Our Georgia History

Mary McLeod Bethune
July 10, 1876 Mary McLeod Bethune is born on a farm near Mayesville, South Carolina
  Mary McLeod Bethune
May 18, 1955 Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator and Civil Rights leader, dies in Daytona Beach
  Mary McLeod Bethune

Although more closely associated with Florida, and Bethune-Cookman College that bears her name, Mary McLeod Bethune spent a significant amount of time as a young adult in Augusta and Savannah, Georgia. In the mid-1890's she was a teacher at Haines Institute in Augusta, where her honed her teaching skills under noted educator Lucy Laney and held Sunday School for street kids. In 1898 she returned to Georgia, this time Savannah. She and her husband began to raise a son here. Bethune left for Florida in 1899, followed by her husband and son. It was in Florida that her legacy as a Civil Rights leader was established. Her bravery stands out as an example of the oppressed rising above the oppressor. She led a group of blacks to the polls for the first time in spite of threats from the powerful Ku Klux Klan.

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