THE BLOG
02/12/2009 05:52 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

NAACP, Happy 100th Birthday

Today is both the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and the 100th birthday of the NAACP. When the NAACP was founded in 1909, the number of faithful Lincoln Republicans was dwindling, but John E. Milholland was one, an Irish-American and a Presbyterian> He became the NAACP's first Treasurer and focused on what it needed most, money.

FDR later championed black Americans and won them for the Democratic Party. As the Republican party has again been moving to the right on civil rights issues, William Ruckelshaus supported Barack Obama for President despite a long-time Republican party affiliation in the Ruckelshaus family.

The NAACP's founding was scheduled for February 12, 1909, and this is considered the NAACP's birth date even though the meeting was postponed to May 30.

Billed as a conference of the Niagara Movement, the meeting was held in New York City's Henry Street Settlement House. The 40 people in attendance called themselves at first the National Negro Committee. Harvard Professor W. E. B. Du Bois helped organize the event and presided over it. One year later, at its second conference, the membership renamed themselves the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The first officers, as reported by Mary White Ovington were:
- National President, Moorfield Storey, Boston
- Chairman of the Executive Committee, William English Walling
- Treasurer, John E. Milholland
- Disbursing Treasurer, Oswald Garrison Villard
- Executive Secretary, Frances Blascoer
- Director of Publicity and Research, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois.

John E. Milholland's daughter, Inez Milhollandinsisted that a delegation from Howard University be allowed to march in the 1913 woman suffrage parade in Washington. She died in 1916 after an exhausting series of weeks campaigning against President Woodrow Wilson for not supporting the right of women to vote.

At a memorial for Inez in 1924, her father complained publicly about the absence of black people on the program, which he had not prepared. He invited his three black guests to speak..