Educator, politician, and Civil Rights pioneer, Jessie Menifield Rattley (1929-2001) was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Hampton University in 1951. Rattley founded the Peninsula Business College here in 1952. She was the first black woman elected to the Newport News City Council and served from 1970 until 1990. In 1986 she became the city's first black and female mayor. Rattley was the first black president of the Virginia Municipal League of Cities. Rattley also served on a number of commissions, delegations, and taskforces for the U.S. government and other organizations.
Year On Marker: 2004
Original Sponsor: Private Sponsor
Geographic Location: Newport News
Physical Description of Location: 2905 Jefferson Ave, Newport New, VA 23607. Marker is on sidewalk between 29th and 30th Streets.
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