Samuel Lee Gravely Jr. (June 4, 1922 – October 22, 2004) was an African-American pioneer in the United States Navy — the first African American in the U.S. Navy to serve aboard a fighting ship as an officer, the first to command a Navy ship, the first fleet commander, and the first to become a flag officer, retiring as a vice admiral. Following his military retirement, Gravely settled in rural Haymarket, Virginia, and worked as a consultant. After suffering a stroke, Gravely died at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on October 22, 2004. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
In Richmond, the street on which Gravely grew up was renamed “Admiral Gravely Boulevard” in 1977. The destroyer USS Gravely (DDG-107), commissioned in 2010, was named in his honor. #blackhistoryfacts#blackhistory#VaProud#Richmond#Glory#whentheygongiveusthebluesuits
J. Alexander Chiles was one of eight children, including his twin brother, John R. Chiles, who gave him financial assistance while he was a student at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and the University of Michigan Law School. Chiles moved to Lexington, KY, in 1890 to open a law office at 304 W. Short Street. His business was a success; Chiles is sometimes referred to as the first African American lawyer in Lexington. By 1907, he was one of four African American lawyers in the city. Chiles became the first African American lawyer to argue a case before the Supreme Court in 1910. He argued in the case against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for desegregation of railroad coaches after he was removed by force to the Colored coach in spite of his first class ticket from Washington D.C. to Lexington. Chiles was also an active member of the Seventh Day Adventist congregation in Lexington; he was a trustee, deacon, and treasurer of the first church built in 1906 at the corner of Fifth and Upper Streets. His wife, Fannie J. Bates Chiles, was the first librarian for the church. James A. Chiles was born in Virginia, the son of Richard and Martha Chiles. James Alexander Chiles died in Richmond, VA in April of 1930 #blackhistory#blackhistoryfacts#hekeptthesabbath
George Franklin Grant (September 15, 1846 – August 21, 1910) was the first African-American professor at Harvard. He was also a Boston dentist, and an inventor of a wooden golf tee. He was born on September 15, 1846, in Oswego, New York, to Phillis Pitt and Tudor Elandor Grant.
Before the wooden golf tee was invented, golfers would carry around buckets of sand and build a pile of sand before each shot. This, however, became time-consuming and messy, causing Grant to ponder a solution to the problem. Grant consequently invented the wooden golf tee, used to replace the mound of sand.
He entered the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1868, and graduated in 1870. He then took a position in the department of mechanical dentistry in 1871, making him Harvard University’s first African-American faculty member.
He was a founding member and later the president of the Harvard Odontological Society and was a member of the Harvard Dental Alumni Association where he was elected president in 1881. #blackhistoryfacts#blackhistory#Boston 1 of 2
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George Franklin Grant
Atlanta entrepreneur Michael R. Hollis- Hollis in 1984 launched Air Atlanta, a luxury airline that was the first in the nation controlled by an African-American, and later established Hollis Communications along with Atlanta builder H.J. Russell. He earned a law degree from the University of Virginia and was the first African-American elected as national president of the 30,000-member student division of the American Bar Association. Hollis went on at age 27 to found Air Atlanta. The airline filed for bankruptcy in 1987. #blackhistory#blackhistoryfacts#atlanta#airatlanta#therealsoulplane 2 of 2