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The founding of the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (A&M) in 1875 is celebrated on this date.
Alabama A&M University is one of over 100 historically Black colleges and universities in America (HBCU). Alabama A&M of Huntsville is a land-grant university supported by state and federal funds. Its first president, Dr. William Hooper Councill, an ex-slave, established this university. The Huntsville Normal School opened on this date with an appropriation of $1,000 per year and an enrollment of 61 pupils and two teachers.
Industrial education was introduced about 1878, with such success that the State Legislature authorized a name change to the "State Normal Industrial School of Huntsville." In 1891, the school received a Federal Land Grant Fund and its name was then changed to The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. In 1919, the institution became a junior college. In 1939, the institution was permitted to offer work on the senior college level.
The first class received bachelors' degrees in Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1920. A&M received a "Class A" rating by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in August 1946, and became a fully accredited member of the Association in December of 1963.
On June 26, 1969, the Alabama State Board of Education adopted a resolution changing the name of the institution to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.
Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools
by Levirn Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994