As a historic unit of the National Park Service, the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The site also is within the boundaries of the Logan Circle Historic District. This lesson is based on the Historic Resources Study for Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, as well as other materials on Bethune and the National Council of Negro Women. The lesson was written by Brenda K. Olio, former Teaching with Historic Places historian, and edited by staff of the Teaching with Historic Places program and Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.
This document was identified by teachers in our Primarily Teaching 2016 Summer Workshop at the Truman Library.
Mary McLeod Bethune was one of the most important black educators, civil and women’s rights leaders and government officials of the twentieth century.
This resource is from a collection of biographies of famous women. It is provided by the National Women's History Museum, and may include links to supplemental materials including lesson plans about the subject and related topics, links to related biographies, and "works cited" pages. The biographies are sponsored by Susan D. Whiting.
This photograph is from series is a collection of black-and-white and color photographs of a set of oil paintings "Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin" commissioned by the Harmon Foundation. The set originally comprised 22 portraits painted by Betsy Graves Reyneau and Laura Wheeler Waring. Overtime the number of paintings increased to 47.The Harmon Foundation, a nonprofit, private foundation active from 1922 to 1967, helped foster an awareness of African art. African artists would send their artworks to the United States for exhibit and sale. When the foundation ended its activities in 1967, it donated its entire collection of motion pictures, filmstrips, color slides, and black and white prints and negatives on a variety of subjects to the National Archives. Betsy Graves Reyneau (1888-1964) studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts shortly before World War I. She continued her studies in Cincinnati, Ohio; Paris, France and Rome, Italy. Following her studies, Reyneau maintained a studio in Detroit, MI for a number of years. Then in 1927, she moved permanently to Europe, only to leave 12 years later due to the rise of fascism.Returning to the United States, Reyneau was shocked by the overt racism that existed in the 1930s. She decided that by using her skills as a portrait painter she could do something that would make a difference in the country's perception of African Americans. Reyneau's determination eventually resulted in a set of portraits commissioned by the Harmon Foundation. The individuals chosen were prominent African Americans who had distinguished themselves by their service to humankind.Learn more on the National Archives website.
The original caption for this photograph reads: "Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt and others at the opening of Midway Hall, one of two residence halls built by the Public Buildings Administration of FWA for Negro government girls."As a presidential advisor of African American Affairs during the Roosevelt administration, Mary McLeod Bethune formed the Federal Council of Negro Affairs, which would become known as the Black Cabinet. The Black Cabinet was instrumental in creating jobs for African Americans in Federal executive departments and New Deal agencies.Bethune’s influence within the Roosevelt administration also allowed her to direct funds created by the New Deal program to Black people. Programs such as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and National Youth Administration (NYA) were successful in employing over 300,000 African Americans during the Great Depression.The original caption for this photograph uses the term "negro" to refer to Black people, which was commonly accepted in that era, but is outdated and inappropriate today.
A statue of educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune was dedicated as part of Congress’s National Statuary Hall. She is the first African American to be represented in the collection and was selected by the state of Florida. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) makes remarks at the ceremony.
U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.Senior Contributing AuthorsP. Scott Corbett, Ventura CollegeVolker Janssen, California State University, FullertonJohn M. Lund, Keene State CollegeTodd Pfannestiel, Clarion UniversityPaul Vickery, Oral Roberts UniversitySylvie Waskiewicz
By the end of this section, you should be able to:Identify key pieces of legislation from the Second New DealAssess the entire New Deal, especially in terms of its impact on women, African Americans, and Native Americans