Demand Open Housing: 1963-66
Segregation in housing was one of the toughest civil rights fights in the greater Washington, D.C. area during the civil rights era. Demonstrations throughout the early and mid-sixties largely failed to integrate developments and apartment buildings until the passage of open housing laws later in the decade.

The problem remains today as communities re-segregated in many areas.

The highest profile demonstrations in the area were staged by the Congress of Racial Equality in 1963 and a local group called ACCESS in 1966. While both sets of protests set the stage for eventual elimination of Jim Crow housing, both sets of protests had little immediate effect.

The refusal of many white people to accept that black people had a right to live next door to them resulted in the 1966 Democratic nomination of George P. Mahoney for Governor. Mahoney’s slogan was “A man’s home is his castle.” Republican Spiro Agnew then won the general election when liberals abandoned the Democratic Party. Maryland voters rejected by a wide margin an open housing law in 1967.

The development was eventually desegregated when original homeowners began to sell homes to African Americans and the federal government began enforcing no discrimination on FHA and VA loans and the federal 1968 Civil Rights Act was enacted.
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