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Gloria Richardson Dandridge returns to Cambridge: 1967 | by Washington Area Spark
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Gloria Richardson Dandridge returns to Cambridge: 1967

Gloria Richardson Dandridge walks the streets of her hometown of Cambridge, Maryland August 3, 1967 after returning to the town at the invitation of local civil rights leaders.


Prior to her marriage, Richardson led the civil rights movement in the town from 1962-64, including mass arrests, shooting incidents between black and white residents and a two-year occupation by the National Guard.


The campaign focused on better jobs, school and health care in addition to integration of public facilities.


She famously opposed a referendum to desegregate the town saying that there could be no valid vote on basic human rights that should be guaranteed to all.


After marrying, Richardson now Dandridge, moved to New York City with her husband in early 1965 after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, making segregated public accommodations illegal.


She returned at the invitation of local civil rights leaders in mid-July 1967 as the local civil rights movement began gathering steam again, but returned to New York before H. Rap Brown gave a speech in Cambridge July 24, 1967.


Following Brown’s speech, isolated clashes between blacks and whites broke out in the town. Brown was wounded by gunfire. Two square blocks of the city burned while white firemen refused to put out the blaze.


The National Guard re-occupied the town. Brown and a local man, Lemuel Chester, were charged with inciting to riot.


Dandridge, pictured above, again returned to Cambridge to advise local leaders.


Charges against Brown and Chester were ultimately dropped, although Brown served a year in jail for possession of a weapon while under indictment for the Maryland charges.


Chester went on to become a minister and serve two terms as a the first black commissioner of Dorchester County.


For more information and related images, see


Photo by Schmick. The image is courtesy of the D.C. Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post.

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Taken on August 3, 1967