—  Educators, Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington

U.S. #873 commemorates Booker T. Washington, the first president of the Tuskegee Institute. It was the first time an African American was pictured on a U.S. postage stamp. Washington was born a slave, and after the Civil War he worked his way through the Hampton Institute and Wayland Seminary. In 1881, at age 25, he was named the president of the newly created Tuskegee Institute.


Washington was a skilled orator and became a spokesman for blacks in America. Along with Julius Rosenwald, part owner of Sears Roebuck, Washington helped develop over 5,000 small community schools to educate black students throughout the South. Washington and Rosenwald provided organization and matched funds raised by the communities.

Source: United States Postal Service Smithsonian's National Postal Museum

Booker T. Washiington stamp (April 7, 1940)