Monday, July 28, 2008

Interesting Piece of History

While perusing the web just now looking for a place to play racquetball, I came across this interesting tidbit of local history on the NY Times website. (Still looking for racquetball courts if anyone knows of any).

New Orleans Athletic Club Votes 109-33 to Admit Blacks


Published: November 4, 1986

The New Orleans Athletic Club voted last week to admit blacks for the first time in its 110-year history.

Don Williams, the club president, said the vote was 109 to 33 to remove the ''whites only'' wording from the club's constitution.

The vote was Oct. 28.

''Already I've received three new applications for membership, one or two of which I know are from blacks,'' Mr. Williams said Wednesday.

Reciprocal privileges with athletic clubs across the country will be re-established, he said. They were canceled in 1976, after the New Orleans club refused to admit Thomas Perkins, a black member of the Harvard Club who was here on a visit.

Mr. Perkins sued the club, and Federal District Judge Alvin B. Rubin awarded him $1,000 in damages. The club then canceled its agreements with other clubs for fear of more lawsuits, Mr. Williams said.

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