Meeting at Central Presbyterian 1973
This set contains images of people arriving for a rally or meeting at the Central Presbyterian Church at 3047 15th Street NW sometime in September 1973. One image is of women preparing food for the event.

There are no surviving images of the event itself, but “thunderbird” images that were the official image of the United Farm Workers union (UFW) and widely used in the “Chicano Movement” at the time are visible in images # 1 and # 3.

An image of a man in a sombrero holding a rifle is visible on the T shirt of a young man in image 1. Images of Mexican revolutionary Emilio Zapata were popular in the “Chicano Movement” and images of Augusto Caesar Sandino were also popular among left-wing Nicaraguans at the time. Other more generic representations of Central and South American revolutionaries were also in widespread use. This particular image closely resembles a likeness of a famous photograph of Zapata, but remains unidentified.

A counter-revolution that killed Chilean President Salvadore Allende occurred September 11, 1973 and the UFW was also at the height of its battle with the Teamsters union at this time. It is not clear that either event is related to these images.

The congregation of the Central Presbyterian Church dissolved in January 1973 and donated the building to the National Capital Union Presbytery. The Central Presbyterian congregation was established after the Civil War by the Southern Presbyterians in 1868 and was denounced as a “nest of spies” in a local newspaper. The building pictured was built in 1913 with President Woodrow Wilson laying the cornerstone. Wilson was noted for his institution of “Jim Crow” in many areas of the federal government.

A Spanish speaking congregation began meeting at the church in the early 1970s and for a time it became a center for Latino activities in the Washington, DC area. The building has been renovated and the steps pictured have been removed. It currently houses the Capital City Public Charter School.

This set of images was scanned from a contact print. Original negatives are apparently lost. Non-commercial use of images in this set should be credited to Reading/Simpson unless otherwise noted. Commercial use of these items is prohibited without express permission.
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