During the American Civil War, Virginia resident William Terrill Bradby was one of an estimated 20,000 Native Americans who served with Union military forces in the fight against the Confederacy. A large part of Bradby’s own contributions to the Union cause involved maritime transportation. A member of the Pamunkey Tribe, Bradby was born in Virginia... Continue Reading →

During World War II, Minnie Spotted-Wolf became the first Native American woman to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). She further distinguished herself through her various transportation-oriented duties and accomplishments during her time in service. A member of the Blackfeet Tribe, Spotted-Wolf was born near the community of Heart Butte in western Montana in... Continue Reading →

In 1920, racecar driver John Riley Boling became the first Native American to compete in the Indianapolis 500. He finished 11th in a field of 23 drivers. (This was only the eighth running of the world-famous annual automobile race, which takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.) Boling had been born in 1895 in Bloomfield,... Continue Reading →

Eula “Pearl” Carter Scott made aviation history in1929 when she took off in a plane for a solo flight. Pearl, who was only 13 at the time, became the youngest pilot in the United States. She had been born in the city of Marlow in Oklahoma in 1915. Her mother was an enrolled member of... Continue Reading →

Joseph J. Clark was a Native American pioneer in the U.S. Navy. He saw duty in three wars and steadily rose through the ranks of the Navy to become an admiral. Clark was born in 1893 in the town of Pryor Creek (now the city of Pryor) in present-day Oklahoma. At the time, that section... Continue Reading →

Mary Golda Ross was the first known Native American female engineer. She was born in the Oklahoma community of Park Hill in 1908. One of her great-grandfathers was John Ross, a longtime and widely renowned chief of the Cherokee Nation who helped guide his people through such tumultuous experiences as the Civil War and the... Continue Reading →

The Wampanoag people were a long-established confederacy of several Native American tribes in present-day Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Many of the Wampanoag people are now enrolled in two federally recognized tribes in Massachusetts: the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council, based in the town of Mashpee on the southeastern coast of mainland Massachusetts; and the Wampanoag... Continue Reading →

Mary Riddle won widespread acclaim as one of the first Native American women to earn an airplane pilot’s license. She was born in the community of Bruceport in Washington in 1902. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Riddle was a member of both the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington and the Clatsop Tribe in... Continue Reading →

In 1966, Donald Winchester became the first known Native American graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, Connecticut. (Janet Emerson, USCGA’s class of 1988, was the first known female Native American to graduate from that institution.) Of Cherokee descent, Winchester was also the Coast Guard’s first known Native American aviator.  Winchester... Continue Reading →

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