What year did the Columbia Institution for the Deaf change its name to Gallaudet College by an Act of Congress (Public Law 420)?
Answer: June 18, 1954 --- 90 years after the signing of the Congressional charter by US President Abraham Lincoln that authorized and enacted a college for the deaf on April 8, 1864.
Before 1954, the Columbia Institution for the Deaf was comprised of both Gallaudet College and Kendall School for the Deaf. In 1986 Gallaudet College becomes Gallaudet University when President Ronald Reagan signs the Education of the Deaf (Public Law 99-371).
In 1996, Pre-College National Mission Program was formed as an umbrella to cover the University's preschool programs, the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, other pre-college research and teaching units, and all their associated buildings and other facilities. It is renamed the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center in 2000.
Source: Gallaudet University Spirits Class of 1957 "Chronological List of Dates: Gallaudet University" 2007
The First School for the Deaf: District of Columbia
Abbé Charles Michel de l’Épée
DC resident, Jean Boutcher, a well-known Deaf artist, loves going to the library. One day in 1985, a new book on library display caught her eye -- "When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf," by Harlan Lane, published in 1984. For the first time, she said she truly learned about the history of deaf education and sign language even though she had been a student in a school for the deaf. As she read the book and discovered Abbé Charles Michel de l'Épée, the founder of the very first school for the deaf in the world, she was inspired! Using the black and white picture of him from the book as her only reference, she created the color painting of him. Source: "Jean Boutcher, Deaf Artist" Laurent Clerc and Gallaudet University: FOLDA KIT 2013
The statue of Abbé de l'Épée located at the St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo, NY. The sculptor was Eugene E. Hannan, a former student at the Kendall School and a member of the Gallaudet class of 1901.
In 1934, seven Gallaudet students touched the top of the Washington monument via a 500-foot elevator ride and 55 feet of climbing ladders. At that time, the monument was wrapped in scaffolding while workers repaired lightning damage. The students obtained permission to ascend the scaffolding in the workmen's elevator. They then climbed the last 55 feet up a narrow ladder to the top. They could see where repairmen were working to seal a large crack running for about 25 feet down the side of the monument. Five students were from the Gallaudet class of 1939, one from 1936 and the other 1937.
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The construction for this monument began in 1848; it was finally completed in 1884. The reason for a halt in construction was due to the combination of Civil War, the Know Nothing Party’s rise to control of the Washington National Monument Society through an illegal election and lack of funding.