Benjamin Oliver was born in Washington, D.C. back in 1877 to Louis and Henrietta. He graduated from the M Street High School. His father was a messenger for the Interior Department and his mother was a nurse. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army at the start of the Spanish-American War.
He was stationed in Chickamauga Park, Georgia, his unit was disbanded in 1899. That same year he enlisted as a private in Troop I, 9th Cavalry Regiment stationed in Fort Duchesne, Utah. In 1901, he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Cavalry in the Regular Army. I won’t go into all the places where he served but suffice it to say he moved a lot. He retired in 1948 after 50 years of serving this Republic.
What you may not know about Benjamin Olives Davis is that he was the first African-American to rise to the rank of Brigadier General in the U.S. military in 1940. Six days after his retirement President Harry S. Truman issued executive order 9981, abolishing racial discrimination in the armed forces. He died in 1970, he was 93.
Your day is worthwhile when you make someone smile, so give the free gift of a smile today