DWAYNE COX: And just for the record this is an oral history interview withDr. Maurice Rabb. My name is Dwayne Cox. I'm from the University of Louisville Archives. And today is August 15, 1977. And we're at Dr. Rabb's home, 4400 Greenwood Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Rabb, as I told you in my letters, this is part of an oral history project on the black community in Louisville. And we're interested in your career as a physician in Louisville, in your medical education in Nashville, and in your public life outside of strictly medical affairs. And like I said I think in the letter I always feel comfortable 1:00taking things in chronological order. And maybe we ought to start off by having you say a little about where you were born and your parents, your upbringing, how did you decide to become a doctor and what was it like to be a medical student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville during the 1920s?
MAURICE RABB: I was born in Columbus, Mississippi and I was very earlystimulated by Dr. T.V. James, who was our family physician. He was a Negro, and he delivered all of my brothers and me and he encouraged me to get into the 2:00medical profession. I remember that I decided that I would be a doctor, oh, when I was in second or third grade.
DC: Where did you go to school in Columbia? Can you talk some about that?
MR: Columbus. Columbus, Mississippi. I went to Union Academy and at that time,Union Academy was the one school that we had to walk all the way across town to get to, even though there was a junior high school directly in front of my 3:00house. Yet we had to walk all the way across town to the Union Academy. From which I graduated in 1919 or somewhere about like that. Union Academy had only ten grades. There were two white high schools that had four year high school courses and I remember that my father went and talked to his good white friend on the school board and he asked him not to make our school twelve grades like the whites had, but to increase it one more year. And I remember that his good 4:00friend on the school board told him, "No." Immediately. He didn't bite any tongue at all. When he said "No," says, "that's all they need." Well, my father said, "I want my son to have more than ten grades." And he says, "Alright. Send him to Tuskegee."
Therefore, after ten grades at home, I went to Fisk University in the highschool department. Fisk had a high school department at that time, and that's where I got my undergraduate training. I graduated from Fisk six years later -- I had two years in high school and four years in college -- and got an A.B. degree from Fisk. Then I went to Meharry Medical College. 5:00
DC: So you left your home in Mississippi -- was your father a leader in the townin Mississippi?
MR: Well, he was sort of a leader, but he ran a meat market. My father had onlyabout four or five or six grades education and he was able to educate all of us, my brothers and I. He educated us all. He sent us all to college if they wanted to go. But some of my brothers did not want to go. I had three brothers who went 6:00to college along with me. But my father paid all our expenses.
DC: What do you remember about growing up in Mississippi? What do you rememberabout race relations in town and that sort of thing?
MR: I remember that there was a policeman friend of ours, or supposedly a friendof ours, that we knew him real well. And he had been drinking on one occasion, and he came by and told my father that he was going to come back and get him that night. And we were going to burn his house down or something. So my father sent my younger brother and me around to my grandmother's house and he took my older brothers -- there were two of them -- and he took a neighborhood friend, 7:00and he put them all in the house with pistols and guns. But he called the police and told the police about this man's threatening, about having threatened us. So that night the man didn't show up and we were very thankful that he didn't show up. I have had some bad experiences. I remember that when I was a, I had graduated from tenth grade, and my father decided that -- he hadn't decided that I would go to school any further -- and I remember that there were two white 8:00boys who were riding along with a wagon, and as I rode by on my bicycle one of these boys threw their rawhide whip around my waist. And it made me very angry. So that when we caught them, we were in between them and their houses, where they lived. So my brother and I jumped on them and we whipped them pretty severely. My father that night tore my behind up. He said, "You're going to cause me more trouble by fighting these white boys." As a result, my father 9:00finally decided that he was going to send me away to school. That's why I went to, I happened to go to school, why I went to Fisk University in the high school department. So those were some of the experiences we had. My father was very afraid of the white people, agitating the white people in Mississippi, in Columbus.
DC: Did you find that -- well, talk a little about, tell me about your days atFisk: what you studied and were the race relations different in Nashville than they were in rural Mississippi--?
MR: No, I remember that there were-- I remember getting on the street car in10:00Nashville, and I remember that they had a custom that whites sat up front and blacks sat in the rear, and I remember a man coming in, there was a long seat along the sides of the street car and I remember a white man coming in and saying to me, "Get up boy, and let me sit down." And I didn't move because I had some of my big football friends sitting there beside me. So I just sat there and so he stood up. He didn't sit down. But that was the only incident that I had like that.
And I remember also that when I was in college at Fisk, I remember that we hadsort of a riot -- well, we had a demonstration where we decided we weren't going 11:00to school for a few days. W.E.B. DuBois, do you remember that name? DuBois had spoken to the student body the year before and we had decided that we would -- it was time to get some things done that needed to be done at Fisk. For instance, we had no athletic association, we had no student paper, we had no fraternities, we had no sororities, we were very limited in our social life 12:00activities at Fisk. And DuBois had come in and made the statement that he was so disappointed with the situation at Fisk. And he was Fisk graduate, incidentally. He had graduated from Fisk in 1888. He admitted in his speech that he gave to us the year before that anything that he had accomplished had been in result of his continuing from what he had done at Fisk. That he was the editor of the Crisis Magazine of the NAACP, and that it was just a continuation of his editorship of 13:00the Fisk Herald, which was our local paper. And he said that the only reason that he was there, that they had asked him to speak, was that he had, his daughter was graduating from Fisk at that time, Yolanda DuBois, and he had only one child and he sent that one child to Fisk. And that any honors he had gotten from being at Harvard had been as a continuation of his education at Fisk, and 14:00that's the way he felt about it.
The only incident that I can recall right now -- oh yes, then we decided we werenot going to school for a few -- we were not going to cooperate with the administration. And the night that the demonstration took place, I had been playing basketball with a club, of which I was a member. And my roommate and I both had -- were tired and we came in and went to bed, went to sleep. And then the boys decided that they would go over and tell the girls during the night, at the girls' dormitory that we weren't going to go to school tomorrow. So when the 15:00president saw them marching toward his house, he thought they were coming to get him and he called the police. And the police came and they put in a riot call. And when I woke up that morning, the police were breaking in my door and my roommate was halfway up to go ahead and open the door. And here came these pistols and flashlights pointing at us.
DC: That was all as a result of the students being dissatisfied with...
MR: Dissatisfied with the fact that they had no fraternities, no sororities, nosocial life, no student councils, student paper, anything of that sort. 16:00
DC: You mentioned, of course, that DuBois was a Fisk graduate, and surely thereare a lot of outstanding people who were Fisk graduates. Were there any greats and near greats that you went to school with at Fisk, who you knew well there and had classes with?
