101 years ago this week, it rained in Dayton. And rained some more. And it kept on raining. It was the Great Dayton Flood. Today though, because of a man named Arthur E. Morgan, communities from Piqua to Hamilton have little to fear from the rising floodwaters of the Great Miami River.
The controversy began in 1960 at the Gegner Barber Shop located in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The owner, Lewis Gegner, claimed “I don’t know how to cut their (Negro’s) hair” and refused to provide service to African Americans.
By 1960, the Antioch Committee for Racial Equality (ACRE) and the Antioch Chapter of the NAACP were successful in desegregating other businesses in the Village of Yellow Springs. But Gegner refused even after being fined for violating the local anti-discrimination ordinance.
Five years ago, here at WYSO, we found a room full of old and dusty audio tapes in a moldy basement room. They contained programs going back to WYSO’s first broadcast in 1958.
With a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and help from the Greene County Public Library, we began to catalog and digitize more than 200 hours of those tapes, and today we begin to share them with you.
All this year we’ll focus on the 60s and 70s – to show how we lived and how the country was changing.