retirement

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his work after retirement

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his family

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his sons who reached the rank of general officers in the U.S. Army

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. reflects upon his professional legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. talks about his marriage

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Maj. Gen. Leo Brooks, Sr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Leo Brooks remembers the stern lecture he got from his father about improving his grades
Leo Brooks describes his experiences as battalion commander, pt. 1
Transcript
Now this is 1938 or so when you started school. You started school in '38' (1938)?$$Yes, yeah. So I used to keep the class, you know, supplied with things of that nature. And I had a teacher who does--the post office in Alexandria is named after--her name was Helen Day who when you did your multiplication tables or what not, you stood before her and she sat in a chair, and she had these flash cards, and she would raise the flash card up, and you would have to say nine times five is forty-five, eight times eight is sixty-four, whatever came up. If you got it right she'd put it in one pile and if you got it wrong, she'd put it in another pile. At the end of the pile, she would count the wrongs, and she had a strap about an inch and a half wide, and you held out your hand and for everyone you missed, you got a real slam right into the palm of your hand with that strap. So it was--you were incentivized to learn your multiplication tables. Well, one day I missed several. And so at the end of the day, she was out of the room, I packed up the tadpoles that I had taken to school, put them back in the bottle and had them at my desk. Well, when she walked in the room, one of the little girls says, oh, Miss Day, he's taking the tadpoles home. So she and I fell out. Well, we fell back in later, because she and my dad had knew each other very well. But I was bent on being, as I said earlier, respected, but I didn't quite know how off times to do it. When I got to high school, the first semester, I got my report card back, and of course we had show and tell at my house, you walked in with the report card and you stood at attention, as it were, while my parents reviewed the report card and you were praised or hazed right there. Well, I brought this report card home from the first semester in high school. And now I had been already working with my father, so I was mechanically oriented anyway, but I had a "B" in shop a "C" in English, I had another "B", I don't know, history or something, but all the rest "Cs". Well, my father and mother sat me down this time. By then my two older brothers had gone off to college and my sister was not at home at the time, so it was just my mother and father and I. And my father said, "Son, this is ridiculous, it cannot happen again. Here's what we're going to do." Now, I'm looking over at my mother who's sitting there with tears in her eyes, because they obviously have already discussed this strategy before they called me in. He said "You're going to come home from school every day, go into your room and study until suppertime. When supper is over you will do the dishes, when it's your turn and then you will study until eight o'clock and then you will go to bed, you won't go out and play. On Saturdays you'll be able to go out and play from 10 to 12, at 12 you come in and you begin to study until six. Sunday after church you will study. And you will do this for the next semester. Now you don't have to do it--now he's very stern at this moment," his voice is raising a bit, I recall it as if it were yesterday. "You don't have to do it, you can quit school, get out and get a job and pay your mother thirty dollars a month to live here and feed you or you can get out of the house." Now, the tears are really running down my mother's face and I'm as afraid as Goldie Locks before the big bad wolf. (laughing) So I took the first alternative and went from a bungling average to an "A" student.$$How old are you at this point?$$Well, I was about 14 years old, 13, 14 years old, yeah, yeah.$Okay. All right, so this is a time, I guess, as we get towards the late '60s' (1960s), there're actually riots on aircraft carriers and that sort of thing, but not in the army?$$Yeah, well, you're getting up to three assignments later when I went back to Vietnam. That was beginning to subside, but you had this thing, well I'm getting ahead, but we had this thing they used to call the dap(sp) where these soldiers bumped fists and elbows and things for two or three sometimes four or five minutes. And they would do it anywhere. They'd stand up in the dining facility and do it, you know. And I went to the battalion that I took over in December, 1970, before the other guy gave it up. And we were sitting in the dining room, it was about 20 officers, I think I was the only African American in the crowd, and here are these GIs standing up right next to us doing this dap. I said nothing. When I took over I told my sergeant major who is this highest non-commissioned officer in the unit, I said I want you to put the word out that I don't want any more dapping in my dining facilities, don't want any more dapping in my recreation halls, if you want to dap, you either dap outdoors or you dap in your barracks. It all went away.$$Now why did you issue an order. Now this was something that American soldiers were doing?$$Because the purpose that when you do that in the dining facility, here are two people sitting here eating, they're standing right beside them and two people slapping fists back and forth. It's a disturbance. It would be just as well stand up doing a dance, you know. And it was being done as an intentional affront, and I didn't want that. So they stopped. They did it--do in the barracks, but don't do it in the dining facility. Be just as though if somebody started singing a hillbilly song in the middle of while I'm trying to eat my dinner. It wouldn't made no difference to me, you know, what it was. And I had several other things in that nature that I did. You have to wear a head cover and I had an officer's call--and NCO [non-commissioned officer] call and I said if a soldier is walking down the street and he doesn't have his cap on and you let him do it and don't stop him and challenge him, you just said it's okay to not wear your hat, that's what you said, now do you mean that, no, you don't mean that. Well, then you have no choice but to say something. About four days later I was walking through the compound, and I heard this sergeant say you better put your hat on before Colonel [Leo] Brooks sees you. I let the soldier go by and I grabbed the sergeant and I said, that was the wrong answer. The answer is you better put your hat on before I, the sergeant, sees you. It's not because of Colonel Brooks, it's because it's right to wear your cover. And I used several other homespun techniques of that nature to put my personality on that unit.

The Honorable George Forbes

Lawyer and city council member George L Forbes was born on April 4, 1931 in Memphis, Tennessee to Cleveland and Eleanor Forbes. He served a two-year tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from high school and then moved to the Cleveland area in the 1950s. Forbes received his B.A. degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio in 1957 and his J.D. degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1961. He was admitted to both the Ohio State Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association in 1962.

In 1963, he secured a seat on the Cleveland City Council where he served in various capiticies for the next twenty-seven years. He assisted Carl B. Stokes in his 1967 mayoral campaign, making Stokes the first black mayor of a major U.S. city, and helped to establish the 21st District Congressional Caucus which improve race relations within the Ohio Democratic Party. In 1971, Forbes became a founding partner of Rogers, Hornton & Forbes (now Forbes, Fields & Associates Co., L.P.A.) – the first African American law firm established in Cleveland, Ohio and the largest minority-owned law firm in the State of Ohio. In 1973, Forbes became the first African American to be elected as president of the Cleveland City Council where he served until 1989, and was instrumental in the merging of the city-owned Cleveland Transit System with the new Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in 1974. In 1992, Forbes was elected as president of the Cleveland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Forbes served in a number of civic organizations, including the Cleveland Chapter of The National Urban League, the Council of Economic Opportunity, the Businessmen’s Interracial Committee on Community Affairs, the John Harlan Law Club, and the National Association of Defense Lawyers for Criminal Cases. In 1990, Cleveland State University honored Forbes with the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition, Forbes received Honorary Doctorate degrees from Central State University in 1989 and Baldwin-Wallace College in 1990. Forbes received the top honor bestowed by the NAACP, the Freedom Award, in 2009.

Forbes is married to Mary Fleming Forbes. They have three daughters, Lauren Forbes, Mildred Forbes and Helen Forbes Fields, and three grandchildren, William, Camille, and Brando

George L. Forbes was interviewed by on May 9, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.164

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/9/2013

Last Name

Forbes

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lawrence

Schools

Baldwin Wallace University

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Manassas High School

Hyde Park Elementary School

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

FOR13

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sarasota, Florida

Favorite Quote

It Is What It Is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

4/4/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn (Fried)

Short Description

Lawyer and city council member The Honorable George Forbes (1931 - ) was the first African American elected as president of the Cleveland City Council and a founding partner of Rogers, Hornton & Forbes, the first African American law firm in Cleveland, Ohio and the largest minority-owned law firm in the State of Ohio.

Employment

Cleveland, Ohio Ward 27

Forbes, Fields & Associates Co., L.P.A.

Cleveland City Council

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:19428,342:21590,379:25982,423:31280,506:38378,585:38823,708:48384,801:61596,859:64830,882:79650,1032:80625,1048:83468,1076:93572,1191:96360,1270:104124,1369:119246,1590:123120,1634:128156,1684:128842,1697:129332,1703:144350,1803:144730,1909:156910,2163:175110,2304$0,0:3350,136:3875,145:4325,153:5075,232:8150,302:21160,415:21670,422:23710,449:24220,459:32250,513:35427,525:37481,603:38429,618:44952,699:53131,782:57190,804:59495,916:64312,944:65170,959:66340,981:67666,1008:77109,1140:79062,1239:84431,1297:87860,1330:88280,1340:88760,1349:89360,1358:91100,1398:91640,1409:97031,1469:97724,1477:111835,1818:115990,1836:117160,1863:119050,1958:127375,2079:135550,2215:139108,2246:151744,2315:158160,2440:158880,2449:161670,2503:167760,2570:185380,2882:186496,2897:190123,2948:193960,2954:194410,2960:196120,2990:207370,3214:207832,3221:221448,3378:221953,3384:222559,3391:223064,3411:232282,3570:239050,3697
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable George Forbes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his father's surname

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his father's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about political corruption in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his experiences as a migrant farmworker

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his maternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his teachers at Hyde Park Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes talk about his part time job at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls the educational opportunities for African Americans in Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his early interest in oratory

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers Jackie Robinson's baseball games

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his teachers' encouragement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his decision to become a lawyer

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls being accused by a white woman in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers police brutality in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his training in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes talk about his U.S. military service

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers his mentor, Themistocles Rodis

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes describes his teaching career at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about his political affiliations

