African American

In recent weeks I helped host a citywide spelling bee in Alameda that was thought to be the first such event in recent memory. It has come to my attention that a district-wide spelling bee in 1900 holds an important place in Alameda history. 

Benjamin Jenkins, Alameda resident of 20 years and veteran of the United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force, was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his service during World War II on Feb. 21.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. Congress. In 2011, Congress awarded the medal to the Montford Point Marines, a segregated unit, of which Jenkins was a member.