The Birth of the Mighty Bulldogs

Joseph S. Clark School opened its doors on June 2, 1947. It was officially known as the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and was designated for white children. Three months later, on September 12, 1947, the school board stated, “The name of the former Benjamin Franklin School, now used to house colored children at the first-year high school level, will be changed to the Joseph Samuel Clark School for Negroes, and the name of Benjamin Franklin would be retained for a white school.” The school’s name was chosen to honor the memory of Dr. Joseph Samuel Clark, the legendary president of Southern University from 1913 to 1938.


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