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable George Forbes describes the start of his interest in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls the decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about Reverend James Lawson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls his work experiences during law school

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers the Cleveland Marshall Law School in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable George Forbes recalls Dean Wilson Gesner Stapleton of the Cleveland Marshall Law School

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable George Forbes remembers representing Lewis Robinson and the Freedom Fighters

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable George Forbes talks about the CORE activists in Cleveland, Ohio

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$1

DATitle
The Honorable George Forbes talks about his maternal grandfather
The Honorable George Forbes remembers the Civil Rights Movement
Transcript
Let me tell you about my [maternal] grandfather [Joseph Lynch]. My grandfather was the (clears throat) was the man in our life. But we would go across the street. He would roast peanuts, and it, it, it have this wooden stove and, and potbelly stove. And the ashes would fall down to the bottom, and you'd pick the ashes out. And if, and this, the cinders would fall, and he would put the peanuts down in there, and he would put potatoes in there, sweet potatoes. And we'd go over there, and we'd eat peanuts and, and sweet potatoes. And then my grandfather had a, a very unique thing he would do. He would, we'd go over and would eat breakfast and would have salt meat and rice and what have--things that people did in the South, and he'd drink coffee. And sometimes they didn't, they didn't have a coffee pot. And they would, they would cook their coffee in the skillet, just put the, put the coffee in a skillet and boil it, and you'd drain the coffee--$$No, go, go ahead.$$--you, you drain the coffee in a cup. And he would drink the coffee out of the cup. And when he would finish drinking the coffee, he would turn the cup upside down in the saucer. Now bear, bear in mind that this, this is not perco- you know this is, didn't come from a coffee pot, because the grounds would be in the, in the coffee cup. He'd turn it upside down. And then after about five or-- minutes, he said, "Well, let me, let me read this cup. Let me see what your fortune is." And he would take the cup, and he'd say, "You know, George [HistoryMaker George Forbes], I see you'll have a long life, you know, and, and it look like, look like something's gonna happen next week." And we would be, we would just be (laughter) enchanted with my grandfather reading the coffee cup, right. And that happened, that would, every time he he'd drink a cup of coffee he do, and I couldn't wait to, 'til I got grown so I could read a coffee cup, see what the grounds (laughter) would say. So that was some of the things that he would do with us.$$Okay. So there was a lot of interaction with him (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Absolutely. And, and, and, and the thing is that, no matter how poor, and these were, we were poor people, there was always something that you could find levity, you know, and find joy.$Okay, all right, so, we're talking about, talk- we were talking about Brown v. the Board [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954]. When you were in college [Baldwin-Wallace College; Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio] and found out it and wore your suit and tie, did you have any idea of the players, you know, in terms of Thurgood Marshall and--$$Oh, sure.$$--those, okay.$$You got to understand, I have always been motivated. I always, this has, this has been from the time that I was a boy. My, my teachers in high school [Manassas High School, Memphis, Tennessee] said, "It's, it is not right that you have to sit on the back of the bus. Don't settle for this," okay. And I didn't like it either. I didn't like being chased by the police. So the, the race issue have always, this is, this was in, instilled in me from the time that I was kid. So, that's where I got it from. But I'd watch, I'd watch the, the, the factors that went into Brown. I'd watch the cases. I watched Thurgood Marshall. I watched the fellow at Howard University [Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.] that was behind the case.$$Charles Hamilton [Charles Hamilton Houston] (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah, I'd watch that, watch all of that. So I was, I was waiting for the decision. And when the decision came out, that was great, I know that was a, a momentous day in the history of this country as it pertain to black people.$$So you were in college also when, what, I guess you, you were there when Little Rock [Arkansas] was, was--$$Absolutely.$$Yeah, the crisis in Little Rock when they--$$Absolutely.$$--attempted to integrate--$$Yeah.$$--Central High School [Little Rock, Arkansas]. Well, they did it, you know.$$Yeah, so I'm, I'm--$$Yeah.$$--all of that was, all of it was part of my life.$$Okay. You also are in school I guess when Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] started in Montgomery [Alabama]. And the Montgomery Bus Boycott in '56 [1956], yeah, you'd be towards your, the end of your college days--$$Okay.$$--I guess when that started.$$I, I met, I knew him. He would come to, he came to Cleveland [Ohio] for the, for the Stokes [HistoryMaker Louis Stokes] registration drives. I have a picture of him. We're on, we're on the back of a truck, you know, a semi. Ben Branch had the Operation Breadbasket band [Operation Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir]. They would come and go to shopping centers and go to grocery stores. And the band would play, and Dr. King would get up and say you gotta go register.$$So this is later on in the '60s [1960s], right, we're talking about, not at the--$$Yeah, that's right.$$--col- in college.$$Yeah, that's--$$I, I was talking about in college.$$Yeah, okay, yeah, yeah.$$Yeah, so, in, in college, so you, you, I guess you gotta be seeing this on TV and radio or the news--$$My, my, my classmates, my friends, my black friends in college always kid me about being involved in struggle. They'd always kid me, 'cause you know, any time there was something that was going on, that I would be an advocate of it. But I knew that was, I knew that was gonna be my life work, life's work. That's what I wanted it to be, my life's work in some kind of way.$$All right, so, now what about, was, Oberlin College [Oberlin, Ohio]. That's close by too.$$Oh, well, it's, Ober- Ober- Oberlin is about thirty miles from us down, west of us.$$But I know Oberlin always, it has a history of agitation for social change and that sort of thing (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) That was that, that was their mission, Ober- Ober- Oberlin and Antioch [Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio].$$Right.$$Very liberal schools.

Radm. Lillian Fishburne

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Fishburne was born on March 25, 1949 in Patuxent River, Maryland. After graduating from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) with her B.A. degree in 1971, Fishburne enrolled in the U.S. Navy Women’s Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1973. Fishburne went on to receive her M.A. degree in management from Webster College in 1980 and her M.S. degree in telecommunications systems management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1982. In addition, she is a 1993 graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in Washington, D.C.

Fishburne was first assigned as the personnel and legal officer at the the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey. In 1974, she reported to the Recruiting District in Miami, Florida as a Navy officer programs recruiter where she worked until 1977. She then served as the officer-in-charge at the Naval Telecommunications Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Fishburne reported to the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations where she served as the assistant head of the Joint Allied Command and Control Matters Branch. In 1984, she became an executive officer at the Naval Communication Station in Yokosuka, Japan before being named as the special projects officer for the Chief of Naval Operations in the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate.

In 1992, Fishburne was appointed as the commanding officer of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in Key West, Florida; and, in 1993, she was assigned as the chief of the Command and Control Systems Support Division of the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Systems Directorate of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Fishburne assumed command of the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Eastern Pacific Station in Wahiawa, Hawaii in 1995, and then reported to the Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations where she served as the director of the Information Transfer Division. On February 1, 1998, Fishburne was promoted to U.S. Navy Rear Admiral making her the first African American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Fishburne’s decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.082

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/28/2013

Last Name

Fishburne

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Occupation
Schools

William Harry Blount Elementary School

Rock Terrace Elementary School

Shih Lin

Julius West Junior High School

Richard Montgomery High School

Dickinson College

Lincoln University

Women Officers School

Webster College

Naval Postgraduate School

Industrial College of the Armed Forces

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lillian

Birth City, State, Country

Patuxent River

HM ID

FIS04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

There is a reason for everything.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue

Short Description

Rear admiral Radm. Lillian Fishburne (1949 - ) was the first African American female to hold the rank of Rear Admiral in the Navy.

Employment

Macy's

Chase Manhattan Bank

Naval Air Test Facility

Naval Telecommunications Center

United States Navy

Naval Communication Station

C4 Directorate

Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station

Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
0,0:3510,34:3774,39:4104,45:6084,77:6348,82:23882,239:24310,244:39980,396:45820,481:46140,487:47020,501:50220,556:50940,569:76210,794:98482,1065:112509,1172:140790,1380:141546,1389:149080,1409:160741,1529:161452,1539:161768,1544:163506,1576:163822,1581:167772,1654:178032,1863:192888,2011:210408,2235:212040,2266:212550,2272:212958,2277:213366,2282:214896,2293:217590,2303:236420,2585:258974,2714:259703,2724:267578,2813:268502,2840:270850,2853:273720,3091:301565,3198:302245,3207:304530,3229$0,0:2268,27:3339,39:7290,62:8190,75:8820,85:10800,112:11430,121:18365,290:22190,370:23125,385:31180,407:41964,454:45786,512:51242,609:68548,769:68932,774:75638,802:78526,847:83456,939:91892,1029:92576,1036:93944,1052:108951,1138:109456,1144:119506,1248:127287,1328:127682,1335:129973,1382:130526,1391:130842,1396:131474,1406:135610,1461:142640,1558:143100,1563:150836,1622:152768,1657:153524,1670:166980,1824:167700,1834:170100,1909:185110,2065:202330,2188:203870,2271:204290,2279:205200,2294:209290,2345
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lillian Fishburne's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne describes her mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne describes her mother's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne describes her father's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne describes her father's family background, pt.2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her father's service in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne speaks about helping her father study for the E7 exam and how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her older brother and which parent's personality she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne describes her earliest childhood memory and the sights, sound and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne describes her elementary school experience and move to Rockville, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her family's move to Taiwan, China

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her junior high school and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her junior high school and high school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the role church played in her growing up, and her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her career aspirations in high school and attending college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her studies at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her commencement at Lincoln University and spoken word artist, Gil Scott Heron

