1963: Protests in Cambridge, Maryland

The first important political event Sheila was involved with was the Cambridge, Maryland demonstrations in the summer of 1963.

For background on the protests and race riots in Cambridge take a look at this summaryor read an oral history on a movement web site.

As George tells the story:

Her first demonstration was in Cambridge and the demonstrators were blocked at a place where the main town road passed over from the black to white areas. It was the main downtown store-lined street, I think it’s mentioned in the press’s articles. They were blocked by national guard, and during one or more of the daily confrontations they had their bayonets out. She joked that she got a slight cut on her chest from a bayonet and I’m sure the story was correct.

She went with a group from the Christian Brothers at Catholic University. And she stayed for some time, put up by an elderly black women who looked out for her.

At the first demonstration the guard used teargas. The demonstrators and in particular the Christian Brothers she was with chanted something like we will not be moved and she wasn’t; we says she just sat there with gas all around and when she looked about discovered that all the demonstrators and in particular the Brothers were gone.

Later the Brothers went back to Catholic University, bunt she stayed and was put up in the house I mentioned above. When we drove through the town several years ago, she showed me the building where the demonstrators meet each day. Also, she said she went to church most days (I think she talked to god about what she was doing).

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