San Benito Historical Society to host Black History Month program

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Mary Benton

The San Benito Historical Society on Feb. 17 will host its Black History Month program that includes the unveiling of a Texas Historical Commission historical marker for the Joe Callandret School.

The school is the original Black school in San Benito and is now the Callandret Black History Museum located at 305 Doherty St., which is where the day’s events begin with a tour of it and the neighborhood at 9 a.m.

The historical marker will be dedicated and unveiled at 10 a.m. followed by a presentation by the Buffalo Soldiers from San Antonio.

“Afterwards, the public is also invited to the Harlingen Convention Center at 11:30 (a.m.) where the Buffalo Soldiers will perform again before the luncheon,” the news release states.

The day’s events will end with keynote speaker Mary R. Benton, a Harlingen native who is the director of communications for Houston Mayor John Whitmire.

“Mary ensures all citywide communications align with the administration’s goals and objectives and oversees all functions of the Communications Office, including public and media relations, ceremonial documents, social media strategy, and compliance with the Texas Public Information Act,” the release stated. “She is a Harlingen High School graduate, class of 1983.”

Previous years in the annual affair have ranged from presentations from the Buffalo Soldiers to important historical figures such as Harriet Tubman.