Tag: Danville

Wendell Scott Becomes 1st Black Man Inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame

Wendell Scott

Nearly 25 years after his passing, Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver to secure a victory at NASCAR’s top level, continues to make history.  His legendary career includes a historic premier series victory, championships, and more than 100 wins in NASCAR’s regional level divisions. This week, he reached the sport’s pinnacle and became a NASCAR Hall of Famer.

Scott, one of NASCAR’s true trailblazers, became the first African American elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Wednesday when the 2015 class was announced in a special unveiling at the hall in Charlotte, North Carolina. Accompanying Scott in NASCAR’s sixth class are Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Joe Weatherly and Rex White all of whom will be officially enshrined on January 30, 2015 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

“This is a proud day for NASCAR and one of the most significant days in the history of our sport,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “We are honored to announce Wendell Scott is a member of our 2015 class of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees. “Wendell had plenty of success in our premier series but his contributions, of course, transcended any results on the race track.”

“His importance to our sport grows daily. At NASCAR, we are reminded of that importance with every advancement we make when it comes to diversity and inclusion. All of that can be linked to Wendell Scott. Congratulations go out to the entire Scott family, especially his wife Mary and his children. Wendell is where he belongs, where he has always belonged – in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”

Scott, a skilled mechanic and self-sufficient driver on the race track, looked past the racial prejudice that was widespread during the 1950s and 1960s to pursue his love for racing. Continue reading “Wendell Scott Becomes 1st Black Man Inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame”

Highway Marker in Kentucky Honors First African-American Civil War Recruits

Colored Re-Enactment RegimenThe First U.S. Colored Troops Recruits at Camp Nelson in Danville, Kentucky were honored at a dedication ceremony Monday. A historical highway marker was unveiled by re-enactors from the 12th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment from Camp Nelson for the men.

On May 23, 1864, nearly 150 African-American men, mostly slaves, left Boyle County to march to Jessamine County to enlist in the Union Army. On the way, people from Danville threw stones, and shot pistols at the recruits. When they reached Camp Nelson, they were initially turned away by Union Col. Andew Clark because there was no policy for the recruitment of slaves. 

The men were accepted into the Army, which prompted a Union policy change allowing able-bodied African American men into the service. More than 5,000 U.S. colored troops were eventually recruited at Camp Nelson.  To see a video of the dedication, click the link below: