Columbia MD Archives Celebrates the Legacy of Mrs. Vivian “Millie” Bailey
Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives
At Columbia MD Archives, we are proud to spotlight the incredible legacy of Vivian C. “Millie” Bailey in honor of Black History Month.
Mrs. Bailey was a pillar of our community in so many ways. This compassionate, courageous and philanthropic woman showed us that at any age, we can keep giving back and living our fullest life. Our new exhibit “A Life of Service: Journey Through the Legacy of Vivian “Millie” Bailey” showcases her fierce dedication to giving back.
We encourage everyone in the community to visit the Columbia Art Center from February 9-28 to check out the exhibit and celebrate Mrs. Bailey’s inspirational life. To carry on her spirit of generosity, we will be collecting canned food donations for the Howard Community College Food Pantry (priority items include cooking oils, spices, condiments, shelf-stable dairy alternatives, cleaning supplies and full-size personal care items).
Here’s a sneak peek into her life of service!
Mrs. Bailey served our nation
As an officer in the Women’s Army Corps and a commander of the Women’s Colored Detachment, she proudly served our nation and led the way for women of color for years to come.
Mrs. Bailey pursued many, many passions
Following her years as an active military member, Mrs. Bailey continued her commitment to service through philanthropic work in every community she was a part of.
She personally packed and shipped packages (nicknamed Bailey’s Bundles) to soldiers deployed around the world. She put in countless hours of volunteer time at Running Brook Elementary School, helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars for students annually. Mrs. Bailey was even involved in approving the first MRIs and CAT scans for Maryland when she served on the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission. And this is just the super short list!
Mrs. Bailey made her mark on Columbia
In Columbia, Mrs. Bailey’s impact is felt all around. You can find her namesake park at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront and celebrate “Vivian Bailey Day” on June 22.
Did we mention the renaming of an award given by the Howard County Police Department, presented to her on her 100th birthday, as The Vivian “Millie” Bailey Making a Difference Award?
Mrs. Bailey received impressive recognition
Mrs. Bailey was the recipient of many awards in her day, including Howard County Volunteer of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Community Foundation of Howard County, Maryland’s Top 100 Women, Maryland State Governor’s Citations for her lifelong contributions, a Congressional Achievement Award for public service and the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mrs. Bailey was a true adventurer
She went skydiving for the first time at age 102!
Visit the exhibit to learn more
At CMA, we take pride in preserving the voices of all people of Columbia — especially when it comes to the voices of those whose stories might not otherwise be told or who have been missed in the past. The backstory of Mrs. Bailey’s incredible accomplishments is on display at the Columbia Art Center’s window gallery 😉 We’d love to see you there.
Got a question about the Columbia MD Archives? Reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-715-3103. You can learn more about the CMA here.