Bethune’s Daytona Normal and Industrial School grew over the years, and in 1923 merged with the Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, a school for boys. The merger created Bethune-Cookman College (later Bethune-Cookman University), which continues to thrive in Daytona Beach.
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Bethune was active in the struggle for civil rights and served under several U.S. presidents as a member of the unofficial African American “brain trust.” In 1936, she was appointed by President Franklin D. 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.
A statue of Bethune was erected in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C. 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.
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Left to right: Harry S. Truman; Mary McLeod Bethune; Madame Vijaya Pandit, India’s ambassador; and Dr. Ralph Bunche of the United Nations. All received the citation for outstanding citizenship from President Truman.
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When Mary McLeod Bethune entered the White House, a white guard addressed her as “auntie.” She stopped and asked him in her most earnest tone, “Which one of my brothers’ children are you?”
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Left to right: Albert M. Bethune, Sr. (son); Albert M. Bethune, Jr. (grandson); Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune; George McLeod (niece?) and her foster son, Edward R. Rodriguez.
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