5 Things You Didn’t Know About Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune as we all know was an educator, philanthropist, humanitarian and founder of Bethune Cookman University.  She raised money, motivated and inspired many students while she was alive and even today. I spent many hours in her home (Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation- National Historic Landmark) as a student worker from 1995-1998 and I assumed I learned everything about Dr. Bethune. However; through my recent conversations with Dr. Ashley Robertson Preston, Director & Curator at the Bethune Foundation, there were some interesting facts that I was privy to learning. Check out these five unknown facts:

  • Smothered chicken wings and grits was one of her favorite meals.
  • Her best friend was a fellow educator by the name of Charlotte Hawkins Brown.
From left to right, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Charlotte Hawkins Brown and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
  • She loved football! She would attend the games in her finest attire.
  • She was about 10 years old when she officially started school.
The cabin where Dr. Bethune was born, July 10, 1875 in Mayseville, South Carolina.
  • She was a very good singer and pianist.

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