Mary McLeod Bethune

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Mary McLeod Bethune

On July 10, 1875, Mary Jane McLeod was born as the 15th of 17 children of two former slaves near Mayesville, SC. In 1904, Mary McLeod Bethune opened a boarding school, the Daytona Beach Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls. Also active in the racial and gender equality fight, Bethune founded several organizations and led voter registration drives after the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920.  She was elected president of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1924 and became the founding president of the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. In 1940, she became vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons (NAACP), a position she held for the rest of her life.

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