20 August 2008

Did you know?

Did you know that since 1884 Iowa has had a statute that makes it a crime to discriminate in public accomodations? Do you know what that means? Long before Martin Luther King Jr., this 29th state had laws on the books to treat people equally. I recently read a short piece on Edna Griffin who has been referred to as the Rosa Parks of Iowa. She and several others had a situation where they were refused service by a local drug store who was known for discriminating even though the law required all people to be served. Edna's efforts led to picketing and civil law suits against the store owner who'd previously been aquited multiple times. Eventually the store owner was found in violation and Edna was rewarded $1. After several other run ins, the store owner finally agreed to stop discriminating.

What I find totally cool about this story is two things:
  1. that Ms. Griffin was bold enough to stand up for what she believed to be important. Her husband was a prominent doctor in the community and they risked his prominency for what they believed was important.
  2. That the state of Iowa has a long standing history of treating people equally.


Heather said...

I love your little history lesson - I had never heard of Ms. Griffin before.

Also - have a great time on your trip! Going home is always so bitter-sweet. All the things you love - some are the same, some have changed...

Ashley said...

Totally learned something new - thanks!