Interview with Robert Lucas
QUESTION 16
JUDY RICHARDSON:

Talk about the summit as well in the same sense. Some people say, "Well we had to go to the summit with Daley because the movement was beginning to fail and this was the best we could expect." What was your sense? You mentioned racial polarization there. And before you talk if you could just get comfy, and look at me.

ROBERT LUCAS:

There, there had been a, a number of marches, open housing marches in, in Chicago because, you see, Chicago in 1966 was one of the most segregated cities in the country. And because of those marches in the White community, the, the racial polarization really increased and, and, and, and also there was, there were a great deal of tension. Ah, at, at one point you could almost really cut the tension, you know, with a knife, ah, if you like. And a lot of people were nervous and upset. There were a lot of demand on, on the part of the citizens, particularly of the White citizens on Mayor Daley to stop the marches. Ah, there were some demands on the part of the Black leadership, to Martin Luther King to stop the marches. So you see, say everybody wanted a way out, both sides wanted a way out. And so they had this so-called summit meeting in, in, in the Palmer House which was really the, the second one of that kind. The first one really didn't succeed. So they had the second one in the Palmer House and, ah, there was a so called summit agreement reached. And what the summit agreement said that, ah, there would be open housing in Chicago for Blacks. But really it was no way to enforce it. It was simply a piece of paper that was unenforceable if you like. So, ah, it.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

That's exact what I meant, I need a little bit tighter--