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne describes her job search after college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about joining the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her training in the Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne comments on the treatment of minority women in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne talks about black women officers in the U.S. Navy and her duties as an ensign

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her first assignment at the U.S. Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her recruiting duties in Miami and work as a communications officer in Great Lakes Region

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her post graduate education and how she met her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her telecommunications training, the birth of her daughter, and early FORTRAN computers

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her work for the Pentagon and in Japan

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the confidential nature of her work for the Pentagon

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne describes her work as Commanding Officer for Naval Computer and Telecommunications in Key West

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her work with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her command of the Naval Computer Telecommunications Station in Hawaii

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lillian Fishburne talks about being the U.S. Navy's first African American woman rear admiral

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lillian Fishburne discusses the U.S. Navy's progress concerning race

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lillian Fishburne describes some of the challenges for women in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her family and her retirement from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lillian Fishburne discusses her and her mother's illness and her interest in helping children

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lillian Fishburne reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lillian Fishburne talks about her family, her philosophy on managing people and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lillian Fishburne describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Lillian Fishburne discusses her first assignment at the U.S. Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey
Lillian Fishburne describes some of the challenges for women in the U.S. Navy
Transcript
All right, okay. So all right so your first assignment in, at the Naval Air Test Facility in Lakehurst. So you're, you're a personnel and legal officer. So, so what--tell us about it. How, how your first assignment went.$$It, it was a nice assignment for an ensign, really, really because I had to do a lot of things. We tested arresting gear and catapult gear, you know when you see on the carriers when they shoot the plane off of the carrier deck and when the plane lands, this, this wire, it traps this wire. Well that's, that's what we did. We tested those systems. So I got to--during down time when it wasn't very busy, the pilot would say hey, Elaine, you wanna go up for a ride? So I'd get to, to go up and do cat shots and arresting gear, you know, traps, as an ensign. But first of all I had to come to Pax River [Patuxent River, Maryland]. So they flew me in our little old prop plane, they flew me to Pax River and I got my seat check, this cord which permit--I, I go--that was the first time I'd been back to Pax River since I was there at that dispensary. And so when I got back, I got to you know, go on the, go on the, the airplane trips. So that, that was fun. The other part was that I was there when the Blue Angels crashed. You remember that crash in Lakehurst? The--traditionally when you know they visit a base, they do a, they do a flyover prior to landing. And so we were having a picnic after, after a baseball game I believe it was, and the command was having this. And so some of my shipmates were explaining the patterns and all that were, you know that they were flying and they explained the whole, whole tradition to me. And--$$Of the Blue Angels and the--what they--$$Yeah, about they're doing the flyover.$$And they're, they're like--for those who are watching this and don't understand, the Blue Angels are a special Navy group of--$$Acro--flight acrobatic team, yeah.$$Yeah, so flight, yeah acrobatic team.$$Right. Yeah, so you know they were explaining, that was the fleur-de-lis and they were explaining the different, the different patterns to me. And then one plane kind of--the wing kind of flipped up and got into another one and they said uh-oh. And we were some of the first to arrive at the, at the crash site even before the emergency people got there.$$So this, this is in, this is in--in '74 [1974] '75 [1975], '76, [1976]?$$I believe that was '74 [1974].$$Seventy-four [1974]. Okay I mean it, it can be checked out by anybody watching this, but just to--$$Yeah, '74 [1974].$$Seventy-four [1974], okay. That must have been a horr--well--$$Yeah, we went out to the crash site and once the, you know, we were looking for survivors and once the emergency personnel came there, they, you know, they made everybody leave and you know--when I got back to the base, you know actually the bottom, of, of, of, of my shoes were, they were just burned.$$So it was hot still?$$Yes.$$Now did everybody die in that crash? All, all the Blue Angels?$$No, not all of them.$$Okay, just a couple planes.$$The planes that crashed.$$Yeah, were the pilots well known there at the--$$I, I don't, I don't know if they were well known there.$$Okay. National tragedy, right?$$Yeah.$Okay, okay. Now what were some of the challenges I guess for women in the Navy, you know, as--that you've seen over the years? You're someone that, that kind of crashed through some barriers, you know you, you went through a couple, couple of ceilings to become a rear admiral. But, but what were some of the obstacles and maybe challenges for a woman in the, in the services as an officer in the Navy?$$Some of the, some of the challenges were for a while we were not permitted to, to, to serve on combatant vessels and not even commanding a vessel, combatant vessel. There are certain specialties that, that were not open to us. And so you know every time you take--you know there's a limit put on there as to what you can do, then that says hey, that decreases your chances for promotion. The numbers are not going to be there. The base number is, it's just not going to be there. So you know, you kind of look for, you kind of look for that niche. I found that niche in you know, communications where I could be "in direct support" of the operating forces. And you look at all the other things, you know, you know what have other people done? What's the background of those getting promoted? And, and, and you know, you, you got to work a plan and you also have to for me, I always wanted to have an option, you know. When I originally came in, I could sign up for three or four years. I signed up for three years because if I didn't like it, that fourth year would seem awfully long. So I sort of set a timeframe. I said okay, if I'm in five years, I'll shoot for twenty. But I always try to keep my options open that I could walk any time that I, that I was unhappy.$$Was there ever a time when you thought you might not, you know, you might want to--$$Yeah, there, there were times, of course. I, I preferred being out in the field, working out at the activities, you know, providing that operational support. I you know, I, I, I--if I had my druthers, I, I, I you know but headquarters has its, you know because then that gave me the big picture. But I just didn't like staff work. It wasn't my favorite. So there were times when I said I'm going, you know, it's time to pull the plug. And my husband said when it's time for you to quit or retire, you'll know it because you won't talk about it, you'll just do it.

Marcus McCraven

Electrical engineer Marcus R. McCraven was born on December 27, 1923 in Des Moines, Iowa to parents Marcus and Buena McCraven. After graduating from high school, McCraven enrolled at Howard University but was drafted into the U.S. Army during his first year of college. He was listed as an expert rifleman but went on to serve as a supply clerk with an engineering regiment in Papua, New Guinea and in the Philippines. Returning to the United States, McCraven continued his studies at Howard University and graduated with his B.S. degree in electrical engineering.

Upon graduation, McCraven was hired at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. After six months, he was promoted to electrical engineer and became the project leader of the Nuclear Systems Branch. McCraven soon moved to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California where he worked on the hydrogen bomb. His area of expertise on the project was diagnostics and he was instrumental the early development of nuclear weapons, including nuclear tests on Bikini Island and in Nevada. McCraven then joined the research staff at the California Lawrence Radiation Laboratory; and, in the 1960s, he left California and moved to Connecticut where he began to work for Phelps Dodge. In 1970, he joined United Illuminating Co. as the director of environmental engineering and was later promoted to vice president.
McCraven has also served as trustee at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. In 2011, McCraven received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut.

McCraven lives in Hamden, Connecticut with his wife, Marguerite McCraven, a former social worker in the Hamden Public Schools. They have three children: Paul McCraven, the vice president of community development at New Alliance Bank; Stephen McCraven, a musician living in Paris, Carol McCraven.

Marcus McCraven was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.069

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/9/2013

Last Name

McCraven

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

University of Maryland

University of California, Berkeley

Bowman High School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marcus

Birth City, State, Country

Des Moines

HM ID

MCC14

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Iowa

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

12/27/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Haven

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Southern Food

Short Description

Electrical engineer Marcus McCraven (1923 - ) is an electrical engineer who worked to develop the hydrogen bomb at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Employment

United Illuminating Co.

Phelps Dodge Electronics

University of California, Livermore

Naval Research Laboratory

Favorite Color

Blue, Gray

Timing Pairs
0,0:10795,70:11731,79:52100,293:52856,304:55895,316:58812,338:69982,477:70510,483:81578,640:86666,718:89474,747:90878,802:102840,890:103608,903:106782,912:113561,1003:117805,1064:118470,1093:128110,1206$0,0:535,3:3460,58:4955,68:14740,159:20185,210:24516,286:24846,292:25374,302:25902,308:26364,317:27816,344:28080,349:34190,387:39360,410:39640,415:41040,445:44222,507:44768,516:45080,521:45470,527:46250,539:48500,544:48850,550:49760,572:50460,586:50810,592:51090,597:52280,613:53400,643:59123,709:62738,749:66728,790:67184,795:73694,838:73998,843:74378,849:76768,864:77058,870:77406,878:77638,883:77986,890:81372,907:84187,926:84908,934:91842,945:92874,960:99972,1032:100382,1038:103088,1091:111000,1116:111630,1124:114134,1150:114544,1156:114954,1162:115282,1167:116594,1184:120933,1196:121788,1216:123850,1228:124870,1243:125210,1248:126400,1268:126825,1274:128440,1291:128865,1297:129460,1305:129800,1310:130650,1323:133285,1364:134560,1388:134900,1393:135665,1403:142100,1422:142504,1427:143211,1435:143817,1446:146050,1464:146298,1469:146546,1474:147042,1490:150788,1516:151397,1528:151919,1535:156206,1560:157026,1566:159990,1582:160782,1598:162739,1610:163640,1627:163852,1632:164329,1642:164647,1650:166385,1659:167335,1668:167715,1673:168190,1679:168665,1685:169235,1692:174543,1729:175035,1734:176388,1746:184441,1814:188860,1854:189409,1864:189836,1873:190263,1880:192138,1897:206450,2019:207278,2029:214508,2108:215712,2128:230778,2236:236140,2290:243036,2388:247620,2455:254730,2556:255555,2571:255855,2576:260030,2639:260450,2647:260750,2653:260990,2658:263162,2678:264410,2693:264794,2698:265370,2708:265946,2715:268620,2722:273377,2744:274445,2760:276047,2786:277560,2800:278094,2807:278539,2813:281465,2829:281717,2834:281969,2839:282410,2852:284552,2886:284930,2893:285434,2905:285875,2913:286820,2934:293410,2947:295250,2959:297160,2973:299160,3002:299480,3007:304310,3083
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marcus McCraven's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven talks about his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven talks Port Gibson, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about his parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven talks about his family during the Great Depression

