Now you know I wasn’t going to go the whole February without doing ANYTHING related to Black History Month :) Here are some interesting facts I found at biography.com and other places on the net.
- Tice Davids, a runaway slave from Kentucky, was the inspiration for the first usage of the term “Underground Railroad.” Davids’ owner assumed the slave had drowned when he attempted his swim across the Ohio River. He told the local paper that if Davids had escaped, he must have traveled on “an underground railroad.” Davids, however, did live, giving the Underground Railroad its now-famous name.
- Buffalo Soldiers is the name given to the all-black regiments of the U.S. Army started in 1866. The name was respectfully given to the African–American cavalries during the 1800s by the Native American Kiowa tribe. More than 20 Buffalo Soldiers received the highest Medal of Honor for their service—the highest number of any U.S. military unit. The oldest living Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews, died at the age of 111 in 2005. These soldiers received second class treatment and were often given the worst military assignments, but had the lowest desertion rate compared to their white counterparts.
- Cathay Williams was the one and only female Buffalo Soldier, posing as a man named William Cathay to enlist in the 38th infantry in 1866. She served for two years before a doctor discovered that she was a woman, leading to her discharge. Continue reading