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Booker T. Washington Timeline
Timeline Description: Booker T. Washington, an educator and author, was a leader in the African American community from 1890 - 1915. He was the first principal and teacher at Tuskegee Institute where he worked until his death. He delivered The Atlanta Address at the Cotton States and International Exposition where he disagreed with political and social equality with whites.

Date Event
1856 Booker T. Washington is born in Hales Ford, Franklin County, Virginia.

Washington is born a slave on the Burroughs’ Plantation. His father is a white man who does not acknowledge Washington as his son. His mother is a slave named Jane Burroughs. The exact date of his birth is unknown.
1865 Booker T. Washington and his family leave Virginia after emancipation to join his stepfather in West Virginia.

Washington leaves Virginia in the fall with his mother and two siblings to start a new life in West Virginia with his stepfather, Washington Ferguson. He attends school for the first time in Malden. He also works with his stepfather in the salt mines.
1872 Booker T. Washington returns to Virginia to attend the Hampton Institute.

Washington travels 500 miles to Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute in Virginia. He walks the majority of the trip, taking on various jobs to support himself along the way. Hampton Institute provides an "industrial education" which combines traditional subjects along with vocational training. In order to pay his tuition, he works as a janitor at the school. He graduates from the Institute with honors.
1878 Booker T. Washington studies at the Wayland Seminary in Washington, D.C.

Washington attends the Wayland Seminary School in Washington D.C. for 18 months.
1879 Booker T. Washington returns to the Hampton Institute to teach.

Washington works at Hampton Institute as a night teacher for two years He supervises the Kiowa and Cheyenne students recently accepted by Hampton.
May 1881 Booker T. Washington is invited to become the principle of the newly created Tuskegee Institute.

Washington heads a new school for African Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama. Like Hampton institute, Tuskegee provides an "industrial education".
July 4, 1881 Booker T. Washington opens Tuskegee Institute.

With Washington as the only teacher for 30 students, Tuskegee Institute opens in an old church. Tuskegee becomes a leading school for African Americans under Washington’s leadership.
August 12, 1882 Booker T. Washington marries his first wife.

Washington marries Fannie Norton Smith from Malden, WV. A year later she gives birth to daughter, Portia. Two years later, Fannie Washington dies in a fall from a wagon.
August 11, 1886 Booker T. Washington marries his second wife.

Washington marries Olivia Davidson Washington, who was a teacher and Lady Principal at the Tuskegee Institute. Olivia gives birth to Washington’s sons, Booker T Washington Jr. and Ernest Davidson Washington. Three years after they were married, Olivia Washington dies during a fire in the Washington home.
1893 Washington marries his third wife.

Washington marries Margaret James Murray who had been Lady Principal of Tuskegee Institute for two years.
September 18, 1895 Booker T. Washington speaks at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Washington delivers "The Atlanta Address" at the Cotton States and International Exposition. He urged citizens of both races to work together toward social peace. Critics such as W.E.B. Du Bois and his followers refer to the speech as the "Atlanta Compromise" because they feel Washington is too accommodating to white interests.
June 24, 1896 Booker T. Washington receives an honorary degree from Harvard University.

Washington becomes the first African American to be presented with an honorary degree from Harvard University. He is awarded a master of arts degree.
1901 Booker T. Washington's autobiography, "Up From Slavery", is published.

Washington's autobiography, "Up From Slavery" becomes a bestseller and has a major impact on the African American community. The autobiography results in a dinner invitation to the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt.
1901 Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to dine at the White House

Washington consults President Theodore Roosevelt about political appointments in the South while dining at the White House. Washington is an adviser to President Roosevelt and President Taft on racial matters, partly because he accepts racial inequality.
November 14, 1915 Booker T. Washington dies in Tuskegee , Alabama.

Washington dies at Tuskegee where he remained the head of Tuskegee Institute until his death. He is survived by his third wife.