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This program was produced by the national educational radio under a grant from the National Home Library Foundation. From the struggle Americans have. Long. Stories of Americans who were in the building. Today. BENJAMIN. Men like Lewis and Clark extended the boundaries of the American West. Benjamin Davis Jr. was and is a different kind of hero who has extended the boundaries of democracy by proving that negro
is when given the chance can serve their country with great honor. You wonder at what point in my high school career to follow in the footsteps of his father Davis Sr.. The first Negro general in the history of the armed forces. What a teacher will vividly recall as a combination of aggressiveness and passion make him president of his class at Central High School in Cleveland Ohio. It will also make him the first Negro to graduate from West Point in 50 years. The first Negro General new United States Air Force. And but wait we're getting way ahead of our story. Aggressiveness and tact. What do those words mean for a young part time news boy. Why me.
So the truth is the other two are people that you gotta get there early enough. So you just get through it. Getting there early. This rare combination of qualities has been well when on his second try he's accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He's just been for throwing use their years during which tactic perhaps is to prove far more important than aggressiveness to young Ben Davis. Cadet.
What do you say fellows when you think they were straight at least attend the merits of those cruises. Yeah and what about those imaginary clocks of destiny that makes five more at the time. Sorry we couldn't find more. Better luck next time. Fellas if peacefully the merits don't get him down let's try the silent treatment next time. Yeah the silent treatment. They give him every treatment in the book play every trick on him they can think of and refuses to knuckle under. In spite of all he has to endure. He impresses a Westpoint instructor as the closest thing model of death that I ever saw. Finally even his classmates are impressed. Been for a long time now you've taken everything we had to dish out and more. Perhaps in your case it was rougher treatment than the usual lower class men get. But
you've taken it all with courage and determination and so we're holding the ceremony now to let you know you passed the test all rape Rob Davis. Still after this hard victory Davis is to encounter a great disappointment. So what I'm about to the point I'd like to apply for duty in the Army Air Corps. I'd like to help you and with your record I'd certainly recommend you. There's only one problem. What's that sir. Well unfortunately the United States Army doesn't. I'm sorry. So model cadet graduate of West Point is forced to accept still another setback.
Giving up hope of ever flying young lieutenant attends the Army infantry school seem further away than ever until 1941 and the establishment of Tuskegee Alabama. The first is among the first. Commanding officer not happy. And has little competence in the negro's. That's right. Remember I'm.
Doing the job. It's one of the first. We find we can fly as well as white men but the local townspeople have difficulty believing that. Tammy is really up there on those planes or on the white officers doing the flying. But it's true they are really up there. Now there's no stopping Benjamin Davis Jr. He's achievements make one headline after another 1942 Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Davis Jr. appointed commander of the first all negro air combat unit fighter
squadron. 1943 1944. Colonel Davis leads his fighters over North Africa Sicily and Italy. They fly over 3000 missions before D-Day. Protecting heavy bombers on 200 missions without losing a single bomber to enemy planes targets the enemy. The Distinguished Flying Cross. What makes the middle even more meaningful is the fact that it is just by his father General Benjamin Davis Sr. soon Ben Davis Jr. has a silver star pin besides the EPSTEIN He owns it by leading an attack on
railway targeted Austria and is the first Negro product meritless award. Yes but Davis's father and son have initiated many firsts in their lifetimes. In June 1945 an editorial in The New York Times commenced them. Another first for the president breaking Davis's father and son. It was officers like the Davis's who have done much to break down prejudice within the Army officer corps. But Davis is most important work is still to come. 948 sees the official end of segregation in the armed forces. Colonel Benjamin Davis Jr. is one of the men who drafted the Air Force blueprint on integration. And on one memorable day in 1954. And so these are the plans for the. Yes what is it sergeant Sergeant ropes are but there's a messenger I could see you so I can tell him we have to wait until our meetings over. I did sir. But he insists on seeing you immediately. So if he has orders from the Pentagon. Well in that case send excuse me for one more girl
Davis or I've been ordered to hand this to you personally. All right thank you. Sir. President has promoted him to. The Chinese approval. I have a choice. A friendship.
The current friendship flows at all levels and accomplishment in humans as well as military and an even greater on a general date. He has become the real link between two nations living symbol of our country's goals and ideals. For I was on for most of the headquarters of Nationalist China. It's been a long way from Central High School in Cleveland a long rough road from West Point. But Benjamin Davis Jr. famous son of a famous father has traveled it with industry and. His superiors can't help but be impressed. Tell me General don't you think the Davis's demonstration on from most up of his extraordinary ability could prove a happy ending to the trials and tribulations of his career. I certainly hope so. His career is just beginning. It is just beginning in 1959 Davis becomes the first
Negro major general. He served his country in high positions in Europe and the United States. And then. In 1965. President Johnson assigned General Davis to be chief of staff or second in command of United States forces in South Korea and of the United Nations command there. The president also named him for promotion to lieutenant general making him the first Negro to reach that rank in the United States armed forces. Yes Benjamin Davis Jr. American pioneer is still extending the boundaries of democracy. He serves as a living inspiration for boys and girls of every race religion and nationality. This program Benjamin Davis Jr. in the series Glory Road was written by Nama Adler and produced and directed by Norman wiser.
In the cast were also Walter Walter Kuzma Michael Goldstein Leroy Wilson Norman wiser and Benjamin Davis Jr.. Your narrator has been Pollock. A grant from the National Home Library Foundation has made possible the production of this program for national educational radio this is the national educational radio network.
The glory road
Benjamin Davis, Jr.
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on United States Air Force General Benjamin Davis, Jr.
Series Description
The stories of African-Americans who have helped make the United States what it is today.
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Race and Ethnicity
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Director: Wiser, Norman
Producer: Wiser, Norman
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-9-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:32
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Chicago: “The glory road; Benjamin Davis, Jr.,” 1966-02-25, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “The glory road; Benjamin Davis, Jr..” 1966-02-25. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: The glory road; Benjamin Davis, Jr.. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from