Celebrating the Montford Point Marines & the 100 Year Anniversary of Georgetown High School

The Council pays tribute to Georgetown High School’s 100th anniversary. Its beginnings grew out of hope and purpose for black youth when Evening View Baptist Church deacon Henry Phillips purchased two acres of land in 1905 to build the school. With no support from the state, the next seven years were spent building the school through the Trent River Oakey Grove Association and private contributions from families. The association opened the Oakey Grove Collegiate and Industrial Training School in 1908 with William Washington Parker serving as principal. The school originally had three buildings with an auditorium, recitation rooms and accommodations for approximately 20 male students in the central building. This building later became the high school with four large classrooms and an elementary school was built on the campus along with a girls dormitory, classrooms, a kitchen and utility rooms.

In June 2012 the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the Montford Point Marines in Washington DC. This metal is the highest civilian honor awarded as the utmost expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. The Councils honors their achievements. 

In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. These young men  from all states, were not sent to the traditional boot camps of Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California. Instead, African American Marines were segregated - experiencing basic training at Montford Point - a facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Approximately twenty thousand (20,000) African American Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949.

Opening reception will be Sunday, February 3 at 2:30pm – 4:00pm.  The Council for the Arts is located at 826 Bridge Street in Jacksonville across from City Hall. Regular hours are from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, please call 910/455-9840.

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