July 13, 2009
President Barack Obama nominated Alabama’s Dr. Regina Benjamin to the office of U.S. surgeon general on this day in 2009. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 29, 2009, becoming the 18th American to hold the position and first African American woman. Alabama physicians Luther Terry and David Satcher previously were surgeon generals. Mobile native and UAB graduate Benjamin in 1995 had become the youngest person and first black female appointed to the American Medical Association board of trustees. She was surgeon general until 2013 before resigning to open a rural health clinic in Bayou La Batre.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.