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marcus McCraven describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven talks about his father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes how his parent's met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven describes the beginning of his interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven talks about his activities as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marcus McCraven talks about his junior high and high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven talks about living with his aunt while in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven talks about his interests in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven talks about his time at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his time in the Army during World War II pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes his time in the Army during World War II pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven describes the racial prejudice he faced in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven describes his time at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven describes meeting his wife Marguerite

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes his patent on a high current photodiode pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes his patent on a high current photodiode pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his work at the University of California at Berkeley Lawrence Radiation Laboratory pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes his work at the University of California at Berkeley Lawrence Radiation Laboratory pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about the hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marcus McCraven talks about the hydrogen bomb test on Bikini Atoll pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven describes nuclear testing pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes nuclear testing pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven describes Operation Plowshare

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven talks about the Phelps Dodge Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven describes being hired by the Phelps Dodge Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about the politics of nuclear weapons

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven talks about being a charter member of the advisory committee for establishing the Environmental Protection Agency

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes the licensing of a low-sulfur coal burning plant for United Illuminating Company

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven talks about his involvement in several organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven talks about the work of painter Rudolph Zallinger

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven talks about William Strickland and Carlton Highsmith

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Marcus McCraven describes his travels pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Marcus McCraven describes his travels pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Marcus McCraven reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Marcus McCraven describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Marcus McCraven talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Marcus McCraven describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Marcus McCraven describes the beginning of his interest in engineering
Marcus McCraven describes his patent on a high current photodiode pt. 2
Transcript
Other thing I had influence for going into engineering because in the extended family, my father's sister--my father's sister's husband's sister married Archie Alexander. And Archie Alexander was a noted civil engineer. He had the company Alexander and Repass, and they built, while I was a student at Howard, his company built the big cloverleaf intersection, you know, where you go off the highway in all different directions.$$In D.C.?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$So I--$$So this is a black construction company?$$--Yeah. It's a black construction. The senior partner, they had two partners, Alexander and Repass, Repass was white, Alexander was black, he finished Iowa State [sic, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa]. So that was, you know, being at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.], having that job when I was at Howard, I was certainly in a position where I took classmates down to the construction site. I knew them. So I had a little in--I knew the extended family type person there who was the president of the company. It kind of makes you feel kind of good-$$Yes, yes sir.$$--as a student, but that was one of the reasons I said I was going into engineering, but I decided not to go into civil.$So what you patented was not only just a photodiode but a process?$$Most of these units give only various little current. It exists. A flash of light that's lasting for so many nanoseconds, how much light is that, you know, you can see it. The photodiode can see it, but it's such a small amount of light that the signal that's generated is very small and if you were going to record that, you have to have very sensitive recording material, even if you got an oscilloscope on the end. But when you got ready to test these devices you were miles away. So that little signal that's going back through coaxial cable all the way back can be wiped out. So you needed, you needed something that was going to give you big currents. So this was, so this photodiode that I patent was called high current photodiode. That means it was one that would deliver-- you could look at very bright lights and get a signal and see the coaxial cable, the fifty ohm type cable just one foot had so much attenuation, two feet, and here you are miles back, because your equipment got to be away from the blast. So we had device sitting here monitoring equipment right there with miles of coaxial cable going back to a recording station and this is not an easy thing to do, to get those signals and it's those signals that gave you the reaction history of the device. This is what the physicists who were designing them, they come up with certain design and configuration and said they think this will work. What we did in the testing and system division was to take the first design, take it into the field, fire it and look at actually what happens. Look at what the reaction that takes place during that explosion, and we can then feed that information back to the physicists and they said, "Oh, now we know we should do this and make corrections." That's one advantage that the United States had on in this whole development program, we did--we got a lot of information from testing and though you had to have detectors and recording equipment, and that's how I got involved with the Naval Research Lab, I worked with developing the detector. And the ones I designed we used for one of the detonations. I was--$$Now, did you have to go to California to do that?$$I had-- I built them at Naval Research in Washington, D.C. and now they want them, got them and say we're going to ship them to California. Well, they were hand-carried. I mean when I say hand carried, these were too big to carry all these detectors but I was the person. This was my project, these were the ones that were accepted to be used and kept in a test. So I was to deliver those from Washington, D.C. to California and they hired the Flying Tigers Airline, me and these detectors. And this was so secret at the time that the Flying Tiger pilots couldn't know what they had and where they were going. I changed pilots three times between Washington, D.C. and California. That was my first big job there. After that I went to work directly for the University of California [at Berkley, Berkley, California].

Mollie Belt

Newspaper CEO and publisher Mollie Finch-Belt was born on August 7, 1943 in Dallas, Texas. Finch-Belt’s mother, Mildred, was a mathematics instructor; her father, Fred J. Finch, Jr., founded the Dallas Examiner in 1986. But after publishing only one issue, Belt’s mother and father were murdered in their home. In 1961, Finch-Belt graduated from Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas. After briefly attending Spelman College, she enrolled at the University of Denver where she graduated with her B.A. degree in sociology and psychology in 1965.

Upon graduation, Finch-Belt began working as an employment counselor for the Texas Employment Commission. She then held positions in the Harris County Manpower Program and for City of Dallas where she administered the Title IV program. Between 1977 and 1997, Finch-Belt was a branch chief in the Civil Rights Compliance Department for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 1997, Finch-Belt and her husband, attorney James C. Belt, Jr., invested their personal resources to revitalize the Dallas Examiner. In 1998, with a grant from AT&T, she started Future Speak, a publication aimed at developing young minority journalists. Finch-Belt has also used the Dallas Examiner to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention by publishing numerous articles and supplements, including “PROBE,”  “Battling AIDS in Our Communi ty” (2003) and “Innocence Lost” (2004). Finch-Belt also hosted public programs such as an HIV/AIDS town hall meeting at the Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Dallas, Texas. She also co-hosted the Youth Angle luncheon on World AIDS Day with Paul Quinn College. Since assuming editorial responsibilities of the Dallas Examiner, Finch-Belt has continued her father’s dream of providing the Dallas African American community with its own news service.

Finch-Belt is a member of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has led the the Dallas Examiner to win numerous national, state and local awards, including the prestigious Katie Awards. The Dallas Examiner was named “Best Weekly Newspaper” in 2002 by the Texas Publisher’s Association awarded; and, in 2004, it received twelve awards from the regional chapter of National Association of Black Journalists, including “Best Newspaper” and “Best Practices.”

Finch-Belt lives in Dallas with her husband, attorney James C. Belt, Jr. They have two children, James C. Belt, III, advertising manager at the Dallas Examiner, and Melanie Belt, M.D.

Mollie Finch-Belt was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 29, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.023

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/29/2013

Last Name

Belt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Finch

Schools

George Carver Elementary

Lincoln High School

Spelman College

University of Denver

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Mollie

Birth City, State, Country

Dallas

HM ID

BEL06

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Padre Island, Texas

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

8/7/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Newspaper publishing chief executive Mollie Belt (1943 - ) , daughter of Dallas Examiner founder Fred J. Finch, Jr., has been CEO and publisher of the Dallas Examiner since 1997.

Employment

Texas Employment Commission

Harris County Manpower Program

City of Dallas

United States Department of Health and Human Services

Dallas Examiner

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:9492,147:22830,287:31062,420:34572,462:35188,515:79008,1180:85318,1338:129168,1816:134064,1922:147420,2030:156827,2230:160185,2300:165076,2573:179154,2729:204910,3017:213385,3193:213685,3275:237428,3517:246050,3594:246589,3602:248437,3649:248745,3657:253558,3720:254244,3728:278430,4094$0,0:5025,94:5718,104:10312,172:27168,531:27424,536:45702,832:47014,866:47342,871:48654,895:50048,928:50868,942:51196,947:51524,952:56386,1045:64028,1116:64538,1123:71372,1249:79534,1355:88840,1530:89800,1550:92920,1602:93320,1608:98040,1755:111698,1989:140249,2342:141118,2391:143567,2604:144278,2612:144752,2661:176720,2949:186320,3092:189920,3183:194940,3196
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mollie Belt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mollie Belt lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mollie Belt describes her mother's family background, pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mollie Belt describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mollie Belt talks about her mother's experiences growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mollie Belt describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mollie Belt describes her father's work for the Department of Defense and his joining the Air Force

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mollie Belt describes her childhood experiences in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mollie Belt describes her experience in Cambridge, Massachusetts while her father attended Harvard Law School

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mollie Belt describes her similarities to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mollie Belt describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mollie Belt describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood, pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mollie Belt talks about attending school in Tuskegee, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mollie Belt describes going to the library with her mother and meeting Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mollie Belt describes her mother's teaching school and her attending schools in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mollie Belt talks about the integration of schools in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mollie Belt talks about her experience at Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mollie Belt describes her reasons for attending Spelman College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mollie Belt describes her reasons for not wanting to return to Spelman College after her freshman year

