May 16, 1840

This was the birthday for James Milton Turner, a slave who went on to establish schools for blacks across the state. He was named by Grant as the first African-American to be an Ambassador.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.