U.S.O. #2, 713-15 Commerce St., circa 1946. During World War II, although black and white soldiers fought side by side, the United States Army was still segregated. In Tacoma, African American service men and women had their own USO Club at 713-15 Commerce. It was dedicated on September 4, 1942 and closed late in March of 1947. The Kaufman-Wolff building where it was located had previously housed the Soldiers and Sailors Clubhouse during World War I. USO #2 was enlarged in 1944 by adding an annex in the building to the north of the original club. The enlarged structure provided the following facilities: dark room, music room, hobby room, game room, showers, sleeping accommodations, library and snack bar. It was operated by the YMCA and staffed primarily by volunteers. (brochure from Recognition Ceremony USO Number Two on 3/30/1947; photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma).
On October 22, 1945, this group of unidentified individuals were photographed seated around a table after what appears to be a dinner at the USO #2, 713-15 Commerce St. (photograph by F.L. Powell of Tacoma)
This undated photograph was taken in front of the snack bar at the USO No. 2 in Tacoma. At the head of the table was Arthur Hayes and at the end closest to the camera was Helen B. Stafford, local civic activist. USO No. 2 opened at 713 Commerce Street in September 1942 to serve Tacoma's African American servicemen and closed in March 1947. This location also served servicemen during World War I as the Army-Navy Club.
Undated photograph of the Matrons Club. The woman seated front left is Helen Beck Stafford, one of the founders of the group. Dr. Stafford moved to Tacoma in 1926 to marry Wendell P. Stafford on New Years Eve. Even though she had taught for a few years in Kansas schools, Tacoma school personnel directors refused to hire a black teacher. She stayed at home and cared for her husband and daughter. She and several other women who stayed home to rear their children would get together for a social outlet. In 1927, they formally organized the Matrons Club. The women who attended the meetings often brought their children along and the children would play together. (TNT 2/22/1982- NWR clipping file) (photograph by Liberal Engraving Co., 907 1/2 Commerce)
Back of Photo: Trang Nguyen (16), Thuy Le (14) who both attend Stadium H.S. and have been in the US for only 3 months and Betty Thach (16) who attends Clover Park H.S. and has been here for 2 and a half years, are all Amerasian children, they watch the city skyline pass by as the Sea Explorer boat Charles Curtis, a 80 foot wooden hull boat built in 1931 slips out of city waterway. Tacoma has been designated as one of about 50 cluster sites across the US. A program has been scheduled to welcome the Amerasian youth and their families, after lunch a boat cruise of Commencement Bay, courtesy of the Sea Explorers, a branch of the Boy Scouts of America.
Back of Photo: Monique Johnson, 3 yrs, can't contain her glee as she gets a horseback ride with Rich Gayles, a rodeo bull rider who rides by the name of "Daddy Rich", after the ethnic fair parade on the Hilltop. News/Szymanski Bill Hunter Photo
Back of Photo: Volunteer Edward Fynn sweeps away litter and broken glass from the sidewalk at 23rd and L Streets on Hilltop this morning as volunteers from the Hilltop Action Coalition, St. Joseph Hospital and citizens of the Hilltop community joined several on-duty officers from Tacoma PD in a sweep into the neighborhood to deliver some TLC as part of the "Area 5" neighborhood clean-up project. The group swept, cleaned and painted over graffiti the area from South 23rd to South 25th and from South K street to South Sheridan. News/Godchaux Geff Hinds Photo
Back of Photo: Hilltop (Home Ownership Program) Terence Thomas - Real-estate/Personal Banker, working with Evelyn Hargrove.
“Terence Thomas, a Seafirst real estate personal banker, talks with Evelyn Hargrove, one of the potential buyers, at a class Seafirst organized” to educate people about credit applications and real-estate transactions. Seafirst Bank, the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association, and the Tacoma Housing Authority organized a program to help low-income Pierce County residents purchase a home and revitalize Tacoma’s Hilltop Neighborhood.
Tepees and tents of 300 Native Americans were set up in a field in Washington D.C. The camp had been setup following a transcontinental motor trip called the Trial of Self-Determination. Sid Mills, a Nisqually tribal member said in an interview in D.C. that they were there to secure a future for Native Americans because currently there is none.
A Native American girl was arrested along with forty other indigenous people during a second confrontation with police following a fire on a railroad bridge near a Puyallup Tribal fishing camp. The fire started after police and state officers raided the fishing camp earlier that morning, arresting twenty people. Police later returned to the camp with fire units and arrested everyone at the fishing camp. The camp was established by Puyallup tribal members to advocate for fishing rights and indigenous people from across the United States joined their protest. Picture taken by Tribune staff member Wayne Zimmerman.
Puyallup Tribal member Mike Turnipseed fished near the Burlington Northern Railroad bridge in defiance of a court order and warnings of arrest by Game and Fisheries department officers. Superior Court Judge Charles T. Wright modified a temporary restraining order preventing Game and Fisheries department officers from making arrests or seizing gill nets. Wright’s actions limited fishing to Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually and only allowed two Native Americans to fish there: Suzette Bridges Mills and William Frank Jr.
Back of Photo: News/ Puyallup Women Protest Spouse Fishing Ruling Angry Puyallup Tribe women gathered at the Tribal administration building to protest a new rule disallowing spouses fishing rights. From left, Laura Rivera, Ramona Bennet, Deanna Val Peterson, and Betsy Terrones (holding kids Joaquin 1, and Richard, 2 months). After meeting with the group of women the rule was dropped and the spouse fishing right was restored. Photo by Dean J. Koepfler