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mollie Belt describes the atmosphere at Spelman College in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mollie Belt describes her experience at the University of Denver

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mollie Belt describes her post graduation search for employment in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mollie Belt describes her experience in Harlingen, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mollie Belt describes her experience living and working in Houston for the Manpower Program and her move to Dallas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mollie Belt describes the changes in Dallas from the 1960s to the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mollie Belt describes working in Dallas for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mollie Belt describes how her father started The Dallas Examiner

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mollie Belt talks about her father's role in starting The Dallas Examiner

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mollie Belt talks about the murder of her parents during a home burglary

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mollie Belt describes taking over ownership of The Dallas Examiner after her parents' death, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mollie Belt describes taking over ownership of The Dallas Examiner after her parents' death, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mollie Belt describes the demographics of Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mollie Belt describes the changes she made to The Dallas Examiner after her father died

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mollie Belt talks about Future Speak program for area youth, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mollie Belt talks about Future Speak, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mollie Belt describes the key issues covered by The Dallas Examiner Newspaper

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mollie Belt talks about The Dallas Examiner's coverage of HIV/AIDS, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mollie Belt talks about The Dallas Examiner's coverage of HIV/AIDS, pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mollie Belt describes The Dallas Examiner's coverage of the arts, and its editorial section

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mollie Belt reflects upon her legacy and the legacy of The Dallas Examiner

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mollie Belt talks about what she might have done differently

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mollie Belt describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mollie Belt talks about the future of The Dallas Examiner

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mollie Belt talks about the relevance of print media

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mollie Belt talks about her children

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mollie Belt describes the state of Texas politics, pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mollie Belt describes the state of Texas politics, pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mollie Belt talks about The Dallas Examiner's freelance employees

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mollie Belt talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mollie Belt describes her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Mollie Belt describes taking over ownership of The Dallas Examiner after her parents' death, pt.1
Mollie Belt talks about The Dallas Examiner's coverage of HIV/AIDS, pt.2
Transcript
So you're working at this time and you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--I'm working at the federal government.$$So you could have, you know, kept working and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--I did for a while; I did continue working for a while and I'd come over here to the office at night and we'd--well, no. When that happened, you remember, I took a year's leave of absence, so I was over at the paper every day; that was kinda like my therapy. My whole thing was my father's vision, he'd worked so hard to start this paper that I just had to see it continue, and so it was at it's very infant stages. In order to join like NNPA [National Newspapers Publishers Association] or API [Amalgamated Publishers Incorporated], you had to join--you had to print 52 issues, so I had to make sure that 50--that--and it's hard printing 52 issues. I know advertising. And it was hard then and it's hard today to get advertising in black newspapers. So I stayed there at the office, I wasn't a publi--I wasn't a publisher that was going out; I didn't even put my name on the pa--on the (unclear) of the paper. I owned the paper but I didn't--Charles was the editor. And so I sat there and we worked, made sure we joined API, NNPA and, you know, I would help assign stories and things. We had freelance writers and, you know, stuff like that, but I did not go out to events and things; I just kinda stayed locked up in that building like--go there to--so after--I guess I took a leave maybe a year, a year and a half, may have been two years and--that I went back to work, and it was just--my son was here, you know, going to college, and he was like distributing the paper part time; you know, distribution's a part-time job, and he would run over there to my office downtown and, you know, I'd have--to get me to sign stuff and do stuff. And I loved the work that I was doing; I'm very interested in health care but I just could not continue to do the paper and that job. And because I supervised people, it's very difficult when you supervise people for the federal government; you can't fire 'em (laughter). You know, you can't fire them, so you know, you have to develop them. And, and, and I guess they thought I was a good manager because they always gave me some really hard employee to deal with, so that meant you gotta work--do the employment development plans and all that kinda stuff, you know? They don't have satisfactory evaluation; it just was a--so that stress plus, you know--my supervisor would say things to me like, 'Well Mollie, do you realize that you want off just about every Friday?' 'So-what? I'm the highest performer in the office; so-what if I take off every Friday, I have the leave.' At that time, when I was taking off every Friday, my kids were in college and so my, my, my husband and I--he--I had a good friend and a little boy got him put out of his home; he was a high school student at Desota (ph.) High School, so she called me and asked me did I know of some family that could take him in and he could live with 'cause he was living with the coach and his coach's wife was pregnant and he was sleeping on the sofa in the living room and that just wasn't good. And I told my husband, I said, 'Do you know somebody?' And he said, 'Well how come he can't come stay with us?' Well, I guess he could, you know. We had plenty of room, so we took him in and he ran track, so we'd go to track meets every Friday, you know. But I just got tired of that, you know, that, that structure of having to ask somebody can I be off on Friday. And I just decided that, you know, the best thing for me to do is just to work at the paper full-time, so I took an early retirement and started working at the paper. My husband and I had contributed just--I don't even wanna add up the money that we put into the paper from the time my father died because the paper, it just--it was not sustaining itself.$$Now was your husband a partner with your father before?$$No.$$Okay.$$Well, no--yeah, a law partner--$$Yeah.$$--in the law office, but not with the paper.$It's not just gay men disease.' He say, 'Okay,' he say, 'you can have it here.' It was on a Wednesday night. He say, 'You can have it on one condition.' I say, 'What's that?' He said, 'I wanna meet Danny Glover.' I say, 'Okay.' I say, 'I'm supposed to go out there and meet him at the airport at 6:00.' And I told him the morning I'm gone' meet him and--because with--I took--arranged to take him to all the radio--black radio stations so that he could go on and tell people to come to the Town Hall meeting, you know, and talk about AIDS. So Rickie [Reverend Ricky Rush] met me out there at the hotel and he ended up riding with me to all the venues to take Danny [Glover] so he could get out and go in and talk. And he asked me, he said, 'Well, what you gone' do about feedin' him?' He say, 'I'll have my people at the church fix dinner.' I say, 'Well that will be wonderful.' He said, 'And I'll get my people to help park the cars that night.' I said, 'That's fine.' He said, 'Well Mollie, what do you think I oughta wear?' I said, 'What you oughta wear? I don't know, whatever you wanna wear.' He's a real little man, you know. So--then I thought; he had been wearing fatigue wear with boots, to fight drugs, you know, in the community. And he wore the fatigue like a war on drugs. I say, 'It's a war on AIDS so wear your fatigue tonight,' and he say, 'Okay.' So he wore his fatigue and he stood up there in the pulpit and he told--we had about a thousand people in the church and he told them to go get tested. We had the County Health Department; all these AIDS agents had their testing stuff, we had rooms inside the church and mobiles outside. He say, 'Go get tested now,' and they went and got tested; we tested about 200 that night, and then a lotta people got tested after then. I would go in a restaurant, and I'd see people and they'd say, 'I want you to know I heard it on the radio and I went and got tested,' 'cause we had it broadcast live on the black radio stations. So then the next year we did PROBE, you know. We did--that was another health--AIDS supplement. You know, it's kinda like--and you know when I think about it, we never got money to publish the--to, to, to pay for the printing--The Dallas Examiner, we incurred those costs. Because it is so hard getting advertising. The thing that helped me with the first supplement was one company and one man I met who worked for Pfizer and he was in governmental affairs, and he got it; he called the people up in New York at Pfizer and told them to buy a full-page, full-color ad and, and, and I had that in there. But it's--we did the supplements. We've done other supplements, too--$$Okay.$$--we do.$$So when you deal with a story, you rally the community around--you do education forums and all, you know (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Yeah, with AIDS we did; we, we had several programs with AIDS; we had one out at Paul Quinn College, with a nurse, to get--we did the same thing, had the mobile unit out there to get those students tested. We don't do that with everything; it just depends on what the issue is--$$Okay.$$--you know. I don't wanna say we're known for those events.

Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr.

Civil rights activist Reverend Dr. Arthur "Art" Rocker, Sr. was born on June 22, 1955 in Atlanta, Georgia to Samuel William Rocker, Sr. and Reba Craft-Rocker. From the age of seven until eighteen years of age, Rocker was raised and mentored by Reverend Dr. William Holmes Borders, pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of sixteen, Rocker became the president of the youth chapter of the Democratic Party Club. After graduating from L.J. Price High School in 1963, Rocker enlisted in the U.S. Army and served for three years. Rocker then attended the Massey Business College earning his Associate’s degree. He then went on to attend Carver Bible Institute in 1969 and was ordained as a minister and evangelized by Reverend Dr. William Holmes Borders. He also served as assistant Pastor of his father’s church, the late Reverend Samuel William Rocker, Sr. After enrolling at Albany State University, Rocker became the chief organizer of the Shirley Chisholm Campaign under the leadership of Lonnie King, Executive Director for the Atlanta NAACP. Rocker majored in accounting at ASU, and went on to receive his Series 63, 7 and 24 investment banking licenses from the Investment Training Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. He is one of the founders of the National Association of Security Professionals in Atlanta, along with Mayor Maynard Jackson.

From 1994 to 2008, Rocker worked several jobs, but was primarily active in community organizing. Mentored by the late Dr. Benjamin Mays, former president of Morehouse College, he worked under the leadership of Dr. Warren Cochrane, General Secretary of the Butler Street YMCA in Atlanta, Georgia and Reverend Hosea Williams, President of Atlanta SCLC. He served as a consultant for the National Presidential Election Campaign, and co-chairman of National Presidential Campaign. Prior to his appointment as senior vice president of Governmental Affairs at LHS EV in 2008, Rocker worked briefly as a real estate agent at the Grand Bahamas Developments in the Grand Bahamas Islands. Additionally, Rocker served as an investment banker at Stuart-James Investments, Portfolio Management Consultants and Rocker Securities, Inc. In 2008, Rocker began his tenure as the Chairman of Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the entire state of Florida. In the wake of the 2010 British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Rocker founded Operation People for Peace, Inc., an organization which serves on the United Nations (UN) Council in the area of Civic and Society. In 2015, Rocker was appointed Presiding Bishop of University of Bethesda Biblical Institute of North America.