MR: Well, I had class with, one of my classmates became a reporter for the NewYork Times. But I can't think of any person who became real outstanding. I can't. The coach at Kentucky State College, Mr. Henry Arthur Kean, was a student there and President Atwood was a student when I first entered, but they were 17:00much above me. They were almost god-like in my estimation, because they were seniors in college and I was a second year high school student. So, you can see the difference. Mr. Atwood, President Atwood was one of the students there, who was graduating at the time and so was Mr. Henry Arthur Kean, who is from Louisville, who was from Louisville, he's dead now. Dr. Atwood is still living.
DC: What sort of course did you study at Fisk as an undergraduate?
MR: I took chemistry particularly because I wanted to be a physician. And atthat time to be, to get into Meharry, you had to be a Fisk graduate, that was 18:00all. You could have any major that you wanted, but just being a Fisk graduate you were eligible to enter into Meharry, but that's not true today, because Meharry has a lot of requirements that I couldn't -- I wouldn't be eligible to enter the freshman class at Meharry today with my past record from Fisk.
DC: Talk some about medical study in the 1920s. It surely has changed an awfullot from today--
MR: Well, I remember this: I finished fourth in my class of about sixty and19:00there was not a full point between the first place person and the fifth place person. There wasn't a full point between the averages for the year. We had histology in the first year, we had anatomy in the first year, and we had physiology and pharmacology and physiological chemistry--medicine, surgery, ear, eye, nose and throat. Those are some of the subjects that we had, and as I said, 20:00I would probably not be able to enter the freshman class at Fisk today on the basis of what I had had. My qualifications at the time. Every school has changed its qualifications over the years, so that I'd never. Course, now at that time we could only go to one or two medical schools in the country: Howard in Washington and Meharry in Nashville; other than that we just couldn't go to any 21:00school at all, they just wouldn't do that. But we had a quota system, a very small quota of blacks who were able to go to certain medical schools up North, but certainly, I remember that when the University of Louisville opened its doors to Negro students-- I remember that my son was entering college about that time, so we sent him over to University of Indiana and he stayed over at the University of Indiana for the first two years, and when the University of Louisville opened up its doors -- voluntarily opened up its doors, after we had brought a suit. We had brought the suit, and then they volunteered and opened 22:00up, because we felt that they were, they felt that they were going to lose the suit. So, they voluntarily opened up everything; they volunteered to open up everything. So my son went over to the University of Indiana for two years; then he transferred during the summer to the University of Louisville and he was still an undergraduate; he transferred to the University of Louisville as a junior and he finished up the next year. Then he took a one year post-graduate 23:00course and he got an AA degree, he got an AB degree, an MS degree from the University of Louisville and then he got an AA degree, and then he went, he was accepted into medical school at the University of Louisville. I had never thought that ever would happen during my lifetime. I never thought that would ever be a Negro student at the University of Louisville during my lifetime.
DC: So you were, we have you up to Meharry Medical College and you're a medicalstudent and studying pretty much the same course that other medical students were studying in the late 1920's. Was there any problem with clinical facilities 24:00in Nashville as far as -- did Meharry have a hospital attached to it?
MR: Yes. Meharry had, the Hubbard hospital was attached to Meharry and it wasnamed after the president. One of the founders, one of the early presidents of -- Hubbard Hospital, was the name of it. Now, Meharry was founded by the Meharry brothers. You know of the story on that? Well, okay.
DC: Let me ask you this, did-- I've studied medical history a little bit, and I25:00know a little bit about it. One curious thing that I found in the records of U of L was that during the '20s and '30s, that of course the University had some sort of agreement that had to do with attaining a human corpse for dissection in the medical classes. They had a different agreement for corpses of blacks than they did for corpses of whites.
MR: I didn't know that.
DC: I don't remember what the difference was, I think just in the title of theagreement, the substance of it was exactly the same. But that caused me to think at that time, did students at Meharry Medical School get all black corpses? 26:00
MR: All black corpses. And they were indigent people and I never did see anywhite corpse. I can recall that two or three of my classmates quit the day we had to go down there and dig these corpses out of the vat. We kept them in -- Now, today the situation, they have refrigerated places at Meharry right now, and you just run your people in there and you bring them out; the next day, if you are dissecting a few things, then you run them back into the ice box. But we had formaldehyde vats. We just dumped all of the corpses in there and we'd go down there and pick out -- And I'd remember the man ask us, our instructor ask us if you recognized anybody, just come over and whisper to us and we will try 27:00to see if we can't move that body, but we didn't recognize anybody.
DC: Were most of the students at Meharry southern?
MR: Well, I'd say most of them were southern-born and southern-educated. We hadone or two foreigners, we had two foreigners in my class -- three, three foreigners in my class, and they had come from the Bahamas, from one of the African states, and one from Bermuda. And they were all black, they were all Negroes.
DC: What about the professors? Where were they from?28:00
MR: We had one man, Dr. Quinlan, who was a West Indian; Dr. Bent was aPanamanian. But Dr. Stewart was a Harvard graduate. These were all black, I'm talking about. We had several white instructors. And we had instructors at Fisk who were white. We had a lot of white teachers at Fisk. I think half of the student body -- half of the faculty was perhaps white at Fisk. And I remember that we had three or four white teachers at Meharry. President was white, the 29:00controller was white, but I can't recall that there were any others that were white.
DC: Did the students think anything about that? Did they look on that with alittle bit of suspicion -- that here we had an all-black college with a white president?
MR: Well, I think what we wanted at Fisk was, that we should have a blackpresident eventually, but we weren't asking for that at the moment of our demonstration, when we had decided not to go to school. We had to face the 30:00Prudential Committee at that time at Fisk. The Prudential Committee decided that either you agreed with our policy or you would have to leave the school. I remember one of my classmates, who lives here in Louisville now, Victor Perry. Victor Perry, his brother Will Perry had had some trouble with the President, so Victor spent --
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[BEGINNING OF TAPE 404, SIDE TWO]
MR: Will Perry had had some trouble with the president at Fisk and as a result31:00of that, Will Perry became a principal of the school here in Louisville -- and my wife talked with Victor Perry, who was my classmate at Fisk. Will Perry became a principal of a junior high school here.
DC: What did, you might not know the answer to this, but how were the whiteteachers at Fisk and at Meharry looked upon by white people in Nashville?
