Black History: Special Delivery!!
Rodgers Travel Bureau is the oldest continuously operating travel agency in the U.S. Located in Philadelphia, PA, the agency was started in 1949 by an African American medical student, Harold Rodgers who was working as a porter for TWA airlines. When the agency opened, it was the only black owned travel agency in the country.
The business quickly began to thrive. Rodgers developed a loyal black customer base. His service was invaluable for blacks, at a time, when travel could be difficult, and at times even dangerous due to segregation and racism.
The business was sold to William Griffin in 1954. Another partner, Fred Russell was also added. Russell’s daughter’s joined the management team and eventually took over leadership in 1980. In 1991, the agency secured a $10 million federal contract for Scott Air Force Base which has helped to expand the company and provide financial security.
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