He was born into slavery, graduated from West Point and later became the first African-American superintendent of a national park.

The life of Col. Charles Young is one of the stories that will be told at a special Black History Month event planned from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl St. in Council Bluffs. The event is free and open to the public.

Members of Union Pacific’s Black Employee Network and the National Park Service will staff eight stations in the museum focusing on the contributions of African-Americans to the National Park Service and the railroad. Representatives from the Homestead National Monument also will be on hand to talk about African-American settlers responding to the passage of the Homestead Act.

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial this year. The Saturday event will kick off the museum’s yearlong celebration of the relationship between Union Pacific and the park service. In 1918, Union Pacific and the park service began working together staffing several of the nation’s parks.

Both the national parks and the railroad industry are important historic symbols, said Eric Humphrey, president of the black employee network.

“We celebrate the African-American men and women whose dedication shaped and continues to support Union Pacific and the national parks.”

For more information, call 712-329-8307 or visit uprrmuseum.org.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3131, blake.ursch@owh.comtwitter.com/blakeursch_owh

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