1966 U.S. Civil Rights Commission Hearings in Cleveland: Housing

Image from the transcript of the hearings. (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Nick Castele / ideastream)

In Cleveland, the U.S. Civil Rights Commission devoted more time to housing than to any other single topic. Witnesses described living in neighborhoods that were either segregated or becoming so. Tenants testified to the poor conditions of apartments in Hough. Commissioners interviewed experts and questioned city housing officials.

Listen to all the testimony below. Audio is courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. 

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Part One

  • Hattie Mae Dugan, a Hough resident
  • Morris Thorington, who ran a business in Hough

Part Two

  • Richard G. Townsend, who presented photos of Cleveland neighborhoods
  • Ethel Plummer and her sons Lyle and Sam
  • Western Reserve University graduate student Leonard Simmons

Part Three

  • Rev. Walter Grevatt, pastor of Hough Avenue United Church of Christ

Part Four

  • F. Barnard Sellers, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights program analyst
  • Lyle E. Schaller, director of the Regional Church Planning Office
  • Cleveland resident Allie Anderson
  • Velma Jean Woods, tenant in the Clevelander Apartments

Part Five

  • Carnella Turner, Alhambra Village Apartments resident
  • James Russell, housing activist with the Freedom Fighters of Ohio
  • David Kaplan, owner of FAE Apartments, Inc.

Part Six

  • Charles Sheboy, Cleveland housing commissioner
  • Clyde Fehn, U.S. Public Health Service sanitary engineer
  • William F. Murphy, head of the Cleveland Health Department's Food and Drug Administration
  • Rose Watkins, resident of Outhwaite Estates

Part Seven

  • Bayla White, U.S. Civil Rights Commission program analyst
  • Ernest J. Bohn, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority director
  • James Albrecht, chief of the occupancy section in the regional office of the Public Housing Administration

Part Eight

  • Edwin D. Wolf, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights staff attorney
  • Walter Sowell, Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority superintendent engineer
  • James P. Friedman, commissioner for the Cleveland Division of Slum Clearance and Blight Control

Part Nine

  • Dean Swartzell, regional director of the Urban Reneal Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Mary and Robert Crumpler, Cleveland residents
  • Carl Schorr, Advance Mortgage Corporation
  • Robert Kruse, mayor of Solon

Part Ten

  • Commissioner Frankie M. Freeman, civil rights attorney and associate general counsel of the St. Louis Housing and Land Clearance Authority
  • George Nesbitt, Low-Income Housing Demonstration Program director, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • M. Ray Niblack, staff vice president for association affairs, National Association of Home Builders
  • James Russell, Hough resident
  • Carter Kissell, chairman of the Cleveland Development Foundation
  • Roger Starr, executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York


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