On this day in 2019, U.S. Academy at West Point graduated 32 black women—the most in its 216-year history. In 2018, the military academy made history when Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams became the first from the global majority to assume command and the first women of color, Simone Askew, became the first to lead the Corps of Cadets.
In 1877, West Point, which was founded in 1802 in New York, graduated its first black cadet during Reconstruction, but didn’t have another black graduate until Benjamin O. Davis Jr. arrived in 1932. Davis was shunned and ostracized during his stay. He even ate alone. After graduation, he went on to command the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and retired as an Air Force general in 1970. West Point now has cadet barracks named for Benjamin O. Davis.