This Day in Black History: April 7, 1940

Booker T. Washington

This Day in Black History: April 7, 1940

Booker T. Washington is the first African-American to be honored on a U.S. stamp on April 7, 1940.

UPDATED ON : APRIL 7, 2014 / 12:00 AM

 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The U.S. Postal Service regularly honors African-Americans on stamps in the present day, but Booker T. Washington was the first Black to be honored in this way on April 7, 1940. 

Washington was part of the U.S. Postal Service's Famous Americans Series. The stamp was issued at a cost of 10 cents.

Washington was a prominent educator, having founded Alabama's Tuskegee Normal Industrial School, which was renamed Tuskegee Institute in 1937. He was born enslaved on April 5, 1856, in Hale's Ford, Virginia.  He died in Tuskegee, Alabama on Nov. 14, 1915.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged that Washington have his own stamp, after numerous petitions from African-American supporters. A ceremony was eventually held for the stamp's revealing at the Tuskegee Institute.  

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Written by Natelege Whaley


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