Collection includes: Where the River Burned, A Gentleman from Ohio, STOKES Campaign Bumper Sticker and Louis Stokes Memorial Button.
Where the River Burned
In the 1960s, Cleveland suffered through racial violence, spiking crime rates, and a shrinking tax base, as the city lost jobs and population. Rats infested an expanding and decaying ghetto, Lake Erie appeared to be dying, and dangerous air pollution hung over the city. When the Cuyahoga River caught fire in the summer of 1969, the city was at its nadir, polluted and impoverished, struggling to set a new course. The burning river became the emblem of all that was wrong with the urban environment in all of industrial America.
Carl Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city, had come into office in Cleveland a year earlier with energy and ideas. He surrounded himself with a talented staff, and his administration set new policies to combat pollution, improve housing, provide recreational opportunities, and spark downtown development. Where the River Burned describes Cleveland’s transition from polluted industrial city to viable service city during the Stokes administration.
The Gentleman From Ohio
Louis Stokes was a giant in Ohio politics and one of the most significant figures in the U.S. Congress in recent times. When he arrived in the House of Representatives as a freshman in 1969, there were only six African Americans serving. By the time he retired thirty years later, he had chaired the House Special Committee on the Kennedy and King assassinations, the House Ethics Committee during Abscam, and the House Intelligence Committee during Iran-Contra; he was also a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Prior to Louis Stokes’s tenure in Congress he served for many years as a criminal defense lawyer and chairman of the Cleveland NAACP Legal Redress Committee. Among the Supreme Court Cases he argued, the Terry “Stop and Frisk” case is regarded as one of the twenty-five most significant cases in the court’s history. The Gentleman from Ohio chronicles this and other momentous events in the life and legacy of Ohio’s first black representative—a man who, whether in law or politics, continually fought for the principles he believed in and helped lead the way for African Americans in the world of mainstream American politics.
STOKES FOR A BETTER CLEVELAND – Campaign Bumper Sticker
Louis Stokes Memorial Button – 1925-2015
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