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Saturday, July 23, 2016
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Montford Point Marines recognized

      At Tuesday night's City Council meeting, the Wilmington City Council and Mayor Bill Saffo recognized the Montford Point Marines of the Wilmington Chapter, the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Congress recognized approximately 400 surviving Montford Point Marines (MPMs) in June by presenting them with the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest civilian award given by Congress - for their contributions to the Marine Corps and nation. Of the 400, honorees from the Wilmington Chapter of the Montford Point Marine Association included Frances M. Hooper, James B. Wilson, Invan La Blunt, Howard Spencer, Robert Burns, Wilson Thighpen and Arthur Obee.

As the first African-Americans to serve in the Marine Corps, the MPMs were segregated and trained at a separate training facility created for black recruits at Montford Point Camp near Camp Lejeune. From 1942 to 1949, nearly 20,000 black men trained at Montford Point. The efforts of the MPMs helped desegregate the military and led to the desegregation of the nation at large.

Other Congressional Gold Medal recipients include several US Presidents, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Walt Disney, Mother Teresa and other notable figures and groups.


Watch the presentation at the City Council meeting. 


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