This Day in Black History: Dec. 4, 1906

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded at Cornell University.

Posted: 12/04/2012 08:00 AM EST
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Alpha Phi Alpha was established at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where it became the nation’s first predominantly African-American fraternity on Dec. 4, 1906.

It was founded by seven college men who recognized the need for a bond of brotherhood among African-American students. Within a year, it had established chapters at Howard University and Virginia Union University.

The fraternity has expanded to more than 185,000 members and has been open to men of all races since 1940. Currently there are more than 730 active chapters in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. Among the organization's most prominent members are civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Olympian Jesse Owens, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, singer Lionel Richie and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young.

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(Photo: Rich Lipski/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

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