Speaking in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said that it was a black man who invented the light bulb, not a white man.
Biden was likely referring to inventor Lewis Howard Latimer, a black man who greatly improved the light bulb in 1880.
“People fear that which is different. We’ve got to, for example, why in God’s name don’t we teach history in history classes? A Black man invented the light bulb, not a White guy named Edison,” Biden said. “There’s so much — did anybody know before what recently happened that Black Wall Street in Oklahoma was burned to the ground. Anybody know these things? Because we don’t teach them. We’ve got to give people facts.”
Biden also referred to the 1921 Tulsa massacre and destruction of Black Wall Street in Oklahoma, saying this is an example of a historically significant moment that is not included in school history curricula.
In addition to significant work on the light bulb, Latimer invented the first toilet for railroad carriages as well as an early forerunner of the air conditioner.
Biden’s slight gaffe, Thursday, is one of his least egregious of the campaign, in which he’s built a reputation as being prone to verbal mishaps.