Black History Month–Day 24

In honor of Black History Month, here are few profiles of contributors to history of African descent:

Gen. Colin L. Powell

First Black Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

Gen. Colin L. Powell: He served 35 years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of four-star general and becoming the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989 to 1993). National security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, he was appointed secretary of state in 2001 in George W. Bush’s administration. He received numerous awards, including two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), a Purple Heart and numerous decorations from other countries.

Pfc. Milton Olive III

Service in Vietnam

Pfc. Milton Olive III: He was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for saving the lives of four other U.S. Army soldiers during a battle early in the Vietnam War. Milton used his body to cover a grenade to save his fellow soldiers. “It was the most incredible display of selfless bravery I ever witnessed,” the platoon commander later told a journalist.

Thanks to Tanisha and Bryan Jones and their daughter Sinai for compiling these profiles from the following sources:

1) The Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage, by Susan Altman
2) The Roots website,
3) Famous Black Inventors website,