Special Presentations Honoring
Black History Month
You are invited to two special presentations in honor of
Black History Month on Saturday, February 24 and Saturday, March 9 at 1 pm. Come at noon and explore the Musuem.
First Regiment Road, Wilmington.
“Freedom to Serve”
Did you know that about 5,000 black Americans fought for our country’s freedom during the Revolutionary War? Black service members fought in every conflict that followed. Black Americans have served with distinction, often not acknowledged for their service and sacrifice. Yet, the military remained segregated through WWII. On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 directing the U.S. military to desegregate. It would take years before every branch of the military to fully embrace the order and open the opportunity for black Americans[CW to serve in all specialties. Black service members have served selflessly and with courage with many receiving medals to include 94 Medals of Honor. The Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation will salute our black comrades with a special presentation on one celebrated black unit, the Tuskegee Airmen.
Andre Swygert, a member of the executive leadership of the John H. Porter, First State Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., will speak about preserving and honoring their accomplishments and perpetuating the history of the men and women who served in and supported the separate black Army Air Force units during World War II.
Andre is an Air Force veteran and retired business development professional who enjoyed a successful career, principally in the aerospace and defense sectors. Andre is an author of non-fiction material on aviation and space subjects. His recent book, Flight Training at The United States Naval Academy, presents the story of the Navy’s almost 50-year program to educate and inspire midshipmen about naval aviation, along with the program’s impact on the development of the country’s naval air forces.
One of Andre’s off-hours activities during his period of full-time employment was working with Smithsonian Air & Space Museum curators in transcribing collections of digitized materials from various contributors, increasing their accessibility by making them more readable and searchable. Transcribing source documents and logging artifacts from several black aviation professionals active in the 1920-1930s were projects that were particularly enjoyable. He is also engaged in similar transcription work for the American Aviation Historical Society.
The Woolford Family During the Revolutionary War
Roger Woolford came to the British Colonies in 1661. He received land grants in Somerset and Dorchester counties Maryland. His family grew and his family wealth grew over the early years of the British colonies.
As was traditional, the wealthy members of the community funded the local militia. Roger Woolford, Jr. held the title of Colonel of the Dorchester County Militia.
When the Revolutionary War began, General George Washington called on local militias to join the Continental Army. Colonel Thomas Woolford answered the call and joined the Revolutionary War on January of 1776, He served for seven years in the Continental army. His first battle was the Battle of White Plains and his last battle was the Battle of Camden SC when he was captured.
This presentation tells the history of the Woolford Family of Sommerset and Dorchester Counties from the time Roger Woolford landed in Virginia in 1661 through the Revolutionary War to his descendants who are living today. Three hundred and sixty-two years of history in one hour. Don’t miss it!
Syl Woolford is a native Delawarean who resides in Newark, Delaware. Mr. Woolford is a graduate of William Penn High School, Delaware State University where he received a BS Degree in Business Administration/Accounting, and Rutgers University where he received an MBA in Marketing. He has been lecturing on African American history since 2010. Syl serves on several historical preservation boards, commissions, and committees. including: the Delaware Heritage Commission; Wilmington University History Committee; Guest speaker from the University of Delaware; Friends of the Delaware Public Archives; the Historic Preservation Fund; and the Delaware Chapter of the Afro-American Genealogical Society. Syl has received many awards and tributes for his work, including: State of Delaware House of Representatives. New Castle County proclaimed June 30, 2022 as “Syl Woolford Day”. He consults for the State of Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
New Castle County proclaimed June 30, 2022 as “Syl Woolford Day”.