TABLE OF CONTENTS
Description of Series
John W. Harper family papers, 1963, 2017
John W. Harper, born January 14, 1925, had a 40-year career with the F.W. Woolworth Company, retiring in 1982 as a regional vice president.
After service in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Harper was employed as manager of the Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Woolworth store. During this time, students of the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College held a sit-in at the Woolworth lunch counter to protest racial segregation. Harper received criticism from white Pine Bluff citizens after integrating the store; his daughter Janice Berchelmann recalled that Harper mentioned "waking up one morning and finding a cross in our front yard."
After the Pine Bluff incident, Woolworth transferred Harper to St. Louis, Missouri. He died on September 11, 2013.
Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Harper, John William 'Bill,'" September 13, 2013, p. A016.
The John W. Harper family papers consist of a letter and segregationist flyers sent to Harper by Pine Bluff resident Lloyd D. Lawson on May 15, 1963. The letter, critical of Harper's decision to integrate the Pine Bluff Woolworth store, is accompanied by a printed flyer from the National Patriot's League, as well as a second typewritten flyer.
Also included is a reminiscence from Harper's daughter Janice E. Harper Berchelmann recalling the family's experience in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, dated October 6, 2017.
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This collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.
John W. Harper Family Papers, 1963, 2017, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Colleen Hobbs, October 2017.