ST. LOUIS (AP) — Octogenarian protesters joined fresh-faced climate change activists Friday to recall and re-enact a series of civil rights demonstrations that changed hiring practices in St. Louis and paved the way toward greater equality for blacks.
Several of the 19 original marchers jailed for defying a judge's order against disrupting business at Jefferson Bank and Trust Company returned to mark the 50-year anniversary of protests that began on August 30th, 1963 and escalated into near daily demonstrations outside the city jail.
The group of community leaders, civic organizers and Washington University students convinced the bank and hundreds of other city businesses to hire more African-Americans as tellers and in other office jobs.
Participants were scheduled to gather Friday night at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, which sponsored several anniversary events.
As the nation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, the Missouri History Museum is highlighting the struggle for equality here in St. Louis. From this evening through Friday, the Museum is highlighting the 1963 protests at the Jefferson Bank, one of the most important chapters in St. Louis civil rights history. Tonight's programs examine banking practices in St. Louis, then and now. There will also be an assembly discussing issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. Thursday afternoon there is Civil Disobedience Training and Friday night is a look back at the Jefferson Bank protests. All the programs are free. For more information call: 314-533-2635.