Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama is the first black college to be considered a registered national historic landmark and the only to be declared a national historic site.
Tuskegee University was founded in 1881 as Tuskegee Institute, in a one room shack, with Dr. Booker T. Washington presiding over the class of 30 students. Dr. Washington served as the school’s president until his death in 1915.
Tuskegee University has been the center focus of major developments in black history. One of the most notable was the creation of the Tuskegee Airmen flight program. Tuskegee Institute had served as one of the locations of the government’s Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP), which was a flight training program with the stated purpose of increasing the number of civilian pilots, though having a clear impact on military preparedness. The program was introduced to the college by Dr. Frederick Patterson, who was also credited with the creation of the United Negro College Fund.