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Protest amusement park that barred black soldiers: 1966 | by Washington Area Spark
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Protest amusement park that barred black soldiers: 1966

Demonstrators mass outside the Doe Doe Recreation Park in Lawton, Ok. June 18, 1966 demanding that the privately owned park open its doors to black people.


Much of Doe Doe’s business came from white servicemen, according to the Daily Oklahoman, even though the Defense Department was supposed to put businesses that discriminated off-limits.


D.C. resident Reginald Booker, who would go on to lead civil rights and black liberation fights himself in Washington, D.C., was an active duty soldier who participated in the protests.


The protests would go on for weeks. On July 4, 1966 mass arrests took place as 55 were arrested for trespassing even though the town had no ordinance prohibiting trespassing.


A suit was filed against the park, but a federal court ruled in 1968 that it was not subject to the 1964 Civil Rights Act because it was organized as a private club.


The park, however, desegregated shortly after the ruling.


For a detailed account of Booker’s activism, victories and defeats, see


For more information and related images, see


The photographer is unknown. The image is an Associated Press photograph obtained via an Internet sale.


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Taken on June 18, 1966