Archives Relocated to Museum Resource Center
The National Park Service (NPS) has relocated the National Archives for Black Women’s History collection from Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site to the NPS’s Museum Resource Center in Landover, Maryland. More »
On-street parking is limited, public transportation suggested. Nearest Metros are the U Street and McPherson Square stations. Please be aware street sweeping occurs on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30-11:30am, further limiting parking during that time. More »
Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955)
By her own words and example, Mary McLeod Bethune demonstrated the value of education, a philosophy of universal love, and the wise and consistent use of political power in striving for racial and gender equality. The 15th of 17 children of former slaves, Bethune grew up amidst poverty and oppression of the Reconstruction South, yet rose to prominence as an educator, presidential advisor, and political activist. Through her own schooling by missionaries in South Carolina, Bethune recognized the importance of education in the emerging struggle for civil rights. In 1904 she founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial School for Negro Girls in Daytona Beach, Florida, which later merged with the Cookman Institute to become Bethune-Cookman College. In 2007, the school became Bethune-Cookman University. Mary McLeod Bethune worked tirelessly to influence legislation affecting African Americans and women and continued to be an important voice for human rights until her death in 1955 at the age of 79.
Birth: July 10, 1875 (Mayesville, South Carolina)
They had one son, Albert McLeod Bethune, Sr.
He had five children:
These grandchildren have given her 17 great-grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren (as of 2007).
Race Relations and Political Action Organizations:
Civic and Social Service Organizations:
Clubs and Sororities:
Did You Know?
The Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Statue, in Lincoln Park in Washington, DC, was the first statue erected to a woman or African American of honor. The 17-foot-high bronze statue shows Bethune handing off her sum of learning to two children, representing the next generation of African Americans.