Archive for the ‘S.W. Tucker’ Category


75th Anniversary of the Alexandria Library Sit-In – August 21, 1939

August 21, 2014

ax-tucker080702140717857175 years ago today, on August 21, 1939, Samuel W. Tucker organized probably the first sit-in of the American Civil Rights Movement at the public library on Queen Street in Alexandria, VA. Five young men were arrested: William Evans, Otto L. Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray, and Clarence Strange; with a sixth, Robert Strange, serving as a lookout for Tucker who followed events from his office three blocks away at 901 Princess Street. Today, CPAP MPA student Janet Arrechea and I are participating in a celebration of the 75th Anniversary organized by the Alexandria Libraries. Here is the announcement:

Please join the Alexandria Library at the Barrett Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, on Thursday, August 21, 10a.m., to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the 1939 library sit-in. Keynote speakers will be Civil Rights Activist and Director of the African American Civil War Museum Frank W. Smith and NC Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) and newly appointed Civil Rights Commissioner Patricia Timmons-Goodson. Music provided by Doc Night and the Hypnotix and refreshments from Rocklands (BBQ).


Here is a recent column about the Tucker and the sit-in by the Washington Post’s Patricia Shields.

Here are links to some of my other posts about Samuel W. Tucker’s remarkable legacy.




Out of Obscurity

May 1, 2012

A belated thank you to Matt Spangler, producer/director of Out of Obscurity (2000), a documentary about the 1939 Queen Street Library Sit-in organized by Samuel W. Tucker, for joining members of my Policy Analysis class recently for a viewing and discussion of the film. The interview footage in Out of Obscurity is fascinating – it’s some of the only footage you’ll find of Tucker and the participants in this too-little-documented moment in American history.


VT Washington Semester

June 16, 2011

This summer Derek Hyra and  I are co-teaching the Virginia Tech Washington Semester program – which combines a summer internship in the DC area and one day a week dedicated to coursework and site visits. Here’s a copy of the course syllabus.  I’m also the self-appointed Washington Semester 2011 staff photographer. A few pictures from the summer so far:

Roosevelt Island Junket Read the rest of this entry ?


S.W. Tucker Talk – Wednesday, April 6th

March 30, 2011

Remembering Civil Rights Pioneer

Samuel W. Tucker

A Conversation with Writer Stephen J. Ackerman and

Alexandria Black History Museum Director Louis Hicks

5:30-7:00pm – Wednesday, April 6th

Virginia Tech Alexandria Center

1021 Prince Street, 3rd Floor

Open to the Public!

Discuss the life and legacies of Alexandria-born Civil Rights pioneer Samuel W. Tucker with Louis Hicks, Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, and Stephen J. Ackerman, who has written extensively about Tucker and his role in the 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In.

Background  material:

S. J. Ackerman. 2000. “The Trials of S.W. Tucker.” Washington Post Magazine. June 11.

Alexandria Black History Museum, “America’s First Sit Down Strike: The 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-in.”

Co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs Politics and Planning Speaker Series, the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment, and the Urban Affairs and Planning Diversity Speakers’ Series.


August 21, 1939

August 21, 2010

Seventy-one years ago today Samuel W. Tucker (1913-1990) organized the first sit-in of the American Civil Rights movement in the public library on Queen Street in Alexandria, VA. Take a moment to learn about this historic event and the too-little-heralded Civil Rights pioneer who made it happen!


Remembering Samuel Tucker

March 8, 2010

Civil Rights pioneer and organizer of the first sit-in of the Civil Rights movement in the United States, Samuel W. Tucker is buried with his brother George D. Tucker in Arlington National Cemetery.


Remembering Samuel Tucker

February 23, 2010

Samuel W. Tucker

In the VT Northern Virginia Center newsletter, in honor of Black History Month, my first (and only?) foray into historical biography. This short article on the 1939 Queen Street Library Sit-in organized by Civil Rights pioneer Samuel W. Tucker is drawn from a truly excellent article by local historian S.J. Ackerman. With the commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins, it’s useful to keep in mind that these were not isolated instances of protest. The story of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. is a story of decades of protest and resistance by people like Tucker – principled, creative, determined (often too little remembered) individuals who dedicated their lives to ending racial discrimination.