The Jefferson Bank Protests are a famous moment in St. Louis' history but perhaps not one of the better-publicized ones these days. A key incident of the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, it helped to drive real change for the better. On August 30, 1963, a group of approximately 150 black and white protesters gathered outside the old Jefferson Bank on Washington Boulevard, their goal being to force an end to the bank's discriminatory practice of never hiring African-Americans for clerical, white collar jobs. The demonstration was the largest show of civil disobedience to protest economic equality in St. Louis to that time, and it spawned further, successful episodes of civil disobedience in our area. You can learn more about this decisive turning point in St. Louis' and the nation's history by attending Jefferson Bank Protests: Looking Back, Looking Forward, a lecture commemorating the 50th anniversary of the action, in the Lee Auditorium of the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). The program begins tonight at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Fri., Aug. 30, 2013