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Buffalo Soldiers ~ Memorial Weekend Celebration!

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The Gist of Freedom

The Gist of Freedom


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Join The Gist of Freedom as we celebrate Memorial Day with Historian Teddy McQueen President Of The Buffalo Soldier Motorcycle club. Henry Ossian Flipper Born into slavery in March 21,1856. Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873 and became West Point's first African American graduate.He served as a signal officer, installed telegraph lines, and supervised the building of roads. At Fort Sill, he directed the construction of a drainage system that helped prevent the spread of malaria. Still known as "Flipper's Ditch," the ditch is commemorated by a bronze marker at Fort Sill and the fort is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Yet, in 1881, while serving at Fort Davis, Flipper's commanding officer accused him of embezzling $3,791.77 from commissary funds. A court-martial found him not guilty of embezzlement but convicted him of conduct unbecoming an officer and ordered him dismissed from the Army.

After his dishonorable discharge, Flipper fought to clear his name.In 1898, a bill was proposed to reinstate him into the Army. The bill and several later ones were tabled, and Flipper died in 1940 without vindication. But in 1976, he was granted an honorable discharge, and later President Bill Clinton issued him a full pardon.