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On this day in history — July 4, 1881 — Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, known today as Tuskegee University, in Tuskegee, Alabama, held its first day of class.
Booker T. Washington served as the school’s founding principal and presided over the first day of class– which, due to significant lack of resources, was held in a one-room church. The first official building on campus was erected by Washington and the students themselves, one year later.