John Logsdon

CORE, 1959-1963, Missouri
1150 Shipwatch Circle
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-209-0503

Columbia's CORE

I was active in CORE in the city of Columbia, Missouri while I was a student at the University of Missouri. I was the President of local CORE chapter in 1962 and 1963.

Our big push, of course, that included sit-ins was service at the local eating cafes. This, of course, was prior the national act that outlawed discrimination in places of food service.

I also worked on issues in barber shops and was involved in actions against the local human rights committee in Coumbia that would not take a stand against discrimination. The University of Missouri also took action, that failed, against me for fund-raising activity for CORE in campus mails.

1962 Columbia CORE began launching a direct nonviolent action against the restaurants that would only sell food at the back window. CORE had monthly meeting with sessions where members sat down and decided what to do, and whether you were willing to go to jail. The sit-ins were well planned and we had action groups of black and white members for the testing.

There were training sessions for the students from the University of Missouri. In those sessions sit-in were simulated.

In the fall the University removed student Gloria Newton from her dormitory because she had been assigned a room with a white girl. Many of the other black students had the same experience. The school was still segregating rooms in 1962.

Columbia Chapter of CORE wrote the U.S. Secretary of Housing Robert Weaver in regard to the school housing policy. The Secretary Weaver did turn the University around and with a stoke of a pen removed segregation as the school's housing policy. National CORE Chairman Charles Oldham did attend a Columbia CORE meeting in this effort.. Lawyer Oldham had been on several cases before the U.S Supreme Court.

Many of the students sat in their own groups in the college dining halls, also. A few CORE whites sat at the table with blacks and were given labels. At that time one had to be persistent and aware of what was going on in the community. Received hate mail from time to time was the norm and the house where I rented in 1963 was set on fire a weekend I was in St.Louis.

Was a student at the University of Missouri from 1959-63 and received my Bachelor of Science in Public Administration left Columbia and had a career in New York as a Health Care Administrator for 30 years plus. My wife is Gloria Newton since 1965. We are now retired living in Tampa, Florida.

In 1964 James Rollins was elected President of Coumbia, Missouri CORE. The organization gathered speed under his leadership until 1968. All Columbia CORE documents and files are now part of a box collection stored at the Special Collection section of the University of Missouri, 104 Ellis Library, Columbia, Missouri.

I could go on and on if needed on the various projects the group took part. If you have any question please feel free to contact me.

John Logsdon

 


 
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