100 Hour Hiser Picket: 1960
Demonstrators picket in the median strip on July 27, 1960 demanding desegregation of the Hiser Theater at 7414 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland.

Four demonstrators had been arrested a day earlier for trespassing and protestors responded by setting up a picket line that was part of a 100-hour consecutive protest. Each hour marked a year that had passed since the Emancipation Proclamation that was announced in September 1862 with the protestors adding an extra two hours.

The demonstrators were part of the Non-Violent Action Group (NAG) that had desegregated Arlington, Virginia and helped with the Hi-Boy restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. They were also picketed Glen Echo amusement park in Maryland at the time.

Counter-demonstrators in the background are picketing to keep the theater all-white. The sign that is visible reads, “Free Enterprise, Not Socialism.”

The theater was believed at the time to be the only one in Montgomery County that barred African Americans. Longtime owner John Hiser sold the theater in September 1960 rather than desegregate. The new owners opened the theater to all.

For more related to the Non-Violent Action Group, see

Glen Echo, Maryland Protests: flic.kr/s/aHsjDFaXGM

Arlington, Virginia Desegregation: flic.kr/s/aHsjDFaXGH

Hi-Boy sit-in, Rockville, Maryland: (coming soon)

Dion Diamond, one of the NAG participants: flic.kr/s/aHsjDEYDg7

For a short article on Dion Diamond, see washingtonspark.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/crazy-dion-diamo...

Photo by Randy Routt. Courtesy of the DC Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post.
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