LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/WPGC) — Howard University is one of the nation’s cornerstones of black education, and it likely wouldn’t be here if not for the work of Gen. Oliver Otis Howard.
Howard, a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War, was a leader in promoting higher education for freedmen.
He played a pivotal role in the founding of Howard University in D.C. and served as its president from 1867–73.
“One of the things that African Americans wanted most once they got their freedom was to learn how to read,” said Dr. Edna Greene Medford, a history professor at Howard.
Medford also said Howard’s efforts were far reaching as director of the Freedman’s Bureau, including the establishment of grade schools.