MR: Well, I didn't know that they weren't looked on disparagingly. I don't know32:00that. But, I would think that they were more or less accepted by the whites in Nashville; I just don't know that. I can't answer that question.
DC: You graduated from Meharry, you had your MD in 1929.
DC: But you didn't come to Louisville until --
DC: 1946. So that's a period of about seventeen years.
MR: Fifteen years.
DC: Fifteen years. Between the time you finished in Nashville and came toLouisville? What did you do during those fifteen years?
MR: Well, I interned first at Kansas City General Hospital. We had a rotatinginternship. I interned at the General Hospital in Kansas City. There was 33:00segregation in Kansas City at that time and we were at an all-black hospital. But it was called General Hospital Number Two. We didn't like that, but there was nothing we could do about it. Internships were very hard to get, of any sort, at that time. So we just had to put up with whatever we could get. One of the best internships was in St. Louis, and one of the few of the better 34:00institutions was in Kansas City; had one in Baltimore, one in Harlem and you had Freedman's Hospital at Washington, Hubbard Hospital at Nashville. But only certain ones of those were acceptable. So I was able, I was very fortunate in getting to intern at Kansas City. I felt very grateful to it.
DC: Were there any of your classmates who weren't able to find a suitable placeto do their internship?
MR: I don't know that, but I know at least one of my fellow classmates did notintern. He went right on into practice immediately following his graduation. But in certain states you could do that.
DC: This might not be a fair question but . . . I guess a lot of people would35:00say that someone who goes to medical school surely must be a good student, must be reasonably intelligent, good student, hard worker; but at the same time a lot of people think that people go to medical school because doctors can make a lot of money. Did you think that -- Let me put it around another way: did you get any sense that your classmates at Meharry had any common goals in mind, were 36:00they oriented toward making money? Were they oriented toward -- did they have a sort of a missionary zeal to help their people? Was there any of that at all?
MR: I think yes, a lot of my classmates, and schoolmates, who felt that thatwas, their duty was to help the Negro people throughout the country. Now, there were some who wanted to make some money, naturally you would have some of them, but I would I say it was a small proportion. But I feel that most of the people wanted to help; they wanted to do big things, good things for Negro people.
DC: So, you were intern at Kansas City General Number Two, which was a37:00segregated hospital. Was there any difference -- did you ever go to Kansas City General Number One? Did you see any differences?
MR: No, we very seldom got over there. I didn't know the difference between thetwo hospitals. Incidentally, we opened up a new hospital, General Number Two, and we spent a little time with General Number One -- No, we spent a little time at the old General Number Two, but then while we were interning, they opened up a new building, brand new, and it had all the facilities in it. We felt it was ideal. 38:00
DC: Where did you go when you finished Kansas City?
MR: When I finished there, I went to Shelbyville to practice and I practicedthere from 1930 to 1946.
DC: Shelbyville, Kentucky?
MR: Yes. Kentucky. You see, I came through Louisville, and my wife is fromLouisville. And so I came through here to visit her. And somebody told me about a town over there named Shelbyville, so we went.
DC: It needed a doctor. Can you talk some about your practice in Shelbyville?
MR: Well, my practice in Shelbyville was very, I think it was remunerative in a39:00lot of ways. Financially. But, even in those days we were paid the lowest wages and a lot of times I had to take vegetables. I had one family who each year they raised a hog for me; and they fixed it up into bacon and hams and shoulders and sausage and whatever it was, and that was my pay for that year. I was able to go a lot of times and get chickens and eggs and fish, frog legs, doves, quails -- I 40:00mean, we were able to eat even though we didn't make a whole lot of money. The relationship with the white doctors was fair. I remember a case where a young lady came to me and she wanted her tonsils removed and I wasn't removing tonsils at that time. But, I noticed some lesions on her and I decided to take her blood 41:00test because of the lesions and it came back positive for syphilis. And I had told her mother "Don't let anybody take her tonsils out, not even me," because she needed some treatment for the syphilis before she could do that. And I remember that she went up farther, I saw her on the street two or three days later, and I had given her one shot and the parents had taken her to see another doctor in town. And it happened to be a white doctor, because I was the only 42:00black doctor there. So this doctor told her that he was going to take her tonsils out and she needed them out pretty badly. And so I went up to see him and I told him that, what I found when I had my, the tests that I had run on her showed that she had syphilis. And she said, "Let's go down there right now and talk to her." Cause he wasn't going to take her tonsils out under the circumstances. But I told him, "No," I didn't want any part of it, it was his case, and they had left me and had gone to him. So they went to another doctor, 43:00her parents took her to another doctor, and this doctor said, "Did Dr. Rabb say that she had syphilis?" and he said, "Then she has syphilis" and that was the end of it. So that was the story on it. But I had to warn her that.. But this doctor that said, first doctor was going to take out her tonsils. But he just admitted that I was a little more thorough than he had been, because I had taken a blood test on her. And I had the report that said she was positive. The blood test showed [Louies?]. And so he said, "Well, Dr. Rabb, you just were more thorough than I," and said, "Therefore, let's go down and talk to them." I said, 44:00"No that's your job. I don't want any part of it." So he went down there and told them about it. He wasn't going to do it. Then they took her to the second doctor, and the doctor said, "Did Dr. Rabb say she had syphilis?" and then he said "Yeah."
DC: So you felt like that the white doctors in Shelbyville respected your ability?
MR: Well, this man did, this second man did, but I don't know about the factthat the first man-- I was disappointed that he admitted that he was going to take out her tonsils in view of the fact that-- I'm sure he saw the lesions.
DC: What were-- you were in Shelbyville during the-- in the middle of the45:00Depression. Can you talk some about that?
MR: Well, I remember this: that the first December I practiced, I collected over$500. And I didn't get back up to five hundred dollars in any one month until ten years had passed, or seven or eight years had passed. I remember that we were trying to build our house, buy a house, pay for the furniture, pay for the car, pay the rent for the office. I had grossed lower than $150 per month. Can 46:00you imagine that? Grossed.
DC: That's not very much.
MR: No, less than $150 a month and that was my total income. I didn't get backup to $500 a month until, well, four, five or six or seven or eight years. That first month, that first December, I made $500-some dollars a month. I mean for that month. And then I didn't do, I didn't get back up to that at all, it was 47:00rough then. I remember that we had a girl who kept, cleaned house for us and helped my wife and we were paying her $2.50 a week. That's what we were paying her. And she was perfectly satisfied with it. We couldn't have paid much more.
DC: What were health conditions like in Shelbyville when you went there?
MR: We had a hospital there, a very inadequate hospital for blacks. Whites onlywent to the King's Daughters hospital, but that wasn't true of us. I couldn't 48:00practice in the King's Daughters hospital. As a matter of fact, when I came to Louisville, I couldn't practice at any white hospitals. There was a black hospital here called the Red Cross Hospital. So we had to practice in the Red Cross Hospital. We just couldn't practice in, you couldn't have a patient in the King's Daughters Hospital in Shelbyville. It just wasn't thought of. Nobody would think of it. It would be ridiculous for us to assume that you could-- 49:00
DC: Were there any cases in which they maybe. . . I guess King's DaughtersHospital was larger, or was it than the. . .
MR: Much larger and much better equipped.
DC: Were there cases in which you needed equipment that they had there?
MR: We could send over and get x-rays, and I guess we could have done somelaboratory work over there. But it was just, brute strength that we were able to diagnose without benefit of laboratory of findings and x-rays. So, we just had to do that. 50:00
DC: Why did you come to Louisville? Why did you leave Shelbyville?
MR: Well, I'll tell you, when I left Shelbyville they were planning to have --they were floating a bond issue. And the bond issue was to build a gymnasium, build a swimming pool for whites. And they were going to build -- and you know who was going to use the swimming pool, the whites were going to use it. And we were going to get an incinerator, that's what we were going to get out of the bond issue. And I objected to that strenuously. Then about that same time I had 51:00bought a piece of property. Now on this street, there was a highway, and Highland Manor, that was a dividing line between Johnsonville where the blacks lived and Highland Manor where the whites lived. But a white man bought this lot that joined in Johnsonville and he, while living there, they auctioned off some Highland Manor lots and he decided that he was going to buy those lots. So he 52:00bought the lots, there were two lots; in other words, he lived in Johnsonville but he bought the two adjoining lots to his property in Highland Manor. Well, he sold all the property to me and there was quite a hullabaloo about it. And they had mass meetings and they did everything. And the man who bought the property, who sold the property originally, came to me and said, "Doctor, why don't we let you -- Why don't I give you back the money that I got for that piece of 53:00property." And I said, "Well, no, I don't want that." I wouldn't accept it anyways. He said, "Well, you can't live in it, you can't live on the property, you can't. . . " And there will always be a question about where the restrictive covenant is on it. This property says it is not to be leased, rented, sold or conveyed to anybody of African descent. So that meant that -- that was in the deed, and I bought that deed, I bought that property knowing that was in the deed. So the man said, "Why don't you let me give you back your money that I got for the property? I'll be glad to give it back to you and let that property go." I said, "No." Well he said "You can't live in it and it's going to be a problem 54:00to you." Well I said, "Mr. Brown, I have put aside $1,000," which was a lot of money back then, this was about 1944 or 1945. I said, "I put $1,000 aside that I am going to fight this case with if it comes to that." In the meantime, the NAACP had begun to fight restrictive covenants and they sent a man -- I never thought that I would have to call on the NAACP for anything -- but they sent a man who is now a federal judge in Washington to Shelbyville. And this man, 55:00Spotswood Robinson, III came to Shelbyville on this piece of property and as a result we were able to finally win the case. It stayed in the courts for two or three years -- but we were finally able to -- and I didn't know the terminology. They used the word "with prejudice." And it was "with prejudice" that I didn't like. But with prejudice meant that it couldn't be reopened. I didn't know what the "with prejudice" meant. But it meant this, that the decision that had been given was given "with prejudice," which meant it couldn't be reopened. So that, 56:00and along with, I had a fire that burned my house down and -- it didn't burn it down, but it damaged it. And that with the fact that the bond issue, and the property, and therefore when the fire happened, it happened on January 1, and so we left there January 15.
DC: What was the origin of the fire?
MR: Oh, I was right there when it happened. Everybody said that I was burnedout, but I wasn't.
MR: No, I wasn't burned out. It so happened that everybody assumed that I hadbeen burned out.
DC: Well I did too, so...
MR: Because I had been a controversial subject. I remember the school situation57:00there. My wife taught in the schools and I remember that -- we had two school boards, a school board for the blacks, school board for the whites -- there came a law passed by the state legislature, which says that you could have no more dual school boards. So we decided that we would -- we had to do away with one of the school boards and you know which one left, the black school board left. So they turned over all that money and they were paying the teachers as little as $67.50 a month. And they turned over some money to the white school board. They 58:00should have increased their salaries. It was horrible. You see, I think they reduced the salaries from $75 down to about $67 or $63, I don't know what it was, but it was ridiculously low. So, that was one of the situations too. I just didn't, it didn't jell at all with me. I just couldn't see that.
DC: I guess you'd probably, living in Shelbyville, you'd already spent some time59:00in Louisville, you already . . . it wasn't like you'd come in from. . . .Cleveland--
MR: Oh no. I was in pretty good shape. I had bought a piece of property. As amatter of fact Dr. Young, Dr. C. Milton Young, Jr. invited me in to his office, and I stayed at his house. I stayed at his house and he allowed me to see patients in his office -- in other words, if you came there to see me and you were next in line then I saw you because you were next in line. And no matter, in other words we took the patients as they came. If a patient came for him, 60:00then he was in charge. Then when my patient came, I was in charge. We would just move around, and he would go out of the office, and I'd go in.
DC: Can you talk some generally about medical practice in Louisville andespecially in the black community when you first came here in '46? You mentioned the Red Cross Hospital --
MR: We were on the Red Cross staff, and we could not be on any other staff. Itjust wasn't done. You didn't think about it. It didn't cross one's mind. It just wasn't done. So, in other words, everything that we did in the hospital line, we did in Red Cross hospital. We had at that time, about four or five hundred 61:00whites on our staff. They were all courtesy staff members, most of them. But we had a few active staff members, on the staff. But we had four or five hundred staff, because after all, the white doctors would ---
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[BEGINNING OF TAPE 405, SIDE ONE]
MR: --a rarity for us to have a white patient in the hospital. But we werepermitted to have them. I remember that I delivered one white woman in the Red 62:00Cross Hospital. But there were a lot of doctors who were doing surgery at Red Cross Hospital. They would do surgery there. Most of them were only courtesy staff, and for that reason I was being called on to give anesthesia to some of their patients, particularly the black doctors, and I had had no formal training in anesthesia. So earlier in my career I started asking a lot of questions of 63:00people who were doing anesthesia and I got a lot of information from them and they were very cooperative and so I got a little bit interested in anesthesia. I remember that Mr. Tachau's brother, the man that told you about calling, getting in touch with me.
DC: Eric Tachau?
MR: No, not Eric Tachau, but Charles Tachau. Charles Tachau's brother was on ourstaff, was on our board, and that's Eric's father. Eric's father was on our board and was very interested in the Red Cross Hospital. So I got in touch with 64:00Eric's father and asked him about getting some training, some formal training. You see, they had a Day Law; do you know about the Day Law?
DC: Generally, yes.
MR: Well, anyway, the Day Law, there was a man named Day, who was a legislatorand he went up to Berea College, which was supposed to be a college for blacks and Indians and he saw a white girl walking across the campus there with a Negro man and he went back to Frankfort and there was a big celebration the day that they passed the Day Law. The Day Law said something like if you taught a class 65:00where blacks and whites sat in the same class you would be subject to something like a thousand dollars a day per student, per day, plus imprisonment. So you didn't teach any classes with whites and blacks in the same class. Well, we got them to change the law that said that. . . if you don't allow the black doctors to get training, post-graduate training, they're going to be washing your clothes and attending your children and cooking your meals. Therefore, you ought to let us get some training, post-graduate training in the health sciences. So 66:00they passed the law. Which says this: that any hospital that wants to may and it didn't make it required . . . it wasn't required. So when we got that part of the law changed so that we could get post-graduate training in medicine, then I applied to the Louisville General Hospital for training in anesthesia because I was giving some of the anesthesia and I hadn't had any formal training. So I went up there and I was trained. [Pause]
DC: So this was the first modification of the Day Law.67:00
MR: Oh yes. Now this was the date of November 28, 1948: there was a first Negroto train at General Hospital, here is accepted by white patients and doctors.
DC: And that's you, right?
MR: That's I. That was in 1948.
DC: That was just two years after you had been here.
MR: Oh yeah, I had been there a very short time. And then, later on, about thatsame time, Jefferson County voted to -- the Jefferson County Medical Society -- voted to drop the word "white" from their requirements. So we applied. And then they decided that it had been done incorrectly and then it was tabled, and it 68:00was tabled for another two or three years. And then when the last time, it came up again. . . I applied immediately and I was accepted. [Pause]
DC: About this time too, weren't you the first black doctor on the staff atseveral local hospitals?
MR: Oh yes. I was on St. Joseph's Hospital, I was on Jewish Hospital; I wastrained at General; and I became a staff member at the Veteran's Hospital. 69:00
DC: In 1948 you were admitted to training in anesthesiology at General Hospital;around that same time you were admitted, or at least they changed the wording in the charter of the Jefferson County Medical Society and later you were admitted. Around the same time you were admitted to the staffs of several formerly all-white hospitals. Were you agitating for all this yourself? Did you take these steps alone? I guess is what I'm saying.
MR: Well, I don't know this, but the black doctors themselves were in favor ofit. But, you see, I've been very active with NAACP all these years and-- Well, I 70:00just didn't like what was happening in Shelbyville. The reason I left there was because of the bond issue, the swimming pool for the whites and the incinerator for the blacks. I mean, I just didn't -- it was just too much. Well, anyway, that's why I really felt that . . . I've been active with the NAACP ever since I've been in Louisville. I've been a life member of the NAACP since 1954, and that's about twenty-three years.
DC: It was about the same time, wasn't it, that there began to be -- well, U of71:00L began to, the U of L medical school began to receive some money from the state around 1948, and wasn't it soon after that that there began to be some talk about the integration of the University generally and the medical school particularly?
MR: Well, the first person to be admitted to the University of Louisvillefreshman class of medicine was Joe Alexander. Joseph Alexander. He was a Fisk graduate and he was . . . I didn't know until the last minute whether he was 72:00going to be first in his class or not, but he was a very outstanding student. But he finished third in his class of about a hundred. Now, Joe, Joe Alexander . . . his teacher in anatomy and his teacher in pathology told me that Joe was the best student that they had. And if you know anything about anatomy and pathology you know they are very difficult subjects. So I didn't know whether Joe was going to lead his class or not. But they told me that, those two professors told 73:00me to my face that Joe Alexander was the best student in that class.
DC: Did you have anything to do with him being admitted?
MR: No. No, we had been agitating for the change of the Day Law and finally thelegislature passed, the U.S. government passed a law saying that you couldn't segregate and so when that law, the other law just took off the Day Law, off the books entirely. So we were, NAACP was pushing for that, and I was a part of the NAACP then, a very small part, but I was active in anything that would bring 74:00about desegregation.
DC: You said that . . . a while ago you said that someone, I don't know whetheryou said the NAACP but someone threatened to sue the University of Louisville.
MR: Oh yes, Al Branch, Al Branch sued the University of Louisville and theyargued this: that "we are not a public school, we are a private institution." So, we knew they were, that the University of Louisville was getting funds from the city and from the county, and from the state. And so we told them, "Well, all you got to do is to go to the court and prove that you are a private 75:00school," and if they proved they were a private school it was against the law to take public monies and put it into a private school. So they gave up and they voluntarily opened all their doors. But even so, there were certain athletes who couldn't make their basketball team because, I felt that Peck Hickman was a prejudiced coach. And therefore, we had several fellows that -- Peck finally had to take one of those fellows, Wes Unseld because he was so outstanding -- but we 76:00were agitating for desegregation of all things. But the one place that didn't open up was basketball. Basketball didn't open up at all.
DC: So you felt like that Peck Hickman didn't recruit--?
MR: Oh no. He turned them down. He didn't recruit them; he just didn't botherwith them. And Peck Hickman had some good teams, even in those days, but Peck Hickman, wasn't like this man you have now. And Rupp was not like that. Do you know that North [i.e., Texas Western] Texas played in the finals against the University of Kentucky and they had seven black players and they started five of 77:00them and they substituted twice and they were both all blacks and Rupp had an all-white team and they just washed them off the court. They really beat them. That was North Texas. Do you remember?
DC: I remember that. That was when Louis [Dampier?] and. . . .
MR: It probably was. They had a good team; they had gotten to the finals andthen North Texas just beat the socks off them. The boys stole the ball two or 78:00three times. And I think that woke Rupp up because Rupp had held strictly to whites on his basketball team.
DC: What were some of the things that you've been involved in, locally outsideof strictly medical affairs?
MR: Well, I've been interested in the Human Relations Commission; now, there isan editorial here that I think you need to know about at least. There is an editorial here written by Frank Stanley, Sr.
DC: Uh-huh. In the Louisville Defender?
MR: In the Louisville Defender. And it says, "The recent announcement that the79:00Louisville police department has now added Negro officers to their motorcycle division and to homicide and patrol wagons is certainly a level of desegregation that should have been attained long before now. The almost sole credit for these achievements are due to Louisville Human Rights Commission member, Dr. Maurice Rabb who pretty much in a one-man campaign has documented some fourteen or more practices of discrimination in the police department." I had fourteen points. One was at -- if there was no segregation in the police department, why had I never seen a black riding a motorcycle? And another was that only blacks would 80:00be in the second and fourth districts, which were the black neighborhoods. "Of course, the above-mentioned achievements will not suffice. The ultimate goal must be total desegregation of the entire department. For too long Louisville has basked in the false glory of a desegregated police department when in actuality it was not true. For example, it is explained that formerly, in the patrol wagon service, that either two Negroes or two whites had to man the vehicle or it would not move. Now, we are advised that any two policemen, Negro or white, are assigned. Furthermore, one of the best showplaces of all for any 81:00police department is for Negro and white officers to be in evidence directing traffic, particularly in downtown areas. Some years ago, a brief beginning of traffic police desegregation was attempted at Second and Market, but it was quickly abandoned. Of course, on occasions like a Derby or the coming of a president or what-have-you, we find Negro policemen detailed to traffic duty solely because almost every man on the police force has to get into the handling of traffic. But this is the rare exception and not the rule. One of the hitches has been the objection of white motorists over being cited by Negro police officers for a traffic violation. Many years ago in the east end section of town, a Negro directing traffic at the intersection of a Negro school cited a 82:00white motorist and it caused quite a furor. Recently a Negro officer was reportedly struck by a white motorist who objected to being given a ticket. In spite of the delicacy of situations of this kind, nothing justifies keeping Negro police officers out of traffic or any other departmental function. Presently, it is reliably reported that no Negroes are on duty at the first and third districts; that most if not all Negro officers are predominately serving in the second and fourth districts, respectively. This, of course, is a mistake. It is based on the assumption that Negro officers should largely police Negro citizens. The fallacy of such a practice encourages prejudiced whites to object to being cited by Negro policemen. On the other hand, the department truly 83:00integrated its Negro personnel throughout the city and made sure that they were in evidence in every section, in all capacities. Then there would not be any problem of Negroes policing whites, even prejudiced whites. The time is long overdue for this policy to be fully and conscientiously instituted. The time also is long overdue for Negroes in the department to be advanced to higher levels. As editorialized in the newspaper many times, it is apparent that the rank of lieutenant is a fixed level of achievement for Negro officers. None has been appointed beyond it or even seriously considered as far as we can 84:00ascertain. At the same time, considerable cities all over the nation not only have Negro policemen in the top ranks but have them serving as chief of the force." Now, I mentioned the fact that I had known Lieutenant Edwards for twenty years and ever since I have known him he has been Lieutenant Edwards. And everybody who was in his class has been promoted to Major, Colonel, something that... And later on, Lieutenant Edwards became Colonel Edwards of the -- he was the safety director. You remember that?
DC: Right, uh-huh.
MR: Alright. [Resumes reading from paper] "The time is now to rectify theseinjustices, and if for no other reason than a segregated police department 85:00cannot honestly and effectively enforce local civil rights ordinances. Their very practice fails to inspire businesses and citizens to comply with a law that is practiced in actuality by our police force. Thanks again to Dr. Rabb. All of us are obligated to give him full support in this endeavor until the true objectives of integration are fully achieved in the Louisville police department."
DC: That editorial was from The Defender and that was February 18, 1965.
MR: February 18, 1965 and you can look that up if you so desire.
DC: And that was about the time that you were advocating the integration of the86:00police department.
MR: I had several things written down. Why would the patrol wagon -- I hadfourteen points and these were fourteen points of segregation. One thing I've mentioned is the fact that Lieutenant Edwards, since I've known him, has always been Lieutenant Edwards, and everybody else has been promoted in the class that he was in. And I've known him for twenty years and he was not... And the paddy wagon wouldn't roll if they couldn't find two whites to man it or two blacks to man it. It just wouldn't roll. And you never saw any integration in officers riding in the beats. And the next thing about it, we found that there was a car, 87:00car number so-and-so, that was always manned by a black person and there was another car that was always manned by a white person. Whites were always in that car and blacks were in this car. So, I had fourteen points and I called them -- I mentioned them all in succession and that these people, that was segregation, that's all. That was just all. The very fact that you had all blacks in the second and fourth districts, and not in the first and third. [Pause]
DC: What were --
MR: Also, when we had our sit-ins, in 1960, do you remember that?88:00
MR: There were six hundred people arrested. [Reading from paper] "During the1960 sit-ins in Louisville, when more than six hundred arrests were made, Dr. Rabb was a most influential factor in seeing that bond money was available for those arrested." Some of my colleagues gave me $500 so I would have enough money because the banks were closed. You had to make cash bond, and so in order to get these people out we had to have the cash on hand. Druggist up here told 89:00everybody up there to empty the cash register if I came in and wanted money. Empty the cash register. If I came in and wanted money. It so happened that I had a lot of money on hand and I was giving bonds for everybody who was arrested. And also, in 1962, during the NAACP convention in Chicago, I was one of our physicians who picketed the American Medical Association for racial bias in health matters. 90:00
DC: Who were some of the people that you worked with in the sit-ins of the1960s. . . who were some of the people who. . . ?
MR: Reverend W.J. Hodge, Bishop Tucker, and Frank Stanley, Jr.
DC: Can you review just a little bit for the benefit of the tape? What was thepurpose of the sit-ins?
MR: Well, I will tell you this: I was invited by Taylor Drug Company, and Taylorhad a store on Fourth Street right across the street from where the Floresheim Shoe Company was, do you remember where that was? Now, I was invited by Taylor's 91:00to come in there and buy at a reduced rate because I was a physician. I went there and went up to the counter and asked for a Coca-Cola and the lady said said, "Doctor, Mister, I'm so sorry but I can't serve you." And I said, "Well, why can't you serve me?" She says, "Well, I just can't serve you; I've got orders not to serve you." I said, "Is it because I'm colored?" And she said, "Yes." And I said, "Where's the manager?" So I went up to the manager and the manager told me, he said, "Doctor, I'd be happy to serve you if you'll drink this coke up here." And I said, "Mister, I wouldn't drink this Coke up here for $10,000. I want to drink it out there" Now that's one of the situations. My wife 92:00went in and sat in Kaufman's. She sat there for two hours or more and they wouldn't serve her. [At this point Dr. Rabb yells to his wife, "Jewell? Jewell? Jewell?"] Well anyways she sat there for two or three hours. And that was about the time when they were pouring ketchup over the people who sat in at the -- [yells "Jewell"].