Rocker also played a central role in local and national community organizing and politics throughout his career. He served as vice chairman of City of Atlanta transition team for Mayor Maynard Jackson, and the transition team for Governor Charles Christ of Florida. In recognition of his service, Rocker received numerous awards including The Good Brother Award from National Congress of Black Women, Inc., the Chairman’s Award from the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the Business Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Outstanding Business Award from the Atlanta Jewish Center. Additionally, Rocker has been named Senior Fellow of the James Madison Institute. Rocker has received honorary degrees from Faith Bible College in Milton, Florida and A.P. Clay Bible College in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rocker is the father of three children and is married to Jessica Donahue-Rocker. He resides in the Gulf Coast region in Florida.

Arthur M. Rocker, Sr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 26, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.201

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/26/2012

Last Name

Rocker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widowed

Schools

Morehouse College

Price Middle School

Massey College of Business & Technology

Carver Bible College

Albany State University

Faith Bible College

A.P. Clay Christian College

Georgia Institute of Real Estate

Investment Training Institute

James Madison Institute

Yonge Street Elementary School

First Name

Arthur

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

ROC01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Thank You, God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

6/22/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Pensacola

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Civil rights activist Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. (1955 - ) was the founder and chairman of Operation People for Peace, Inc.

Employment

Grand Bahama Development

Rocker Chemical Co.

Stuart-James Investments

Portfolio Mgt. Consultants

Operation People for Peace

White Rocker Baptist Church

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney

Office of State Representative Billy McKinney

Favorite Color

All Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes the racial violence in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about the sundown towns near Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his maternal uncles' migration to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about his father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his father's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his family's home on Georgia Avenue, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his family's home on Georgia Avenue, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers finding chickens for his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers Yonge Street Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his route to school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers moving to the Thomasville Heights section of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes the smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his relationship with his siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about race relations in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his relationship with his siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his misconceptions about Jewish people

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers his favorite elementary school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers living with William Holmes Borders

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes William Holmes Borders' relationships with other ministers in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls William Holmes Borders' visitors, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls William Holmes Borders' move to Hunter Street

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls William Holmes Borders' departure from the Morehouse College School of Religion

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers Joseph H. Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls Coretta Scott King's circumstances after her husband's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about the establishment of the Wheat Street Federal Credit Union

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls attending meetings with William Holmes Borders

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes the rivalry between Martin Luther King, Sr. and William Holmes Borders

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers Julia Pate Borders' friendships

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls William Holmes Borders' visitors, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers working for Benjamin Mays

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his early interest in art

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his fundraising efforts for Luther Judson Price High School

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers living at William Holmes Borders' house

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his brother's membership in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his decision to join the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about the civil rights activities of 1963

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his small loan business in the U.S. Army

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers his interactions with the Central Intelligence Agency

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers his return to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about the impact of the Vietnam War

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his decision to further his education

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls visiting Julia Pate Borders on her deathbed

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers his expulsion from Morehouse College

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about his brothers' occupations

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers Samuel Dewitt Proctor

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes the split of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. remembers Hosea Williams

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about William Holmes Borders' friends in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his interest in accounting

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes how he met his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about African Americans that passed as white

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes the effects of integration

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls his conversations with Benjamin Mays

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. talks about skin color prejudice

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls working for Warren Cochrane

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls organizing voters for Shirley Chisholm's presidential campaign

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls being asked to leave Albany State College

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes the accusations against him at Albany State College

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$7

DAStory

10$6

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. describes his interest in accounting
Reverend Dr. Arthur Rocker, Sr. recalls working for Warren Cochrane
Transcript
Now when you--well what did you focus on when you were at the Massey Business College [Atlanta, Georgia], yeah?$$Business administration, accounting.$$Okay.$$I wanted to make sure that I learned about accounting. It's been a fascinating situation for me. Reason being is because at the church [Wheat Street Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia], there was Deacon Ferris [ph.], he was a guy that used to handle all the money for the church. And back behind the curtain, when I say behind the curtain it's not per se behind the curtain, what it was, was a room about half this size, from here to there. Deacon Ferris would be there. And that's where all the money was counted. It was, as you well know we had over five thousand people. It was thousands and thousands of dollars used to be counted there. My brothers worked there, they couldn't go in that room. No one could go in that room but me. Reverend Borders [William Holmes Borders] would sit in the room and he would let me come in the room 'cause I, you know, he would tell me, "Go get my Coca-Cola and meet behind the curtain." And they would sit there and they talk. The only thing that I picked up was the word accounting, accounting, accounting. And I kept talking about accounting and learned that it meant keeping books and what have you, and that's what I wanted to do.$Now we're in the early '70s [1970s] now when you were driving for Benjamin Mays and working for Warren Cochrane?$$Warren Cochrane--$$Yeah.$$--the community foundation. Warren Cochrane came back from New York [New York], he was over the Butler Street YMCA [Atlanta, Georgia]. The Butler Street YMCA was an all-black YMCA. You had black YMCAs that was established in different places. And in New York there was one that was established where there was whites involved. But they brought Warren Cochrane up there to be general secretary because he was strong with the Negro Voters League [Atlanta Negro Voters League]. He was a great organizer. He came up there, [HistoryMaker] Vernon Jordan was up there, Wyatt Tee [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker] was up there, a lot of folks, New York was the mecca of trying to get something done. The, the congressman I think he had died or he could have--something but they was all up in New York doing a number of things. And Warren was such a pioneer here, so he came back to Atlanta [Georgia], when I say, I'm sorry we're here in Detroit [Michigan] but I'm saying Atlanta. We came back to Atlanta, he was able to get money from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Trust Company of Georgia [SunTrust Banks], Life of Georgia [Life Insurance Company of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia], all of these major places. They put about $5 million in a foundation. He hired me to be his organizer and to literally run the place where he was the executive director. And we had $5 million, the responsibility we had was to go into the black community, give away money to repair homes that they was living in. Some people had moved into homes and after getting into the house, it was a new arena coming in called fair housing. But they was moving into housing but there was something else going on called block bustering [block busting]. Block bustering is when the white community bought up, bought property from white people and put two or three black people in there that didn't have an income, had a lot of children, scare the community and they ran out, and some blacks began to move in and the credit situation was a little lenient because whites was helping each other get out of one place and even the banks, the white banker was helping finance other blacks. But a lot of blacks was getting into these places that did not understand the significance of owning a home. Your hot water heater goes out, you have to cut the grass, you have to buy a lawn mower. Sometimes you have to buy another door, screen door, it was a whole new lesson had to be taught. So what we did, the $5 million would go into the community. We would teach you how to buy a door, what to do with a hot water heater, how you buy another TV, what you do, and we would lend you this money because we did not want a situation to occur the way it was happening that second mortgage companies or pawnshops was buying, getting lien on homes and selling their homes before the people could be in their a year and a half. So the foundation was set up for the purpose of lending money with no interest rate, and my job was to give it away and to find the people who needed the money. And I did that.

Linneaus Dorman

Organic chemist and inventor Linneaus C. Dorman was born on June 28, 1935 in Orangeburg, South Carolina to schoolteachers John Albert Dorman, Sr. and Georgia Hammond. Raised in the Jim Crow South, Dorman’s parents sent him to the historically black South Carolina State College laboratory school. The state college afforded him a better education than he would have received otherwise and nurtured his nascent interest in science. As a child, Dorman became fascinated with his friend’s chemistry set and the idea of creating new things. When he entered Wilkinson High School in 1948, his teachers immediately recognized his natural talent in science and encouraged him to take more science courses. This led him to declare chemistry as his undergraduate major after he graduated from high school.

In the fall of 1952, Dorman enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Because his father was a World War I veteran, having served in France, Dorman received a scholarship from the small, private institution and its scholarship program for the children of World War I veterans. After receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1956, Dorman enrolled in the organic chemistry Ph.D. program at Indiana University. During the summers, he traveled back to Peoria, where he gained invaluable research experience as a chemist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory. In 1961, he earned his Ph.D. degree and took a position as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.

While Dorman has garnered a reputation for publishing many research articles in premier research journals, he has become most known for creating over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. Many of his earliest patents involve synthesis methods in organic chemistry. In 1985, he invented a chemical compound that functioned as an absorbent that removed formaldehyde from the air. In 1992, Dorman invented a calcium phosphate biomaterial that was used in hard tissue prosthetics such as bone prosthetics in 1992. Between 1992 and 1993, he developed a new process for the controlled release of herbicides, this method became critical to crop rotation.

He joined the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 1957 and served in a number of administrative positions such as secretary, councilor, and director. Named Inventor of the Year by Dow Chemical Company in 1983, Dorman has been credited with over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He received the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ most prestigious award, the Percy C. Julian Award in 1992. Although he retired in 1994, Dorman continues to work in the scientific community as a mentor. He and his wife, Phae, live in Michigan and have two children, Evelyn and John.

Linneaus Dorman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.174

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/24/2012

Last Name

Dorman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C.

