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Riley Pitts, a Captain in the US Army, was the first African American commissioned officer to receive the Medal of Honor. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions in South Vietnam.

Riley Pitts, a Captain in the US Army, was the first African American commissioned officer to receive the Medal of Honor. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions in South Vietnam.

Today in Black History, 1/6/2014 - John Daniel Singleton, was the first African American as well as the youngest person ever nominated for best director. For more info, check out today's blog!

Today in Black History, 1/6/2014 - John Daniel Singleton, was the first African American as well as the youngest person ever nominated for best director. For more info, check out today's blog!

Telly Savalas - served from 1943–1946 in the United States Army during World War II, working for the US State Department as host of the Your Voice of America series, then at ABC News, before beginning an acting career in his late thirties.

Telly Savalas - served from 1943–1946 in the United States Army during World War II, working for the US State Department as host of the Your Voice of America series, then at ABC News, before beginning an acting career in his late thirties.

Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace was a US Army officer of Puerto Rican-Italian descent who was awarded the Medal for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War. He was the first member of the Army to be awarded the Medal for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity. He was executed by the Vietcong while a prisoner of war after repeated escape attempts, torture and maltreatment.

Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace was a US Army officer of Puerto Rican-Italian descent who was awarded the Medal for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War. He was the first member of the Army to be awarded the Medal for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity. He was executed by the Vietcong while a prisoner of war after repeated escape attempts, torture and maltreatment.

Marpessa Dawn. A great actress who many forgot, but who's performance in her first film, "Black Orpheus", is now a classic.

Marpessa Dawn. A great actress who many forgot, but who's performance in her first film, "Black Orpheus", is now a classic.

NASA's first African-American manager.  Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008) was an African American mathematician who worked at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor agency to NASA. Prior to arriving at NACA's Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943.

NASA's first African-American manager. Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008) was an African American mathematician who worked at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor agency to NASA. Prior to arriving at NACA's Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1943.

Jean Moulin (1899-1943) was a leader of the French Resistance during World War II. In June 1943, he was arrested in a suburb of Lyon, interrogated and tortured by Gestapo leader Klaus Barbie in Lyon and Paris. He never revealed anything to his captors and subsequently died near Metz on a train to Germany. Many historians believe that Klaus Barbie personally beat Moulin to death.

Jean Moulin (1899-1943) was a leader of the French Resistance during World War II. In June 1943, he was arrested in a suburb of Lyon, interrogated and tortured by Gestapo leader Klaus Barbie in Lyon and Paris. He never revealed anything to his captors and subsequently died near Metz on a train to Germany. Many historians believe that Klaus Barbie personally beat Moulin to death.

This was Capt. Harold Sandler when he served in Patton's 3rd Army in Europe during World War II. He received a Silver Star for valor and a Purple Heart for his war wounds. Photo provided

This was Capt. Harold Sandler when he served in Patton's 3rd Army in Europe during World War II. He received a Silver Star for valor and a Purple Heart for his war wounds. Photo provided

On 14 June 1940, Sergeant François Mitterrand was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans. After a year and a half he finally managed to escape. He would become President of France, from 1981 to 1995.

On 14 June 1940, Sergeant François Mitterrand was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans. After a year and a half he finally managed to escape. He would become President of France, from 1981 to 1995.

Eileen Jackson Southern, a scholar of Renaissance and African American music, was the first black woman to be appointed as a tenured full professor at Harvard University. She was 82 at the time of her death on October 13, 2002.

Eileen Jackson Southern, a scholar of Renaissance and African American music, was the first black woman to be appointed as a tenured full professor at Harvard University. She was 82 at the time of her death on October 13, 2002.

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