Eugene Bullard was the first African American military pilot to fly in combat and the only African American pilot to fly during WWI. Ironically he never flew for the United States, but rather for the Aéronautique Militaire in France.
Madam C J Walker: born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a LA plantation. Orphaned, she transformed herself from farm laborer and laundress into one of he 20th century's most successful, self-made entrepreneurs. She formulated African American hair products. A philanthropist, Walker made most of her fortune between 1911 and 1917. She was the 1st American woman to become a millionaire, and the wealthiest African American woman in the country at the time of her death from hypertension in 1919, aged…
When Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime came to power in 1933 Marlena Dietrich was asked to broadcast Nazi propaganda. Dietrich, a staunch anti-Nazi, refused and left for the United States where she became a naturalized American citizen in 1939. She was the first celebrity to raise war bonds & is said to have sold more than any other star. During two extended USO tours, Dietrich performed for Allied troops on the front lines.
Physician Mae C. Jemison was born October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama. On June 4, 1987, she became the first African American woman ever admitted into the astronaut training program. On September 12, 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47. In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison received several awards and honorary doctorates.
Three American soldiers lie half-buried in the sand at Buna Beach on New Guinea. This photo was taken in February 1943, but not published until September, when it became the first image of dead American troops to appear in LIFE during World War II. George Strock's photo was finally OK'd by government censors, in part because FDR feared the public was growing complacent about the war's horrific toll. ~George Strock—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Dec. 7, 1941, 22-yr-old Cornelia Fort became the 1st American woman pilot in a combat zone while flying over Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. While 2 other civilian planes were shot out of the sky, she made it thru' the strafing & landed her plane. She was among the first pilots recruited for the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. In March 1943, she was killed by a midair collision while on a ferrying mission to Dallas.