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Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator

Mary McLeod Bethune

In 1904, Mary McLeod Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial School for Negro Girls. Her school later merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville in 1923 and today is known as Bethune-Cookman University.

Bethune was active in the struggle for civil rights and served as an unofficial advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This learning unit explores the life and legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune using photographs and documents from the papers of Daniel Mortimer Williams, held by the State Archives of Florida.

Daniel Williams 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.

The interview and other documents were collected by Williams, who planned to write a biography of Bethune. He accumulated photographs, publications, and newspaper clippings for the book and conducted several interviews with Bethune in the summer of 1946, but never completed the manuscript.