[END OF TAPE 405, SIDE ONE]
[BEGINNING OF TAPE 405, SIDE TWO]93:00
DC: So, we're talking about the sit-ins of 1960. I guess if we were going inchronological order, one of the next big eras as far as civil rights activities in Louisville was when in --- was it in '64, in the spring of '64, the open 94:00housing demonstrations?
MR: Open housing was later on. It was later. I've been an advocate of openhousing all these years. I feel that housing has been the biggest bugaboo that we have had. If we could get open housing we would solve all of our problems. The fact that you have neighborhoods -- you take the school situation. There wouldn't be any problem, if we had open housing. There would be blacks living where whites live and it wouldn't be necessary to bus students. 95:00
DC: After your past experience collecting bail bond money did they ask you to dothat again for the open housing?
MR: No, they didn't ask me for that. I was very interested in open housing. AndI mentioned all along that we would have no problems with a lot of things. You take for instance, your jobs. If people lived out there it would help employment. If the people lived close to the Ford Motor Company or General Electric they would just go on to work. Their children would be growing up there and -- open housing would solve all our problems. I don't know whether you would be interested in the fact that I was a charter board member of the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union or not, but I was. 96:00
DC: When was that begun? Just curious.
MR: Oh, that's been 15-20 years ago. But I was a charter board member.
DC: You mentioned awhile ago, you said, just sort of an interesting thing, Ihave asked this same question to several of the people that we have interviewed. Course I don't know where it's just nowadays, or whether it's something that's always been true. People get tied up with terminology and with symbols and with 97:00different words that mean the same thing and you said awhile ago that when you went to the counter at Walgreen's that a woman wouldn't serve you and then you said "Is it because I'm colored." Now some people would say that you should have said --
DC: -- "black." Some people would say you should've said --
DC: -- "Negro." Do you have any --
MR: No. That doesn't bother me at all. I will accept any of the terminologies.As far as I'm concerned I am a "Negro," I'm "black," I am "colored," so I have 98:00no qualms about it. But I was grown up into the atmosphere where it was proper to say "Negro" with a capital "N" and I will definitely call you to task if you write "Negro" with a small "n." I just don't like that. I was brought up in the theory that the proper way to address me would be to say "Negro" but it's popular now to say "black," it's very popular to say "black" and not say "Negro." As far as I'm concerned it doesn't make any difference. And I will accept the word "colored." But technically, I don't agree with the word "black" 99:00but I will accept it, because honestly, I don't think that I'm black. And my wife is certainly not black.
DC: You were reading off of the sheet there, is that sort of a biographicalsummary --
MR: No, I have a biographical summary in here somewhere. This was prepared forthe NAACP. I was a candidate for the national board of the NAACP. I am a member 100:00of the national board. I've just been re-elected for a three year term. This is our curriculum vita.
DC: This is interesting: "He also was instrumental in obtaining vastimprovements in assignment procedures for applicants for public housing." There was a fellow on TV just yesterday, I forget the name of the program, well the head of public housing in Louisville was talking about --
MR: Oh, yes, Nathaniel Green.
DC: Right, Right, was talking about that. Can you say something about that?
MR: Well, I think this, that housing is our -- Now mind you in public housing, I101:00felt that integration in housing was very desirable. Now, I felt that the easiest way to cut a tree down was to get an ax and start to chopping away. The easiest place to chop at the public housing was in the federal housing. And therefore, I didn't think it was practical to have a bunch of eligible applicants and a bunch of vacancies and not put the two together. So what we did, we proposed that you would take the applicants and the vacancies and put them together. But we found that it was very difficult because some of the people did not want to go out to Iroquois, some of the blacks didn't want to go 102:00out to Iroquois and none of the whites wanted to go to Beecher Terrace, or Carter Homes. But that law was passed and we had integration in public housing and I felt that that was the easiest way to do it. If you're going to start somewhere, public housing was the place to start. So that's what I felt. And I argued that all along and as a result of that, we were able to get some results. We had whites living in Carter Homes, Lange Homes, and we had some blacks living 103:00up here on Jefferson Street. What the name of that one up there?
DC: I think I know where.
MR: Clarksdale or one of those things up there. But Iroquois, Iroquois Gardens,that was one. We had a hard time getting blacks to go out there.
DC: What do you feel like, maybe this is another unfair question --
MR: Go ahead, ask it.
DC: -- but I ask everybody this: What do you feel like has been your greatestaccomplishment? And on the other hand, what do you feel like has been your greatest failure?
MR: Well, my greatest accomplishment has been through working through the NAACP.104:00I'm a strong advocate of the NAACP. I have solicited at least 390 life members of the NAACP and as a result of the NAACP's accomplishments, I've been a little part of that. For instance, the University -- the NAACP raised the money to integrate the University of Louisville and I think that my little part in that has been a great accomplishment. The very fact that we have blacks graduating from medical school at the University of Louisville, which was unheard of years 105:00ago. And I honestly never thought that the day would come when I would witness a black graduate from the University of Louisville. I really didn't think so, and yet my son is a graduate of University of Louisville Medical School. You might be interested to know that my son is now associate professor in the medical school at the University of Illinois. Dr. Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. is associate professor in the medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
DC: On the other side, is there an area where you feel like you haven't lived up106:00to what your expectations were, what your hopes were?
MR: Well, I can't pick out anything right now-- but if we hadn't gottenintegration-- the housing situation is still not ideal by any means. Now, I am very unhappy about the situation about these people being bombed out here. Do you know what I'm talking about? Out here in the south of Louisville, people who have moved in out there, blacks that have moved in and they've had their -- 107:00that's bad. I would just love to see that happen; I would love to see something done about that. I don't think that the authorities have taken a real interest in that. That's one of the -- And the next thing that I'm very disappointed in is this Shelby Lanier thing. Now Shelby Lanier was the first man that rode a motorcycle. When I was arguing about the police department, about discrimination in the police department, Shelby Lanier, when they opened up that, Shelby Lanier 108:00became the first rider of a motorcycle. And I don't like the situation about Shelby Lanier.
DC: What don't you like about it?
