The creation of Cookman Institute in 1872 is celebrated on this date. This was one of the first schools for Blacks that preceded America’s many Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Located in Jacksonville, Florida the Rev. S. B. Darnell founded this school, which was named after the Rev. Alfred Cookman, a Methodist minister, who gave money for the assembly of the first building. Associated with Georgia’s Clark University, Cookman was the first institution for the higher education of Negroes in the State of Florida. Cookman Institute was merged in 1923 with the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute of Daytona Beach, founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Together they became Bethune-Cookman College.