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Record Group Number: 900000
Series/Collection Number: M95- 2
Creator: Williams, Daniel M. 1890-1969.
Title, Dates: Biographical records on Mary McLeod Bethune, 1890-1960.
Amount: 1.25 cubic ft.
Medium Included: photographs
Organization/Arrangement: Arranged by record type.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:   Mary McLeod Bethune was born Mary Jane McLeod on July 10, 1875 in Mayesville, South Carolina.  After being sponsored at a mission school in South Carolina and receiving a scholarship to Moody Bible Institute, she moved to Daytona Beach in 1904 to begin her own school.  Her one room school became the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls and taught not only reading and writing but home economics skills as well.  Her school grew over the years until 1923 when it merged with Cookman Institute, a school for boys.  The merged schools became known as Bethune-Cookman College and continued to be located in Daytona Beach where it is in operation today.

    Bethune was active in the fight against racism and served under several Presidents as a member of the unofficial African American "brain trust."  In 1936 she was appointed by President Roosevelt as the director of the National Youth Administration's Division of Negro Affairs.  She also founded the National Council of Negro Women and was an active member of the National Association of Colored Women.  Bethune died in May 1955.  Thirty years later in 1985, Bethune was recognized as one of the most influential African American women in the country with a postage stamp issued in her honor and a statue of her erected in a park in Washington, DC.

    Daniel Mortimer Williams was born in 1890 in Childress, Texas. He worked on newspapers in Texas, New York and Washington, D.C. and was chief editorial writer for the World-Telegram in the early 1930s.  He also covered the White House and State Department for Trans-Radio Press during World War II.  Williams planned to write a biography of Mary McLeod Bethune and accumulated photographs, publications and newspaper clippings for the book. He conducted several interviews with Ms. Bethune in the summer of 1946, though the biography was never completed.  Williams died in 1969.

Summary:     This collection consists of records documenting the life of Mary McLeod Bethune, including  transcripts of interviews with Bethune, letters, and drafts of sections of Daniel Mortimer Williams' planned biography.  The records document the Daytona School and Bethune-Cookman College as well as Bethune's involvement with the National Council for Negro Women.  The collection includes a transcript of an interview apparently conducted in about 1939 or 1940 by Dr. Charles Spurgeon Johnson, an authority on race relations who chaired the Sociology Department and was later the first black president at traditionally-black Fisk University.  Also included are thirty photographs which depict Bethune, her Daytona Beach schools, and Bethune Cookman College.

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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Johnson, Charles Spurgeon, 1893-1956.
African Americans Education. Florida
African Americans History 1877-1964. Florida
African American students Florida.
Universities and colleges Florida
Daytona Beach (Fla.)
Added Entries Johnson, Charles Spurgeon, 1893-1956.
Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955
Bethune-Cookman College (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Daytona Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
National Council of Negro Women

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