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John P. Green

AKA John Patterson Green

Born: 2-Apr-1845
Birthplace: New Bern, NC
Died: 30-Aug-1940
Location of death: Cleveland, OH
Cause of death: Accident - Automobile
Remains: Buried, Woodland Cemetery, Cleveland, OH

Gender: Male
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician, Attorney
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Labor Day

John P. Green's parents were African-Americans, but free. Too poor to attend school, he worked as a harness maker, a tailor, and a waiter before writing and self-publishing Miscellaneous Subjects by a Self-Educated Colored Youth when he was 21. After the book's success, he attended high school and law school, and became one of the first black elected officials north of the Mason-Dixon line when he was elected Justice of the Peace in Cleveland, in 1873. In 1881 he was elected to the Ohio House, and in 1891 he was elected to the Ohio Senate.

As a legislator, he sponsored 21 bills favorable to labor issues, including House Bill 500 in 1890, which established a state holiday honoring working men and women. Labor unions had staged annual parades and picnics since 1882, but Green's bill made Labor Day an official holiday in Ohio, to be celebrated on the first Monday of September, effective in 1891. Three years later the US Congress followed suit, making Labor Day a national holiday. After leaving the State Assembly, Green worked for many years as a lawyer and postal official, and at the time of his death -- struck by a streetcar at the age of 95 -- he was the oldest attorney practicing in Ohio.

Father: John R. Green (tailor, d. circa 1855)
Mother: Temperance Green
Wife: Annie Walker Green (m. 1869, d. 1912)
Daughter: Clara Green
Son: Jesse Green
Son: Theodore Green
Son: William Green
Wife: Lottie Mitchell Richardson (m. 1912)

    High School: Central High School, Cleveland, OH (1869)
    Law School: Union Law School of Cleveland (1870)

    US Official Superintendent of Finance, US Post Office (1905-06)
    US Official Stamp Agent, US Post Office (1897-1905)
    Ohio State Senate (1892-94)
    Ohio State House of Representatives (1882-84 and 1890-92)
    Ohio State Official Justice of the Peace, Cleveland, OH (1873-82)
    South Carolina Bar 1872
    Ohio State Bar Association 1873

Author of books:
Miscellaneous Subjects by a Self-Educated Colored Youth (1866)
Recollections of the Inhabitants, Localities, Superstitions and KuKlux Outrages of the Carolinas (1880)
Fact Stranger than Fiction (1920, autobiography)

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