John Mercer Langston was an attorney, educator, activist, diplomat, and politician in the United States.
He became the first dean of the law school at Howard University.
He was the first president of what is now Virginia State University, a historically black college.
His legacy includes:
The John Mercer Langston House in Oberlin, Ohio, has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The town of Langston, Oklahoma, founded in 1890 as an all-black town, was named for him. The historically black college in the town, founded in 1897 as the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University, was renamed Langston University in honor of John Mercer Langston in 1941.
John Mercer Langston Elementary School at 33 P Street NW in Washington, D.C. was named in his honor. It opened in 1902 as a school for black students and remained open until 1993. In 1997 the building served as a homeless shelter, but it has mostly sat empty since closing.