Occupation
Schools

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School

Bradley University

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Linneaus

Birth City, State, Country

Orangeburg

HM ID

DOR06

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I will study and prepare myself, then maybe, my chance will come.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

6/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Midland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Chemist Linneaus Dorman (1935 - ) has twenty-six inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He also served as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company.

Employment

Dow Chemical Company

Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Comerica Bank

Dow Corning

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:4379,58:7709,96:9041,109:15670,177:21026,200:21650,211:22430,223:26341,275:30550,330:31315,340:31740,346:32080,351:32505,380:32845,408:42507,511:43203,520:45523,531:49438,581:50461,612:51949,637:52786,658:54646,709:67571,848:68572,864:75458,967:77240,995:77645,1001:92409,1154:93476,1168:94155,1178:113996,1386:114620,1395:129002,1504:136188,1519:136734,1527:140470,1567:141190,1581:141550,1587:142360,1602:164810,1808:168830,1825:169496,1836:171710,1866:173577,1878:174200,1887:174556,1892:180112,1926:180888,1939:196600,2094:208596,2224:208941,2231:209493,2241:215190,2290:217290,2322:220446,2335:223480,2355:224200,2365:225690,2380:229320,2427:230031,2437:232448,2458:232964,2464:233480,2471:234168,2481:234684,2489:235028,2494:239380,2522:239842,2528:240612,2546:241151,2555:244693,2643:246002,2666:249156,2684:249904,2699:253846,2733:254306,2739:254766,2745:264523,2819:265244,2827:265862,2832:266274,2837:266686,2842:267510,2852:267922,2857:268540,2864:268952,2869:277630,2942:279810,2952:281384,2961:285930,3030$0,0:3737,34:4721,44:5213,49:7796,79:16148,153:25620,251:32672,296:36160,335:37888,369:38176,374:40048,416:40840,429:43496,441:50984,517:55433,559:59998,616:62654,652:63567,665:64231,674:76310,807:83985,884:84815,895:85645,912:88965,951:92285,1005:92783,1013:94858,1043:95190,1048:96186,1061:96767,1070:101590,1087:104470,1177:111700,1233:112036,1238:113464,1256:114892,1270:115732,1293:116320,1298:116740,1304:122710,1343:123102,1348:123984,1358:129664,1409:130730,1426:131796,1440:137526,1460:137918,1465:141642,1517:150116,1583:150728,1593:153760,1614:159144,1654:159568,1659:175404,1808:180375,1831:185017,1871:186784,1906:187156,1911:199755,2139:206804,2185:258448,2463:259190,2472:259932,2480:269547,2507:270023,2512:277950,2529
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linneaus Dorman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes growing up in Orangeburg, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his elementary school experience at Middle Branch School and Felton Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman shares his childhood memories of World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his introduction to chemistry and his early interest in mathematics

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the prominent speakers who visited South Carolina State College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the first African American chemists

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how his early thoughts about segregation served as a motivating force

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to attend Bradley University in 1952

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a busboy at Carter Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the founder of Dow Chemical Company

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes the differences between the black communities in Orangeburg, South Carolina and in Peoria, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he met his wife, Thae

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr. at Bradley University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes what influenced him to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr.'s death and his legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his extracurricular activities at Bradley University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a doctoral student in the chemistry department at Indiana University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman talks about getting married and starting a family while in graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Linneaus Dorman describes his summer research experience at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work for his Ph.D. dissertation on heterocyclic compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience in Midland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work on synthesizing artificial bone material

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes thermoplastic elastomers

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Percy Julian, one of the first African American research chemists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his activities in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about travel

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the importance of documentation and communication at the workplace

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he dealt with the frustrations of science

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio
Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds
Transcript
All right, also in our outline, it mentions here that you considered at one time teaching for a historically black college?$$Yes. But I, something told me I didn't wanna teach because that's what so many of my friends and relatives had done, not because they wanted to, but that was the only job open to them. So I wanted to do something other than teach.$$Now, did you believe that Dow [Chemical Company] would hire you?$$At the time?$$Um-hum.$$I didn't think Dow would hire me because some of my friends in graduate school had told me that Dow would not hire me, because they, some of them who had gone, who worked at Dow, (unclear) come back to Indiana University [in Bloomington, Indiana] to do further study, they told me that Dow would not hire me. But I went up to, to the Dow interview because I had a Dow fellowship. And I felt out of respect for the department [of chemistry], I should at least go up for the interview. Well, it turns out that Dow was desperately trying to get a black person, preferably one who had a Ph.D. who could come to work and be standing on your foot, on your feet alone, somebody who was strong enough, educated enough to not just be a laboratory worker, but to be an independent laboratory worker. So I discovered the chairman who was eager to hire, to talk to me and try to get me interested in Dow, much to my surprise. And I still didn't think it would happen, and I also got an offer from Ex-, it wasn't Exxon. It was Esso at the time out in Linden, New Jersey. And I thought that was a real possibility because Dow wouldn't, you know, because of the fact that this was an all-white town, Dow wouldn't probably hire me. And I'll never forget, my wife said to me, "Ah, I'll bet you get the job at Dow and not at Exxon." And that, I went out to Exxon and I followed all the people who were, with their heads in the clouds, who were not very sympathetic to a graduating black person. And sure enough, they didn't offer me a job. But Dow, I came out to Dow, and they were all very nice to me, and encouraging to me and recognized that Dow was trying to get blacks to come to work there. And it was encouraging enough that we had to make up our minds whether we were gonna take a chance on living in an all-white community. And we took a chance, made up our minds to do that and not stay a while and go someplace else because I could have done that after staying around. My telephone rang for a period of time, almost every six months, some other company wanting me to come, stop Dow and come work for them. They were offering me all kind of incentives. So I got to a point, I asked them what can you do for my retirement? They could never do anything to--I would be giving up those years working for, towards retirement. So that was always a no-no, and I had a feeling that they were trying to hire people just like Dow was trying to hire people. So I said, no, no, no. So I stayed here, and that, we decided to retire and live here. And we're happy with that decision.$Okay, all right. Now, during the course of your career, your research changed focus at different times. In the '60s [1960s] and '70s [1970s], you were focused on, from what I understand, peptides, right?$$Pharmaceutical compounds.$$Okay, and--$$And later to, when I got here, one of the things that Dow [Chemical Company] did was to become involved in the pharma--in some pharmaceutical business, thought it was a good venture because the return on pharmaceuticals is like 20 percent, which chemicals are around 10 percent. So Dow was gonna, Dow was very, always into agricultural compounds, and its agricultural compounds were tested for medicinal chemistry by somebody else. We had something called a K-List which every compound we made, you sent a sample of it, and it got a number, a K-number. And those are, one of the things the K-List did was to check it for various, for biological activities. But that was all agricultural until we got into the chemistry, to the drug business. And I was, just so happened to be in position at that time to also become a part of the drug business by synthesizing compounds here in Midland [Ohio]. We had a pharmaceutical group here in Midland. And, well, they later asked me to get into peptide chemistry because that, that was--peptides are like small proteins, and they were becoming more, more prominent because there's a guy by the name of Muirfield who devised a way to make peptides using a solid phase that would cut out a lot of the steps involved in make a peptide. Peptides are made from about twenty-five amino acids in different combinations, but to make a simple peptide, di-peptide, it's many steps, [to] make a tri-peptide, many more steps. So I became involved in the solid phase peptides chemistry, which I made some contributions to the field when I was doing that. And later on, the pharmaceutical business, we had the group here in town which was a part of the pharmaceutical effort, moved down to Indianapolis [Indiana]. And I didn't move with them, so I started something else. And that was diagnostic, latex diagnostic gauges.$$About what year is this?$$How's that?$$About what year is this when you start with the latex diagnostic gauges?$$Oh, ghez, I don't, '74 [1974]--$$Is this in the '70s [1970s] or--$$It's in the '70s [1970s], yeah.$$Okay, that's good enough.$$And we worked on developing a pregnancy test, and I worked in, in that area for a while. And from there we went to control, control release technologies. And from that to plastics.

Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James

Military Officer Nathaniel James is the former commanding General of the New York Army National Guard. Born on July 28, 1935, in the Branchville, South Carolina, his family migrated north to New York City during his childhood. James received early schooling in the New York City Public School system, and attended Theodore Roosevelt High School before graduating from Bronx Vocational High School. James then enrolled at the State University of New York, earning his A.A. degree in business and his B.A. degree in political science. After completing the ROTC training in college and subsequent two years of enlisted service, James was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1959, through the Army Artillery and Missile School.

During his 33 year career, James held a variety of positions and continued to develop his institutional knowledge of Army command, operations and strategy. James’ military education includes the Army Artillery and Missile School; Army Transportation School; Army Command and General Staff College; Army War College; and the National Interagency Counter Drugs Institute. In 1975, James became the commander for the 369th Transportation Battalion, 42nd Division Artillery and 42nd Division Support Command. Between 1988 and 1992, he served as the assistant adjutant general, Headquarters State Area Command, New York Army National Guard. Promoted to Major General on December 29, 1992, James became the first African American to obtain that rank in the history of the New York Army National Guard.

In addition to previously commanding the 369th Transportation Battalion James is the founder and president of both the 369th Veteran’s Association, Inc. and the 369th Historical Society, Inc. The 369th Regiment was originally called the 15th New York Infantry and they were the first African American regiment to engage in combat during World War II. After the war, 171 soldiers in that regiment were awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Government, and German soldiers gave them the name, “Harlem Hell Fighters,” for the courage and valor they displayed in battle. James maintains hundreds of photographs and dozens of artifacts, papers, and other items to honor the legacy of the 369th Regiment.

