February 23, 2007 |
BEFORE PHILADELPHIA native Everett Staten went off to college, American history was his least favorite class. "History was my worst subject in school," Staten said. "American history was basically politics and military, and the only thing it included about African-Americans was being slaves. " Years later, determined to publicize the untold accounts of African-American history, Staten founded the Black History Showcase, a free event featuring a variety of privately owned exhibits and activities composed of real people, objects and stories, with the intention to boost African-American pride and encourage tolerance between races.
July 27, 2006 |
Elmore M. Kennedy Jr., 90, one of the dwindling number of Tuskegee Airmen who served during World War II, died of complications of a stroke July 22 at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del., near the home of his niece, Kim McKinnie. He lived in West Philadelphia. "Dr. Kennedy was a visionary who believed we had a responsibility in our community to uplift people," said Tess Spooner, president of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. "He was a diplomat, a teacher and a scientist with compassion who brought calm to every situation.
May 9, 2006 |
They commanded the room as easily as they did the controls of their Mustang P-51 fighters during World War II. The three Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots, sat up front yesterday at the Media Theater in Media while a film featuring their commentary played to a packed house of 600 instant fans, mostly middle and high school students, but politicians and veterans, too. The film, combined with a lesson plan, is being offered to...
November 11, 2005 |
As young men in Navy uniforms, Ed Buffman and Bud Hendrick were witnesses to the crowning moment of World War II: the surrender of Japan aboard a battleship in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945. Six decades later, their ambition to help create a museum in their hometown to preserve the war memories of veterans like themselves is about to become reality. Today, at the former National Guard armory in Media, the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum will open to the public. "Without Ed and Bud, this never would have happened," said Robert McMahon, mayor of Media and also a key player in the museum.
June 5, 2004 |
Their record is unsurpassed in American military history: 200 escort missions over Europe during World War II, not a single bomber lost to enemy aircraft. In the sky - and even in secondhand fighters - the Tuskegee Airmen were tops. On the ground, their high-altitude heroics done, they were soldiers of color, segregated and shunted aside. Today, 60 years later, surviving airmen and others who work to keep their legacy alive will cap a weeklong salute in the Philadelphia region with a day in their honor at the World War II air show in Reading.
March 28, 2004 |
On Dec. 17, 1944, L. Harvey Hewit was a bombardier flying his 11th mission when enemy fire hit his B-24 over the Odertal synthetic oil refinery in Germany. The plane lost an engine and couldn't keep up with the rest of the group. The crew tried to return to its base in Cerignola, Italy, but the plane was hit again and the crew had to bail out over Adony, Hungary. Hewit landed "in the middle of a battle" between the Russian and German lines and was picked up by a Russian patrol, he said.
November 17, 2003 |
Eleanor Sutton Wiggins, 89, a retired educator who began her teaching career in the one-room schoolhouse that she attended as a child and worked to increase the ranks of minority teachers, died Tuesday at her Erial home after a long illness. In a career that spanned nearly four decades, Mrs. Wiggins held jobs in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Alabama, where she taught the children of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II fame, said her daughter, Francyne Wiggins. Born in Atlanta, Mrs. Wiggins grew up in Weirton, W.Va.
February 21, 2002 |
Roscoe Draper was not a kid who built model airplanes thinking that someday he would be a pilot. His family in Haverford had no money to send him to college, and in any case, that wasn't the sort of ambition that young black men generally had in the 1930s. But events conspired to change Draper's fate. He entered the Hampton Institute in Virginia on a work-study program, and World War II broke out. Suddenly Draper, who once saw his future in auto mechanics, found himself in a civil pilot training program at the institute.
September 29, 2001 |
Several hundred mourners gathered yesterday at a school gymnasium here in Burlington County to pay tribute to LeRoy Wilton Homer Jr., 36, a reserved man who was at home in the skies. When a friend and fellow aviator told the standing-room-only crowd about the great times the two had in their 20s - flying all over the world with the Air Force, spending weekends at the Jersey Shore and in Philadelphia - there were smiles. And when one of Homer's sisters read letters from his family - his mother, a brother, and six other sisters - about how Homer, because he was constantly outnumbered by women, was often "quiet out of necessity," there was laughter.
March 6, 2001 |
Joseph A. Purul Jr., longtime leader of the Purul Comic Club, one of the Mummer's oldest comic groups, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 78 and lived in Queen Village. Purul was an attorney for the state Department of Labor and Industry from 1967 until he retired in 1984. He continued to do some private legal work. The Purul Comic Club was founded by Joseph Purul Sr. in 1937. When he died in 1966, Joe Jr. took over the organization and also became active in the Mummer's Association, serving as its attorney until 1988.