A Soldier's Story: Major Vertner Woodson Tandy

Major Vertner Woodson Tandy was born on May 17, 1885, in Lexington, Kentucky.  He initially began college at the Tuskegee Institute but later transferred to Cornell University, where he became one of the founding members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

After graduating from Cornell in 1907, Major Tandy became the first registered architect of African descent in New York State and is most known for his design of Harlem's Villa Lewaro.

Major Tandy also volunteered for the New York National Guard and was assigned to the 15th Infantry.  Where he became the first soldier of African descent to pass the U.S. Army's Officer Commission test.  When the 15th Infantry deployed to France and the 369th Infantry (The Harlem Hellfighters) Major Tandy was assigned command of the depot battalion in New York.

Major Tandy continued to act as a champion for civil rights and equality throughout his life, dying on November 7, 1949.