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2    WHEREAS, Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was born on July 1, 1877 in
3Washington, D.C. to Louis Davis, a servant to General John A.
4Logan and Henrietta Davis; and
5    WHEREAS, Benjamin Davis Sr. entered Howard University in
61897 and became a member of the black unity of the National
7Guard; and
8    WHEREAS, On July 13, 1898, Benjamin Davis Sr. enlisted as a
9volunteer soldier in the 8th United States Volunteer Infantry
10during the Spanish-American War; and
11    WHEREAS, On February 2, 1901, Benjamin Davis Sr. received a
12regular commission and was promoted to the rank of Second
13Lieutenant, serving with Troop M, 9th Calvary in the
14Philippines; and
15    WHEREAS, In 1902, Benjamin Davis Sr. had two children,
16Olive and Benjamin Jr., with his wife, Elnora Dickerson, who
17passed away shortly after giving birth to their second child;
19    WHEREAS, Benjamin Davis Sr. was assigned to the Philippines
20as a supply officer of the 9th Calvary Camp Stotsenburg;



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1shortly thereafter, he married Sadie Overton, an English
2teacher at Wilberforce University; and
3    WHEREAS, Benjamin Davis Sr. became a professor of military
4science and tactics at Wilberforce University, and later a
5professor of military science and tactics at the Tuskegee
6Institute; and
7    WHEREAS, In 1924, Benjamin Davis Sr. became an instructor
8of the 372nd Infantry of the Ohio National Guard in Cleveland;
9during the summers of 1930 to 1933, he traveled to Europe as
10the official Army representative for the Pilgrimage of War
11Mothers and Widows; and
12    WHEREAS, In 1938, Benjamin Davis Sr. was given his first
13independent command, the 369th National Guard Infantry
14Regiment; and
15    WHEREAS, On October 25, 1940, after 42 years of service in
16the Army, Benjamin Davis Sr. became the first black American
17General in the U.S. Army with a promotion to Brigadier General,
18where he served as Brigade Commander at Fort Riley, Kansas with
19the 2nd Cavalry Division; and
20    WHEREAS, Benjamin Davis Sr. was appointed to the Committee
21on Negro Troop Policies, where he helped solve racial problems



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1within the military; and
2    WHEREAS, Benjamin Davis Sr. was awarded the Distinguished
3Service Medal for combating segregation in the U.S. Armed
4Forces; and
5    WHEREAS, Benjamin Davis Sr. served his country for 50
6years, retiring in 1948; he passed away on November 26, 1970
7and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery; and
8    WHEREAS, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 311 in Richton Park
9was incorporated on August 2, 2002 and named in honor of
10General Davis; therefore, be it
12ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we honor the life and
13legacy of General Benjamin O. Davis Sr. and declare August 2,
142017 as General Benjamin O. Davis Sr. Day in the State of