MR: I don't like the fact that he has been fined, because there were policemendoing worse things than that during the busing situation. There were policemen riding along honking their horns, when they should have been enforcing the law.
DC: You are saying that is just as much a political gesture --
MR: That's worse. I think that's worse than what he did. Now mind you, I didn'tbuy what Mrs. Morris was selling at all. Mrs. Morris, I don't think had a chance 109:00of being elected mayor of the city of Louisville, but I think that she should have been able to run. I agree that she should have been able to run. And I voted for her, and a lot of blacks voted for her. But I don't think she had a ghost of a chance of being elected. But I still think she had a chance to run. And I think Shelby Lanier was speaking for his company, for that black policemen's organization, they were supporting Mrs. Morris.
DC: What do you -- while we're on that -- what do you see as the -- how are racerelations in Louisville different today than they were when you came here, and 110:00what do you see about the directions of things --
MR: Well, the very factor that we can go to any theatre in the city, and we cango to any restaurant in the city. Those were things that were just basic, that you just couldn't do. I remember this, that you had a segregated bus station at Fifth and Broadway. You had a segregated train station. You had segregated schools. The University was segregated. There have been changes. Been admirable changes. And I'm very happy of the changes that we have had so far. It's not 111:00anything like it was when I came here. We can feel a lot prettier walking the streets. The parks were segregated. I know this, that I can remember that when Central High School tried to play a baseball game down here in Chickasaw Park with a white team that was coming over from Indiana, the white team was told to get out, because it's a segregated park. So, you know, when you consider all these things-- I remember this, that when we opened up the parks for golfing, you see the golf -- you didn't have any golfing in Chickasaw. So when Dr. 112:00Sweeney sued for the right to play golf in the courts, he got permission, but if we went there and picnicked, we ate our lunch out under the trees, we'd be picnicking and that was illegal. But now you can go into any of the locker rooms, go into any of the nineteenth holes and get yourself a beer, a drink or whatever you could get, you could get a sandwich. So much change. It has been very, very encouraging.
DC: One other thing, if you were in my place, if you were trying to tape record113:00the memories of people who have been influential in the black community in Louisville who are some of the people you would talk to?
MR: Lyman Johnson, Lyman Johnson. Have you talked with him? L-Y-M-A-N. LymanJohnson. By all means you should talk to him. Of course you have talked to Dr. Walls. Frank Stanley is dead. I would say, if he were alive, you should talk to him. I wouldn't hesitate to tell you to talk with Nevil Tucker and Carl Hines. I 114:00think by all means you should talk with -- this is a white man, but Galen Martin. Now, here's an article written by a classmate of mine when I was at Fisk, he came here, this is the New York Times. 115:00
DC: This was the New York Times article around February. . . .
MR: Around, I don't see the date on that, but I wish I had the dates on it. Butthat was around the fact, you see there that I am on the staff, its some where right after 1948.
MR: Oh. I've got to tell you one other thing. I have to read this and I'll letyou see this. We received a card from the American Cancer Society [Reading card]: "The Kentucky division of the American Cancer Society extends a cordial 116:00invitation to practitioners of medicine in Kentucky to attend a cancer symposium at St. Joseph's Infirmary, Louisville, Kentucky on August 21, 22 and 23." A few days later, we received this: [Reading letter] "Dear Dr. Rabb: Recently invitations were issued by the Kentucky division of the American Cancer Society in cooperation with the Kentucky State Medical Association to physicians and surgeons in Kentucky to attend a cancer symposium at St. Joseph's Infirmary on August 21, 22 and 23. Through an error on my part invitations were issued to 117:00physicians and surgeons who are not members of the Kentucky State Medical Association and although I regret very much to write this letter, I have been instructed to advise you that only members of the Kentucky State Medical Association are eligible to participate. We hope that arrangements may be made with Falls City Medical Association to hold a cancer symposium during the early fall. We would like very much to cooperate with them and develop a training program on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer." Well now this was to the American Cancer Society and we didn't feel that since we were donating to the American Cancer society that we should be discriminated against.
DC: That was around when, July 1947?118:00
MR: I'll tell you just when it was. It was before the integration.
DC: Whatever happened to. . . ?
MR: 1947. July.
DC: Did the Falls City Medical Society just disband when--?
MR: No, it's still going. When we got into the Jefferson County, there was nottoo much reason for continuing in the Falls City Medical Society, but the Falls City is still in existence.
DC: Are you still a member of that?
MR: Well, I am supposed to be a member, but I'm not. I'm slowing down.
DC: I wonder whatever happened to the -- that's an old society, I wonderwhatever happened to the records, I guess they kept minutes---
MR: I'm sure they did. I wasn't in officer and I never was.119:00
DC: Who would know about that, do you have any idea?
MR: Dr. Walls, Dr. Bell, Dr. Morris. [Pause] I was at one time a member of theboard of the Urban League and the Urban League honored me -- let me see-- [Long pause] 120:00
DC: Would you mind if I, can I borrow your vita and make a copy of it and sendit back to you?
MR: That would be fine. If you will send it back to me.
DC: I will. I'll send it back you.121:00
MR: Please do. That's the only one I have.
DC: I'll make you a couple of copies then if you want.
MR: Alright, send me back two or three copies.
MR: That's the only one that I have. Now I want to show you something here. Iwas honored by the Urban League. They gave me the award of the year. Along with Mrs. Dorcas [Ruthenberg?]. They always honor a white and a black every year. 122:00Well, I can't find that. I tell you what I'll show you, I'll show you the plaque that I got. Come here just a minute. [Tape shuts off, resumes.]
DC: This is the award that you received --
MR: This is the award that I received from the -- this is what I was looking for.
DC: In 1974 from the --
MR: From the Urban League.
DC: Urban League. [Pause.] Well, I've sure enjoyed talking to you.
MR: This was a speaker at their equality award. Vernon Jordan, who is the headof the Urban League, and he was trained in the NAACP. He got his start in the NAACP. Whitney Young was also in the, got initiated through the NAACP. Oh, by 123:00the way, I want to tell you that the American Cancer Society finally backtracked on that and we went and I had a meeting with all of the doctors in Louisville at my office. I told them that you want to go in there and you want to spread out around to everybody and you don't want to come in and sit down beside me, because if you do, I'm going to get up and move. 124:00
DC: So you met with all the black doctors?
MR: I got all the black doctors together and I instructed them to scatter out,and not to go.
DC: So you didn't want to appear to be clannish.
MR: No, I didn't want to that.