Today In Salisbury’s History: Tuesday, April 11, 1961

Tuesday, April 11, 1961 —

  • Operators of Salisbury’s 10 leading restaurants revealed today that they have quietly abandoned all segregation. The policy went into effect several weeks ago. Two restaurants, Reads and Woolworth, had taken similar action earlier, at the urging of the Mayor’s Bi-Racial Commission.Commission Chairman John T. Webb said it was part of a program to keep Salisbury from suffering the fate of cities such as Jacksonville, Little Rock and New Orleans. He said the restaurant owners agreed to serve all patrons in good faith. Signing the agreement are: Ayres Diner, Bill’s Seafood Inn, Casa Del Ray, the English Grills, Howard Johnson’s, Johnny’s & Sammy’s, the Saddle Club and the Wicomico Coach Room.
  • Salisbury Times Editor Oscar Morris accepted the award for Newspaper General Excellence from the Maryland Press Association at an event held at the Maryland Press Institute in Baltimore. The Wicomico County newspaper topped every other daily publication in the state, with the Baltimore Evening Sun finishing second. Morris finished second in the News Writing category to Bill Burnett of the Baltimore News-Post.
  • An inmate who was in the process of being freed from the County Courthouse jail became trapped in a hallway and had his release delayed by several hours. George “Buster” Wilson was departing after a 25-day stay when he told the turnkey he had forgotten a personal belonging in his cell and turned back to retrieve it. He opened a door that was part of a network of doors that would trigger all nearby doors to lock if improperly accessed. Wilson, 35, and other jail personnel had to wait for a repairman from R.D. Grier to arrive and free him.
  • Groundbreaking was held at 11:30 Sunday morning on an 11-acre site on Camden Avenue Extended for the new Asbury United Methodist Church. Dr. John E. French, Superintendent of the Eastern District, will have the honor of turning over the first shovel. Pastor J. Robert Mackey will lead the services. Asbury was formed in Salisbury in 1778 when services were held in winter in George Parker’s home near Leonard Mill and in his barn each summer.
  • The Tuesday night special at Howard Johnson’s on North Salisbury Boulevard was Loin of Pork, candied sweet potatoes, a vegetable and hot rolls, butter and coffee — all for $1.35. Tomorrow night’s special is Southern Barbecue Spareribs, mixed green salad with choice of dressing, candied sweet potatoes, Sauerkraut, rolls, butter and coffee — all for $1.45. Your hosts at Howard Johnson’s are Mr. & Mrs. Edgar Bennett.
  • Salisbury’s city coffers — and not the state of Maryland’s — will now receive fines assessed to motorists on city streets. Maryland’s Attorney General has ruled the state can only collect fines on roads its controls in Salisbury, which are routes 50 and 13. Wicomico County will collect the fines issued in People’s Court and disperse them to the city. The city can set its own fines structure; the City Council has already agreed that drivers who break the law will have to pay up to $100, depending on the charge.
  • The Salisbury City Council has instructed City Solicitor Victor Laws to explore the possibility of licensing pinball machines inside businesses in the city. Wicomico County already taxes both pinball and slot machines ($25 and $35 annually). The council might look at taxing juke boxes, as well. The City Charter says officials can tax or ban the machines if desired.

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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