"Miss Givens" receives Woman of American History Award

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution & the Kikthawenund Chapter presented family members of Lillian Vontress Givens Manual with their Woman of American History Award at the Community Unity event held by the Madison County Bicentennial committee on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at Jackson Park in Anderson. A special plaque, which will be displayed at the Anderson Community Schools (ACS)' Administration building, was presented to ACS board member Mandy Webb.
"Mrs. Givens Manual has helped to inspire so many in our community," said Webb. "It was an honor to meet her family members this evening and accept this beautiful plaque on behalf of Anderson Community Schools."
In addition to teaching at ACS from 1967-1980, Mrs. Givens Manuel compiled and co-edited "Black History of Anderson and Madison County 1937-1967" coordinating 77 ethically diverse volunteers including youth. The 2,000+ page series disclosed the relatively hidden African American history in Madison County.
She was the first black person to be:
  • A teacher at an Anderson middle school
  • Serve as a member on the boards of Public Safety and Public Health
  • Recipient of the Elwood H. Phillips award, the county's most prestigious award for historical service
Other accomplishments include:
  • Bachelor's degree from Kentucky State Industrial College
  • Master of Arts Degree in English from Ball State University
  • Numerous local awards from both church and civic organizations
  • Received the 1995 Citizen's Award from the Indiana Library Federation
  • She was awarded three grants from state/local organization to support book writing
Mrs. Givens Manual was born on September 1, 1916 in Alvaton, Kentucky. She died in Anderson, Indiana on May 12, 2008. The following quote appeared in her obituary: "She was very much for education and she tried to instill that in her students."
More information about the Daughters of the American Revolution can be found on their website: www.DAR.org.