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North Pinellas History | A look back

Sept. 2, 1950: Minister protests use of 'tan Yanks' by papers

The use of the expression "tan Yanks" to refer to black U.S. soldiers in Korea has a black minister in Clearwater angry at two Northern newspapers.

The Rev. L.R. Wilson Jr., Navy veteran wounded at Saipan, wrote the Chicago Defender and Pittsburgh Courier that the War Department lists "all colored Americans as Negroes and if you want respect for the Negro race you will do the same."

He reminded the papers that "we have black Southerners as well as Northern mulattoes in Korea."

Wilson, 43, is pastor of the New Zion Negro Baptist Church of Clearwater.

Here is his telegram in part: "As a veteran of World War II, I bitterly protest to your paper in referring to the words 'tan' and 'tan Yanks' when referring to the Negro troops in Korea. There are no 'tan' or 'tan Yanks' listed by the War Department. All colored Americans are listed as Negroes."

In response, E.P. Waters, national director of the Defender, said, "This is the first objection we've ever had, and we've been using the term since the beginning of World War II.

"We don't see anything wrong with it, and "tan' fits a headline better, many times, than Negro."

Sept. 1, 1950

Clearwater seeks old jail materials

CLEARWATER — Negotiations may be started Tuesday between the city of Clearwater and the Board of County Commissioners through which some of the cellblock steel of the old county jail would be used to expand the city bastile behind police headquarters.

Discussions of the project have been under way this week, it was learned, and the city is expected to ask for a rock bottom price on the cellblock material.

In addition to the steel, the city also is interested in the old county jail toilets.

Sept. 6, 1938

Former guest sues Belleview Biltmore

CLEARWATER — H.C. Kramert, a former guest at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Belleair, asks for damages of $2,999 in his lawsuit filed today against Belleair Hotel Co., operator of the 40-year-old winter resort.

Kramert, represented by S.E. Simmons of Clearwater, said in the lawsuit that he suffered a broken ankle and other injuries in a fall on the hotel grounds Feb. 16, 1937. That fall was caused, he said, by carelessness on the part of hotel employees in packing down the sod placed around a tree on the grounds.

Sept. 5, 1938

Driver seeks damages when car overturns

CLEARWATER — A declaration asking for a damage award of $2,500 was filed with the clerk of circuit court today in the name of D. Newton Brown, Clearwater, against Tampa-Clearwater Bridge Co., operator of the Davis Causeway connecting Clearwater and Tampa.

Brown said that on June 28, 1938, his car overturned during rain on the causeway, and that the accident was due to faulty paving.

He is represented by S.E. Simmons of Clearwater.

Aug. 30, 1930

Radio announcer welcomes inquiry

Carl Fritz, chief announcer for WSUN, said Friday night that he would welcome the city's proposed investigation into charges of general inefficiency in the operation of the area radio station.

Outside that terse announcement, Fritz had no other statement to make in reply to the charges, which were made by St. Petersburg Commissioner Ralph Veillard at a meeting of the commission Friday afternoon, at which time he contended that the station should be taken from under the supervision of the library and advertising board.

Veillard charged, among other things, that a liquor bottle had been found in the studio and that the station had been used for drunken parties. He also said one of the announcers was intoxicated while he was announcing.

The commissioner charged that the station was too expensive in that it was not operating at a profit.

Veillard asked that an investigation be made into the affairs of the station. He also charged that the station had been used in making threats against certain city officials.

He declined to elaborate on this charge, but indicated that he would be ready to submit evidence at the investigation. The commissioners directed the library and advertising board to make the inquiry.

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A look back at the events, people and places that made North Pinellas the unique place that it is. The information is compiled from past editions of the St. Petersburg Times.

Sept. 2, 1950: Minister protests use of 'tan Yanks' by papers 08/19/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 7:09pm]
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