1. He was the first African-American to be invited to the White House–not counting the slaves who helped build it, or the servants who cleaned slop jars before plumbing was installed there in 1902.
2. At age 16, he walked from Malden, West Virginia to Hampton, Virginia to go to college. Google maps says its a 386 mile trip.
3. He arrived at Hampton Institute dirty, hungry, and completely penniless. Miss Mackie, the head teacher, had little pity for him, and told him to sweep the floor on his way out. He swept it 3 times, mopped it, and washed the walls. She was so impressed, she let him work his way through school as a janitor.
4. Born a slave, his father was a white plantation owner he never met.
5. He was the first African-American to receive an honorary degree from Harvard.
6. He was the first African-American on a U.S. postage stamp and even had his face on a limited-circulation U.S. half dollar.
8. He was known for saying: “I don’t want white men as brothers-in-law, but I do want them as brothers.”
9. His blood pressure was twice the normal level. A tireless worker, at age 59, he collapsed from exhaustion in New York City and was carted back to Tuskegee, Alabama, where he soon died.
10. The “T” stands for Taliaferro.