Open Accommodations in the All American City

Tracy E. K’Meyer

in Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125398
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135274 | DOI:
Open Accommodations in the All American City

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This chapter focuses on an ordinance passed by the Louisville Board of Aldermen making it illegal to discriminate based on race in any place of business open to the general public, the first such law, according to Mayor William O. Cowger, “in any major city in the South.” It notes that passage of the ordinance, like the peaceful school integration of 1956, won Louisville national acclaim as an “All American City” and marked the high point of its reputation as a regional leader in race relations. It provides however, that this historic legislation did not arise in a vacuum; rather, the Louisville open accommodations struggle coincided with a region-wide wave of mass demonstrations for jobs and freedom, as the slogan of the 1963 march on Washington put it.

Keywords: ordinance; Louisville Board of Aldermen; Louisville; school integration; Mayor William O. Cowger; South; All American City; race relations; mass demonstrations; open accommodations

Chapter.  13948 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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