Two decorated army veterans and Buffalo Soldiers cofounded what is today the 9th & 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association on July 28, 1966. This national organization was formed in the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District in Kansas City. Today, after 52 years, it is the oldest such chapter in the nation and is headed by its second President, John Bruce, a veteran and a recipient of the Bronze Star for Valor. Bruce is joined by two other presenters, one a veteran and great-grandson of an original Buffalo Soldier and one the daughter of the cofounder of the national organization.
Buffalo Soldiers: From Slave to Soldier
In 1867 Isaac Johnson arrived at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. An unknown, illiterate hotel worker and former slave from Montgomery, Alabama, he was to become an original Buffalo Soldier, destined to change the course of American history and the world. This slight man, just 5 feet and 7¼ inches tall, served in the 38th and 24th Colored Infantry and the famed 9th Cavalry. The presentations may include not only Johnson but also Cathay Williams, a female Buffalo Soldier; the creation of the Tuskegee Airman; the participation of African American soldiers alongside the Rough Riders in the charge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, and countless battles up to the issue of Executive Order 9981 by President Harry Truman ending military segregation on July 26, 1948.