CuriShorts
CuriPow on 11/12/2019

The Borinqueneers

The 65th Infantry originated as a Puerto Rican outfit in the form of the Battalion of Porto Rican Volunteers (May 20, 1899) in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War of 1898. They were regarded as colonial troops, part of the first “American Colonial Army.” In 1908, and by then a regiment, the unit officially became part of the U.S. Army. It came to be known as the Porto Rican Regiment. During WWI the regiment was sent to the Canal Zone in Panama- far from the European battlefields. In 1920, the unit’s name changed from the Porto Rican Regiment to the 65th Infantry Regiment, United States Army.

CuriPow on 11/11/2019

The First In The Nation

Edward Alexander Bouchet graduated valedictorian from Hopkins Grammar School in 1870. That same year, he began his studies at Yale University. He completed his bachelor's degree in 1874. Bouchet made history two years later, becoming the first African American to earn a doctorate degree in the United States. After earning his doctorate in physics, he taught at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia for more than 25 years.

CuriPow on 11/10/2019

Overacheiver

Testtdi Antonia Novella overcame childhood poverty and illness to become one of the leading doctors in the United States. She was trained as a pediatrician and served in the public health sector. After spending several years at the National Insitute of Health (NIH), Novello was appointed United States Surgeon General by President George Bush. She was the first woman and Latina to hold this position. Novello used this role to bring national attention to important health issues, such as alcohol abuse, smoking, violence, and AIDS, as well as issues that especially affected women and Hispanics.

CuriPow on 11/08/2019

The First Korean American

Dr. Philip Jaisohn (a.k.a. SOH, Jae-Pil) arrived in the U.S. in 1885 as a political exile and became the first Korean to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen. He also became the first Korean American medical doctor as well as an influential political reformer in Korea when he returned home in 1896.

CuriPow on 11/07/2019

The Doctor Of Perseverance

In 1926 Dr. May Edward Chinn was the first African American woman to graduate from Bellvue Hospital Medical College. Chinn was also the first African American woman to intern at Harlem Hospital as well as the first African American to ride with the ambulance crew on emergency calls.

CuriPow on 11/06/2019

Community Activist, Politician, Historian, Cultural Worker, And Author

Thelma Garcia Buchholdt was a Filipino American community activist, politician, historian, public speaker, cultural worker, and author. Buchholdt achieved a first as a Filipino American by being elected to the Alaska House of Representatives for four consecutive terms, from 1974 through 1982 which was a predominately white district. She was the author of the book Filipinos in Alaska: 1788-1958.

CuriPow on 11/05/2019

Silent Star

Sessue Hayakawa, whose given name was Kintaro Hayakawa, achieved fame and widespread recognition in the early decades of the U.S. film industry.

CuriPow on 11/04/2019

The Most Accomplished Of Her Time

Ynes Mexia is a Mexican-American social worker, botanical collector, and explorer. Her interest in botany developed in San Francisco, where she moved in 1908 and practiced as a social worker. She joined the Sierra Club and at the age of 51 enrolled as a special undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1925 she participated in a botanical expedition to Mexico sponsored by Stanford University. Once in Mexico, however, she decided she could accomplish more on her own; abandoning the group, she traveled the country for two years and collected more than 1,500 specimens, which she sent to the herbarium at Berkeley. Her success in Mexico assured her reputation.

CuriPow on 11/03/2019

Humble Genius

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner was an African-American inventor most noted for her development of the sanitary belt (now known as the Maxi-Pad) that changed women's feminine care forever.

CuriPow on 11/02/2019

The Indianola Affair

In 1891 Minnie M. Geddings Cox was the first black postmistress in the United States. President Benjamin Harris appointed her to the post and President McKinley reappointed her in 1897, and the appointment drew controversy from whites who wanted blacks removed from leadership positions. In 1902 she offered to resign; however, President Roosevelt refused her resignation.

CuriPow on 11/01/2019

From Fax Machines To Fiber Optics

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist and famous black inventor, has been credited with making many advances in science. She first developed an interest in science and mathematics during her childhood and conducted experiments and studies, such as those on the eating habits of honeybees. She followed this interest to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received a bachelor, and doctoral degree, all in the field of physics. In doing so she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.

