First Black Eagle Scout awarded

Cunningham Sr.
Tue, 1926-06-08

On this date in 1926, the first African American became an Eagle Scout in America.

Edgar Cunningham, Sr. was the young man, a member of Troop 12, Waterloo, Iowa, of the Wapsipinicon Area Council.

His scoutmaster was James Lincoln Page, a World War I veteran. Page organized the first all-Black Boy Scout Troops, 9 and 10, on February 10, 1925. He received a presidential citation from President Calvin Coolidge for producing the first Black Eagle Scout. Cunningham also received a hand-written letter from President Coolidge for his accomplishment.

This story is not officially endorsed by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, but an effort is being made to make it official. Scoutmaster J. L. Page really lived a life of a Scout, wanting to help others and to share. He loved children and he was always a Scout from beginning to end. Page had an excellent quote he told his Boy Scouts: "We were tough, we didn't give up."

West Texas Scouting History