Wilberforce’s Charles Young Buffalo Soliders to become national monument

The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce will become a National Monument under the Antiquities Act.

President Obama is expected to sign the proclamation on Monday, along with four others: First State National Monument in Delaware; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland; Río Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico; and San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington State.

As a national site, the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers monument will be managed by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service.

The DOI lands support $363 billion in economic activity and 2.2 million jobs annually.

Col. Charles Young, a distinguished officer in the United States Army, was the third black to graduate from West Point and first to achieve a colonel ranking. He later became a professor of military science at Wilberforce University.

Young’s fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, made the site of his former home available to the federal government to establish a monument dedicated to him.

Young served as an army superintendent of Sequioa and General Grant National Parks before the National Parks Service establishment in 1916.

The Antiquities Act, which was first used by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, has been used by 16 other presidents in efforts to preserve historic locations.