CuriPow on 10/31/2019

The First Ph. D in Natural Sciences In The United States

Born in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York, Marie Maynard Daly was an avid reader and was fascinated by Paul De Kruif’s popular book The Microbe Hunters. She was further inspired by her father’s love of science. Unfortunately, he had been forced by economic circumstances to drop out of Cornell University, where he had been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

CuriPow on 10/30/2019

Creating The Path Forward

Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton is among the best-remembered authors of nineteenth-century Mexican American literature. Fully bilingual, de Burton was the first female Mexican American to write novels in English: Who Would Have Thought It? and The Squatter and the Don.

CuriPow on 10/29/2019

Another Hidden Figure

Mary Golda Ross was the first known Native American (Cherokee Nation) female engineer and the first female engineer in the history of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Ross began her career by working on the P-38 Lightning fighter plane. She was later asked to be one of the 40 founding engineers of the renowned and highly secretive Skunk Works project at Lockheed.

CuriPow on 10/28/2019

First To Serve

Herbert Young Cho Choy was the first Asian American to serve as a United States federal judge and the first person of Korean ancestry to be admitted to the bar in the United States. He served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

CuriPow on 10/27/2019

Four Stars

Horacio Rivera, Jr., was the first Puerto Rican four-star admiral and second Hispanic to rise to full admiral, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where Rivero received his primary and secondary education in the public schools of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

CuriPow on 10/26/2019

First In A Silent Era

Perhaps the first Asian actress to appear in American cinema, lovers of silent cinema have forgotten the name Tsuru Aoki, whereas her husband, Sessue Hayakawa, remains a legend. Aoki’s film career, in fact, preceded her husband’s rise to fame in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Cheat (1915).

CuriPow on 10/25/2019

Ahead Of Her Time

Madeline Marcotte was born in February 1780 at Mackinac Island, the daughter of a French-Canadian fur trader Jean Baptiste Marcotte and Marie Nekesh, an Ottawa Indian. Madeline was only 3 months old when her father died. She was raised among her mother’s people in an Ottawa village at the mouth of the Grand River near Grand Haven Michigan. She must have been a person of some status there, as her grandfather was Chief Kewinoquot.

CuriPow on 10/24/2019

The Few, The Proud

In 1942 black Marines were first enlisted but were placed on inactive status until the Marines could build a training-size unit in segregated facilities at Montford Point (thus were called the Montford Pointers), a training reservation at Marine Barracks, New River, NC (later named Camp Lejune). When training began for the first black contingent, the 51st Defense Battalion, Howard P. Perry was the first person to report on that day.

CuriPow on 10/23/2019

The Power Of Education

Charlotte Hawkins Brown was educated in Massachusetts before returning to the South to teach African-American children. In 1902, she opened the Palmer Memorial Institute, named after a benefactor; it went on to become a famed 200-acre prep school offering black students rich course offerings.

CuriPow on 10/22/2019

Social Scientist

Edward Franklin Frazier (a.k.a. E. Franklin Frazier) was an American sociologist whose work on African American social structure provided insights into many of the problems affecting the black community.

CuriPow on 10/21/2019

Ahead of Her Time

Yuri Kochiyama was a tireless political activist who dedicated her life to contributing to social change through her participation in social justice and human rights movements.

CuriPow on 10/21/2019

Red light, Green light

Garrett Morgan was always interested in inventions. His tailoring business was equipped with machines that he personally designed. During the 1910s and 1920s, Morgan continued to invent new items. Most of these items were to improve safety on the streets and in the workplace. Morgan was most famous for patenting the first traffic signal in the United States. Morgan, himself an automobile owner, witnessed a crash between a car and a buggy. This event supposedly convinced the inventor to create the stoplight. On November 20, 1923, Morgan received his patent. His traffic signal was mounted on a T-shaped pole. It had three different types of signals stop, go, and stop in all directions. The stop in all directions signal was to allow pedestrians to cross streets safely. Morgan eventually patented this device in Canada and Great Britain as well. He sold his patent to General Electric Corporation for forty thousand dollars.