Philadelphia Unveils First Monument Honoring African-American (CBS Philly)

The Octavius V. Catto Memorial Fund was created in 2004 and among his champions is Mayor Jim Kenney, who has been determined to memorialize the South Philadelphia scholar, educator, and athlete. Born in 1839, Octavius V. Catto’s many accomplishments include the successful desegregation of horse-drawn street cars in Pennsylvania, the recruitment of Black soldiers for the Civil War and a get out the vote effort that had black men waiting in line at the polls to cast their ballot on Election Day 1870 as early as 4 a.m.

“I was embarrassed that I had this hole in my knowledge and a little angry that I didn’t learn this in high school or college when I went to school here in Philadelphia,” says Murray Dubin.

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