The Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, is a historically black university founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881. Washington was able to cultivate relationships with wealthy donors, growing the school’s wealth and status. He was able to bring good-standing teachers to Tuskegee, such as George Washington Carver, raising the profile of the school even more. During World War II, Tuskegee became the home of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black pilots and military personnel who trained at and near the school. They became the first black pilots in the United States military, and the nearby Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. Today, Tuskegee continues as a well-respected center for higher learning.
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site was established to honor the school for its importance to United States history. Visitors to the site can walk the school’s grounds, where brick structures built by Tuskegee’s first students still stand. Visitors can go to the George Washington Carver Museum on the university’s grounds (check the National Park System website before you visit because the museum is currently closed for reservations) or tour The Oaks, Booker T. Washington’s home while he served as the president of the school.
Tuskegee Institute provided an interesting look back at United States history, and we enjoyed our tour of the university. We encourage you to visit Tuskegee and perhaps to include visits to Tuskegee Airmen and to the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail to get a look at twentieth century black history in southern Alabama.