Integrating Madera’s swimming pool
For The Madera Tribune
George Clark, shown here, was the founder of the Madera Tribune. He later brought his son, Howard Clark in as a partner. It was the younger Clark who took an active part in opposing the integration of Madera’s swimming pool in 1947.
Tension was in the air in Madera in 1947. The long-standing exclusion of African-Americans from the City’s swimming pool was being challenged, and the integration attempts weren’t setting well with some of the town’s power brokers, especially the publisher of The Madera Tribune.
Howard Clark, whose father had founded the paper in 1892, took umbrage at what he was calling outside interference that sought to upset the “natural tendency toward segregation” of the races, especially at Madera’s swimming pool.
Madera’s long, hot summer of 1947 began on June 3 when two “colored” campfire girls sought entrance to the pool. After being initially denied, they were later granted admission but not allowed to swim because they had no swim caps.