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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Biographical records on Mary McLeod Bethune

Repository: Florida. Division of Library and Information Services

Collection Description (Extant): Mary McLeod Bethune was born Mary Jane McLeod on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina. After being sponsored at a mission school in South Carolina and receiving a scholarship to Moody Bible Institute, she moved to Daytona Beach in 1904 to begin her own school. Her one room school became the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls and taught not only reading and writing but home economics skills as well. Her school grew over the years until 1923 when it merged with Cookman Institute, a school for boys. The merged schools became known as Bethune-Cookman College and continued to be located in Daytona Beach where it is in operation today.

Bethune was active in the fight against racism and served under several Presidents as a member of the unofficial African American "brain trust." In 1936 she was appointed by President Roosevelt as the director of the National Youth Administration's Division of Negro Affairs. She also founded the National Council of Negro Women and was an active member of the National Association of Colored Women. Bethune died in May 1955. Thirty years later in 1985, Bethune was recognized as one of the most influential African American women in the country with a postage stamp issued in her honor and a statue of her erected in a park in Washington, DC.

Daniel Mortimer Williams was born in 1890 in Childress, Texas. He worked on newspapers in Texas, New York and Washington, D.C. and was chief editorial writer for the World-Telegram in the early 1930s. He also covered the White House and State Department for Trans-Radio Press during World War II. Williams planned to write a biography of Mary McLeod Bethune and accumulated photographs, publications and newspaper clippings for the book. He conducted several interviews with Ms. Bethune in the summer of 1946, though the biography was never completed. Williams died in 1969.

Date(s): 1890-1969

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: 900000
M95- 2

Finding Aid URL:,SPECIFIC=2839,DATABASE=SERIES, External Link

Language: English

Interviewees: Mary McLeod Bethune

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American civic leaders
African American educators
African American universities and colleges
African American women
African American women--Societies and clubs
National Council of Negro Women




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   September 26, 2018
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