Memorandum from CORE Field Director Gordon Carey to Local Contacts and the Advisory Committee, ca. 1960

Memorandum from CORE Field Director Gordon Carey to Local Contacts and the Advisory Committee, ca. 1960


Miss Patricia Stephens
Florida A & M University
Tallahassee, Fla


CORE - Congress of Racial Equality
38 Park Row, New York 38, New York
COrtlandt 7-0035
TO: Local Contacts and members of the Advisory Committee
FROM: Gordon R. Carey, Field Director
SUBJECT: Peaceful Sit-Ins in New Orleans and Criminal Anarchy
Friday September 9: Five Negro and two white CORE members began the first sit-in at a New Orleans lunch counter. The group arrived at 10:30 A.M. and took seats at the downtown Canal Street Woolworth store. They remained seated until they were arrested by order of District Attorney Richard Dowling at 3:15 P.M. The seven were booked on charges of "criminal mischief." They can be fined up to $500 and receive one year in jail on that charge.
Police Superintendent Giaruso said that the CORE members "do not reflect the sentiments of the great majority of responsible citizens, both white and Negro, who make up our population.....With the exercise of continued, responsible, law-abiding conduct by all persons, we see no reason for any change whatever in the normal, goo race-relations that have traditionally existed in New Orleans." The next day the NAACP Youth Council picketed in support of CORE.
Monday September 12: Mayor de Lesseps S. Morrison banned all picketing and sit-ins stating: "It is my determination that the community interest, the public safety, and the economic welfare of this city require that such demonstrations cease and that henceforth they be prohibited by the police department."
Friday September 16: James T. McCain, CORE field secretary, and five [others] were arrested for picketing a shopping center in support of the Consumers League. McCain and two others remained in jail until Sunday evening. They were released on parole and have not been charged as yet.
Saturday September 17: Rudolph Lombard, CORE chairman and three other CORE members were arrested while sitting-in at the McCrory lunch counter. Lombard remained in jail until the following Friday. The four were charged with "criminal mischief" and released on $250 bail. However, L. Sydney Goldfinch was also charged with "criminal anarchy" for which the bond is $2500 and the maximum sentence is 10 yrs in prison.
Goldfinch stated: "The real charge is that I, a white American, sat side-by-side with colored Americans, who were asking for equal service at a McCrory lunch counter. My crime has been that I have joined CORE to fight for the American dream for all Americans."
Friday September 23: Assistant district attorney A.I. Kleinfeldt charged Goldfinch with "being ... a member of an organization or society which was known to him to advocate teachings and practices in opposition to the State of Lousiana." Kleinfeldt added that CORE "to the best of my knowledge, is on the United States attorney general's list of subversive organizations."
Saturday September 24: CORE community relations director Marvin Rich wired Kleinfeldt that "CORE is not nor has it ever been on the attorney general's list. I urge that you read the list, which is readily available to every citizen ... request that you correct the erroneous statement attributed to you."


Kleinfeldt replied: "I made that statement on the basis of information I had received and had not yet verified. But it has immaterial whether or not CORE is on the list. We have some evidence that the organization financed to some extent the demonstrations. The matter is being continuously investigated. If and when the investigation is completed we might consider charging others with criminal anarchy."
Where we stand
All 12 of the CORE members arrested have been arrested. CORE chairman Rudolph Lombard spent six days in jail before coming out. Total bail costs have been raised $5,250 of which national CORE has advanced $3,500. The rest has been raised in New Orleans.
CORE executive secretary James R. Robinson has protested Mayor Morrison's action to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. We have conferred with representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union and have urged other organizations to express their concern to their New Orleans affiliates.
The CORE group continues to meet and to act. Fifty thousand copies of the enclosed leaflet "Please Don't Buy at Woolworth or McCrory's" have been distributed in the community. Representatives of the group have been speaking at local churches urging a withdrawal from Canal Street and also raising money for the CORE group.
What we can do
First, we can protest individually to: Mayor de Lesseps S. Morrison
City Hall
New Orleans, Louisiana
Second, CORE groups, churches, unions and civic groups should protest to the Mayor and to the United States Attorney General. Protests from out-of-state can be effective.
Third, we can publicize this basic infringement of the right to peaceful assembly and protest as well as the right of free speech. CORE members who speak before other groups or on the radio or TV should tell this story. If Mayor Morrison can do this in New Orleans then the same thing can be done throughout the South.


Miss Patricia Stephens
Florida A & M University
Tallahassee, Fla


Problem: How to raise funds to aid Richard Parker
Page 76
A. without funds
B. to get fund


State Archives of Florida: Collection N2015-1, Box 01, Folder 11


Memo from CORE discussing sit-in activity in New Orleans during September 1960, starting with the arrest of seven CORE members holding a peaceful sit-in at the Canal Street Woolworth's lunch counter. The memo outlines other arrests in New Orleans and the charges against these activists.