Prominent Figures in African-American History

Black Medal of Honor Recipients Buried at Arlington PDF Icon

Tuskegee Airmen Buried at Arlington PDF Icon

Maj. Alexander T. Augusta - Black surgeon with the Union forces. Although given an officer's rank, was paid black-enlisted wages during most of his service in the Army. (1-124) J34.

Oscar Chapman - Secretary of interior and a strong advocate of President Truman's civil-rights programs, including integration of the armed forces. (12-8471)

Contrabands - 3,800 Civil War "contrabands" (fugitive and liberated slaves) are buried in Section 27, their headstones marked with the words "Citizen" or "Civilian."

Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Sr. - Selected by President Roosevelt and Gen. of the Army George C. Marshall as the first African-American general in the U.S. military in 1940. (2-478) W32.

Medgar Evers - Civil-rights leader who was shot outside of his home in Mississippi in June 1963. Following his death he became a symbol of black pride and a martyr of America's civil-rights struggle. (36-1431) BB-40.

Matthew Alexander Henson - On April 6, 1909, Henson was the first African-American who first reached the Pole and planted the American flag. (8-S15) X8.

Robert Ingersoll - A strong advocate of equal rights for African-Americans and women in the late 1800s. When hotels refused to house Frederick Douglass, Ingersoll welcomed the African-American journalist into his Illinois home. They later become close friends. (3-1620) S16.

Air Force Gen. Daniel (Chappie) James - First African- American four-star officer in the armed forces. Veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. (2-4968) V33.

Louis Vaughn Jones - Concert violinist, professor of music at Howard University.

Allard Lowenstein - N.Y. congressman who actively fought for the civil-rights cause in 1960s. Shot in his law office in 1980. (30-2005) U36.

Joe Louis (Barrows) "The Brown Bomber" - Held the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World longer and defended it more times than any other boxer in history. As a sergeant during World War II, he donated $100,000 to Army and Navy relief efforts and fought 96 exhibition matches for more than 2 million troops. (7A-177) U24.

Thurgood Marshall - First African-American justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967. (5-40-3) W36.

James Parks - Born a Custis slave in the mid-1800s, "Uncle Jim" lived on the Arlington Estate for almost 90 years. During the Civil War he helped bury soldiers and build Union fortifications. He died in 1929, having fathered 22 children and leaving a rich oral history of the Cemetery. (15-2) G26 1/2.

Brig. Gen. Noel F. Parrish - White commander of the all-black Tuskegee Airman. Organized and directed the military's first systematic effort to train black pilots for combat duty during World War II. The general was instrumental in planning the integration of the armed forces in later years. (3-1667) PQ17 1/2.

Lemuel A. Penn - Prominent African-American educator and civil-rights activist who was shot in Georgia in 1964. (3-1377) LM19.

Spottswood Poles - One of the best baseball players in the Negro Leagues during the early 1900s. Batting average in 1914 was 487. (42-2324) U46.

Gen. Roscoe Robinson Jr. - The first African American in the Army to attain four-star rank. In a 34-year military career that began in 1951, the U.S. Military Academy graduate served with the 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War and the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam. Between them he earned two Silver Stars, three Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Bronze Star Medal. He served as U.S. representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the three years preceding his retirement in 1985. The general died July 22, 1993. (7A-18).

Col. Frank Snowden - Senior African-American officer at Camp Lee, Va., in World War II. Major consultant on interracial matters between 1946 and 1947. (12-8471) CC26.

U.S.C.T. - United States Colored Troops who served with the Union forces during the Civil War. More than 180,000 African-Americans served in U.S.C.T. units. Buried in Sections 23 and 27, their headstones are marked with a Civil War Shield and the letters U.S.C.T.

USS Maine - The USS Maine was sunk in Havana Harbor, Cuba, in 1898, and became the rallying call for the Spanish-American War. Aboard were 22 black sailors who were buried along with the rest of the crew in Section 24 near the mast of the Maine.

Capt. O.S.B Wall - One of 100 black officers during the Civil War. Wall was a primary mover in the recruitment of African-Americans in the Union forces. (1-124) H33.

Col. Charles Young - The third African-American to graduate the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Graduating in 1889, he was the first African-American to reach the rank of colonel in 1917. (3-1730) WR17 1/2.