Robbins, IL Airport (1931)
The first airport built, owned and operated by African-Americans in the United States. It is also the true beginnings of the now famous Tuskegee Airmen. Nine (9)original Tuskegee Airmen came from Robbins, IL
(John C. Robinson, "The Brown Condor of Ethiopia" a 1924 Tuskegee graduate is pictured here standing on the far right end)
The SB Fuller home in Robbins, IL was graciously donated to the Robbins History Museum which offers much needed space to exhibit the rich history of Robbins and it's people. This mid-century modern structure is the perfect space to display artifacts, Photo displays and records of our history. This new location will bridge us to the past and help to tell our story in a better environment for the public. This large home is currently in need of major renovations. We are in great need of funds to help with this rehab project from viewers like you. Donate today.
To view the ABC news story which aired on 2/21/21 please click here.
Mr. SB Fuller of Robbins, IL
One of America's first self-made black multi-millionaire who started with only
a 6th grade education and
$25 in his pocket.
Robbins History Museum
"Robbins, IL, The most historic black town in America"
What do Dwyane Wade, Lt. Uhura, Mr. T and actress Keke Palmer have in common?
They are all from Robbins, IL and all are featured in the Robbins, IL History Museum.
The 40 by 40 square foot facility opened in August 2010 by Co-Founder and
Director/Curator/Historian, Tyrone Haymore. Some of the museum’s unsung heroes
include pioneer aviators Cornelius R.Coffey, John C.Robinson, Willa Brown, Janet H. Bragg who in 1931 in Robbins,IL built the first black owned/Operated airport in the
United States. They trained pilots who later became known as the Tuskegee Airmen, African-American aviators who fought in World War II. Nine (9) of the original 996 Tuskegee Airmen are from Robbins, IL. Tyrone Haymore stated "It was the Robbins Airport history that motivated him to help create the Robbins History Museum to tell the full history of the true beginnings of the now world famous "Tuskegee Airmen.”was started in Robbins, IL in 1931.
In 1892, a great migration of former. Slaves and descendants of Slaves left the south for the northern states such as Chicago, Illinois south suburbs and On December 14,1917 they incorporated the sixth oldest African-American governed community of
Robbins, IL in the United States.The more than 300 black inhabitants saw the need to incorporate in order to be able provide the necessary public services for Police, Fire, Water and Sewer services for a fast growing population that grew to more than 10,000 in 1970. Robbins,IL is located just 1/2 miles southwest of the great city of Chicago, IL .
Actress Nichelle Nichols’ grandfather, Samuel G. Nichols,Sr. (a white man), was one of the village’s original settlers who was married to a black woman. Nichelle Nichols who portrayed Lt. Uhura in the original Star Trek television series also was hired by NASA to begin finding and recruiting qualified blacks for the NASA Space program. .
Nichelle was born in Robbins in a two-story frame house built by her grandparents. Her
father, Samuel E. Nichols,Jr became the mayor of Robbins, IL in 1929. In a phone
interview from her home in Los Angeles, Ms. Nichols shared the following:
“I remember the story my father told me of an encounter with Al Capone’s brother Frank and 2 other men came to our home in Robbins to possibly kill my father the Mayor of Robbins who discovered Capone's illegal secret hidden gin mill in a barn on the Reget's property in Robbins and ordered the Robbins Police to destroy the gin-mill.
YOU MUST VISIT THE
ROBBINS HISTORY MUSEUM FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THIS TRUE EVENT.
Nichelle Nichols said she was honored to be included in the Robbins museum, which displays her original Lt. Uhura uniform and boots obtained from Paramount Pictures, CA. Nichols said ironically she met some of theTuskegee Airmen in 1979 while serving as a special recruiter for NASA, helping the space agency to attract its first women and minority astronauts including Mae Jemison and Sally Ride. Other notable Robbins residents included in the museum: SB Fuller (the late black multimillionaire businessman), Chris Hinton, Joe Montgomery, and Darrell Robinson (NFL football players). Delores Washington, who with Albertina Walker was a members of the famed Gospel Caravans singing group.. Robbins can also lay claim to two Olympic medal winners Dwyane Wade Gold medal winner in 2008 in China in basketball and Willie May, in the 1960 Olympic in Italy took a very controversial silver medal instead of the Gold because the Gold medal winner Mr. Calhoun broke the ribbon with his "Head" not his torso . Three Original Harlem Globetrotters of Robbins are Lee Collins, DeAndre Taylor and and Fred Marberry who retired and live out the balance of 20 years in the Village of Robbins,IL.
Black nationalist Marcus Garvey visited Robbins in the 1920's, and set up a chapter of his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). According to Haymore “He was so impressed that blacks were governing their own town "Robbins" He’d never heard of a town with all black elected officials.” One of his trusted organization leaders was a long time resident and Robbins Mrs. Elinor White who was one of two women to ever hold the office of UNIA president. Some residents may remember her assistant, Mrs. Griffin, affectionately known in the community as "the shoe lady." Visit the Robbins History Museum to see and learn more.