James’ military decorations and awards include, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the New York Humanitarian Service Medal.

Nathaniel James was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on August 1, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.200

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/31/2012

Last Name

James

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Fordham University

State University of New York at Albany

Bronx Regional High School

Army Command and General Staff College

U.S. Army War College

U.S. Army Transportation School

U.S. Army Field Artillery School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Nathaniel

Birth City, State, Country

Branchville

HM ID

JAM05

Favorite Season

July

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/28/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Major general Maj. Gen. Nathaniel James (1935 - ) the first African American obtain that rank of Major General in the New York Army National Guard, is the founder and president of both the 369th Historical Society and the 369th Veterans Association.

Employment

New York Army National Guard

369th Veterans' Association

New York City Transit Authority

New York Bell Telephone Company

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:693,12:2310,37:3157,54:14160,205:15840,223:19767,320:41296,578:45062,631:46455,656:50343,728:63880,975:64370,984:91820,1380:95002,1506:95890,1521:103046,1661:110438,1753:122770,1850$0,0:800,19:2100,45:31417,374:68110,920:68920,931:69730,1003:74410,1217:99468,1526:110722,1682:120395,1802:127450,1927:213446,2906:214166,2974:223528,3125:300934,4092:305470,4167:324070,4477:329550,4628:342280,4791:357290,5183
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathaniel James' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James describes the hard life of working on the railroad

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James tells the story of his father's arrival in New York

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James discusses his father's aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathaniel James tells how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nathaniel James describes his parents' personalities and talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nathaniel James describes his earliest childhood memories pt.1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nathaniel James describes his earliest childhood memories pt.2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James recalls the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James describes his elementary school experience in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his childhood in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James talks about his favorite subject and teachers in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James describes his elementary school's student health inspection

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James discusses his family's move from Brooklyn to the Bronx and an incident that happened to him in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James describes his experience attending a predominantly white school and compares it to his previous school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James describes his childhood hobbies and his interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nathaniel James recalls his first job and his high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James talks about his childhood and youth

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James describes his enlistment in the New York Army National Guard's 369th Infantry Regiment pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his enlistment in the New York Army National Guard's 369th Infantry Regiment pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James talks about race relations in the U. S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James describes his role as a Graves Registration Specialist in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James discusses his military and civilian work

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James talks about meeting his wife and continuing his education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James discusses his computer science coursework at Fordham University in the Bronx

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James talks about his interest in becoming a General

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James describes the formation and advocacy efforts of the Black Officers Association pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James describes his rise to the rank of Major General

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James describes becoming commander of the 369th Infantry Regiment

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James talks about becoming the first African American commander of the 42nd Division Artillery

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James details his various promotions

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James describes the formation and advocacy efforts of the Black Officers Association pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James describes his duties as a Two-Star General

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nathaniel James talks about having to fire an ineffective Battalion Commander pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nathaniel James talks about having to fire an ineffective Battalion Commander pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James discusses people's reactions to him being an African American Two-Star General in the New York Army National Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James talks about his career as a Two-Star General in the New York Army National Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James talks about an officer in the 369th Infantry Regiment who refused to fight in the Iraqi War

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James discusses the creation of the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James discusses the creation of the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society pt.2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James talks about the erection of the monument in France honoring the 369th Infantry Regiment's efforts during World War I

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nathaniel James talks about the creation of a duplicate monument in honor of the 369th Infantry Regiment in New York City pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nathaniel James talks about the creation of a duplicate monument in honor of the 369th Infantry Regiment in New York City pt.2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nathaniel James describes the move of the second 369th Infantry Regiment monument from Germany to the United States pt.1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nathaniel James discusses development and programs at the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society, as well as the infantry's monument dedication

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nathaniel James reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nathaniel James reminisces about his late friend, William Miles and the 369th Regiment's portrayal in movies

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nathaniel James describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nathaniel James talks about his family and how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Nathaniel James describes his childhood in New York City
Nathaniel James discusses the creation of the 369th Infantry Regiment Historical Society pt.2
Transcript
Okay. Now, what was your--were your schools--. Now, you're in Harlem, right, in a--?$$I was in Harlem.$$This is Harlem. So most of your classmates were black, I guess.$$Well, then it was--it wasn't all black then. It's just, like, the middle the Harlem where, I guess was black, but naturally, as a kid, I didn't go from level to level. I could only be right there in the street. We lived on Edgecombe Avenue. And then from Edgecombe Avenue we moved to Brooklyn to Gates Avenue. And I can remember Gates Avenue and it was a--Gates and Tompkins. That's when the war was going on, and that's where I saw like they delivered fish. Well, they didn't have a lot of ice trucks then, so what they did is, they delivered fish fresh. So the fish truck would come like a tanker truck, and they would scoop down with a big net, and take the fish out, and take them into the fish market. So you know you're getting fresh fish, they swimming right there in the tank. I guess that was amazing to me to watch them dip down and get all these fish out and put them in a basket and take them into the fish market. And I could sit in the window and watch the trucks come and deliver the bread and whatnot. And occasionally, my oldest sisters and brothers would take us downstairs to play in front of the stoop. And they had a movie, the Tompkins was on the corner. And I could down that far and could look at, you know, they put the pictures of what's playing on the inside. They'd put little scenes on the still pictures outside, and that's as far as I got. If I got ice cream, I think, ice cream, they told me, was three cents. So, I could get a cone of ice cream, which I very rarely got for three cents.$$It's unbelievable--$$Yeah.$$--now to think that you could get that for three cents.$$I guess a dollar now is like three cents then (laughs).$Now, what year was this when you formed it?$$This is in 1960, I guess.$$Okay.$$Let's revise that. 1959; about 1960.$$Okay.$$'Cause he says--we worked on that for--'til 1961, I can remember that, and we had our first viewers to come through. We had a little tour to come through and look at all the memorabilia. And we went through what the thing was about, and who these officers were, and all the different things that was in there. And it sort of caught on. People wanted to know more about it. So we're still confined to this little room. So, but they won't give us anymore space in the Amory. So we'll have to do the best that we can. So, we worked on fixing the room up, and taking all the phernalia (sic) and stuff out and putting the into categories, and try to organize it to something that we'll know where it's at when we need it. So, little by little, Bill Miles now decides that he's got enough of this stuff that he can make a film out of it. So he comes to me and he asks me to write a letter on behalf of the battalion, that he could go to the National Archives and get the footage of the 369th [Infantry Regiment]. Now, if you saw the "Men of Bronze," that footage in there is the footage that he got from the National Archives. So we wrote--now, normally if you go to the National Archives, you have to pay for the footage. But, if you go there as one of the historical units, you get it free, 'cause it's you. So, anyway, he was allowed to get all of this footage free. So, he was able to do that, and he got the film, and then he decided to do interviews and whatnot. And he did a lot of interviews, you know, like the little redheaded gentleman that was here, I met him. Now, he's in the film, and he was an actual 369er. Actually, I met a number of real 369er's that was in the World War I, but since them they have all passed away, so, you can't talk to any of them at this point. But that was the beginning. And then, as time went on, we wanted to expand. But we never got permission to expand it. So little by little, as I rose in rank, eventually, I got to be the Commander. When I got to be the Commander, then I had control over everything. So, I said, "Well, we can expand this out." And I told him to put things out I the lounges. So what we do is expand it into the lounge, and we collect this stuff up and put it back in the library. So it was an on and on, put up displays and take them down. So, as time went on, I spoke to this guy, William DeFossett. He was the president of the Veterans' Association there. He was a treasury officer. And knowing him and what he could do opened a lot of doors just by him being the treasurer officer. So, we used to help him, have him help us do a lot of things. So he says to me one day, "You know, you got committee on the end of this thing, 369th Historical Committee. That sounds awful small." He said, "Why don't you make it the 369th Historical Society, and then it's a bigger thing." I said, "That makes sense." So I changed it to 369th Historical Society. And then we decided to get a charter. So, we worked that, getting a charter. We got the charter, and then from the charter we had to go and get the 501(c)(3) status. We worked at getting the 501(c)(3) status. We got that. And that's the beginning of the 369th Historical Society. And--$$Now, what--yeah. I'm sorry. What year is this?$$And then, as time went on, I got to be the Army Commander. And then after I was the Army Commander, I came back here. They needed the space in the second floor library for a classroom. So I convinced them to give all the space on the walls in this lower area and upstairs to the exclusive use of the Society that no Commander can say what would go up there. That the Society would say what goes up and what takes down (sic). And I went through the Adjutant Generals' office and they gave approval. And so, we expanded everything outside to the different corridors. And that's the way it is today. And that's how the Society is now. The Society itself collects anybody that is interested in preserving history. And so, we have a lot of people that are not military. Anybody that wants to join can join for a fee of $25 as a yearly fee. If they want to be a life member, it's $300. So we got a lot of people to join in for life members, and a lot of people that do annual membership. So, the annual membership is the blood that keeps money coming in that you can do your administrative stuff. But it's nothing big. We try to get a couple of grants here and there. We've managed to get a few grants from the government through our representatives and whatnot. But it--as the budget dries up, that dries up also. So, we've been able to keep those things going. Then when we got to the point that we wanted to expand into the streets, we decided that we should be a monument up in France where the 369th fought, because we had the opportunity to go there, and there weren't no monuments to the 369th [Infantry Regiment], even in the town of Sechault.$$How do you spell that?$$Sechault? S-H-E-A-C-H-T-L (sic), I think it is, A-L-T, chalt.$$Okay. Okay.$$