Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932) was a Jewish multimillionaire merchant and one of the founders (1906) of Sears, Roebuck, and Company, then the largest department store in the United States. Rosenwald was a member of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees (1911-1932) and collaborated with Booker T. Washington on the development of a program to provide public education for rural southern Blacks. Known as “Rosenwald Schools,” this initiative existed from 1913 to 1948 and resulted in the construction of over 4,977 schools, 217 teachers' homes, and 163 shop buildings in 883 counties in 15 southern states. This fit well with Rosenwald’s philosophy to “Give while you live.” His benevolence resulted in the development of the Rosenwald Fund, which supported the creation of many black YMCAs, YWCAs, and grants that encouraged many of the 20th century’s greatest black artists and innovators. Approximately half of his charitable gifts went to African American communities.
City of Tuskegee, Alabama, Tuskegee University,
Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation
Julius Rosenwald Marker - Tuskegee University
The Julius Rosenwald marker is at the traditionally Black, Tuskegee University. It is the first marker in a thirteen marker Tuskegee Civil Rights Marker Trail system. The marker system will tell the story of Tuskegee, the University, and the Community in the struggle for equal rights, opportunity and the American promise of possibility.
The Tuskegee Civil Rights Marker Trail system is funded by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation.
Rosa Parks Historical Marker
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913 – 2005) was an iconic activist during the mid twentieth century civil rights movement. Born in Tuskegee, Parks later moved with her mother to Pine Level located near Montgomery, Alabama. She was encouraged by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to challenge Alabama’s segregation laws through passive civil disobedience. On December 1, 1955, with the whites-only section filled, Parks rejected Montgomery bus driver James F. Blake’s demand to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her resistance led to a community-wide bus boycott, which lasted for over a year. When asked about her reluctance to give up her seat, she said that she “was tired of giving in.” The actions of Parks and others led to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama ruling, in Browder v. Gayle,that bus segregation is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment protections for equal treatment. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually upheld this ruling, on November 13, 1956. Parks’ actions resulted in her receiving a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 and the Medal of Freedom in September 1996.