JULY 15, 1867

Credit: National Park Service

Maggie Lena Walker, the first African-American and first known female bank president to charter a bank in the United States, was born in Richmond, Virginia. She championed help for the impoverished and gave loans to Black Americans starting businesses. 

“Let us have a bank,” she said, “that will take the nickels and turn them into dollars.”

She also opened a store for Black Americans, so they no longer had to use side or back entrances. In 2017, Richmond honored Walker with a statue — the first of a series aimed at honoring such unsung heroes.

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The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.