1974 July 10

Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Statue Dedicated


Mary McLeod was one of the most important African-American woman activists in the first half of the twentieth century. She founded the National Council of Negro Women on December 6, 1935, was a member of President Franklin D Roosevelt’s administration, a friend and advisor to Eleanor Roosevelt, and founder-leader of the informal “Black Cabinet,” which consisted of African-American members of the Roosevelt administration. See, for example, her report to the president on the conditions of African American youth on January 18, 1937.

The Dedication: “I leave you love. I leave you hope. I leave you the challenge of developing confidence in one another. I leave you a thirst for education. I leave you a respect for the use of power. I leave you faith. I leave you racial dignity. I leave you a desire to live harmoniously with your fellow men. I leave you finally, a responsibility to our young people.”

Visit the Bethune statue in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C.:

Learn more: Mary McLeod Bethune, Audrey McCluskey, Elaine Smith, Mary McLeod Bethune: Building a Better World, Essays and Selected Documents (1999)

Take the civil rights history tour of Washington, DChttp://washington.org/dc-itinerary/dc-itinerary-major-civil-rights-sites-1-day 

Learn more about Bethune at the National Women’s History Museum: https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/mary-mcleod-bethune/

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