- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Wichita’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement will be featured in “Mysteries at the Monument” on Friday at 8 p.m. on The Travel Channel.

The story starts with 100-degree temperatures much like today and Ron Walters, a 20-year-old college student, who was fed up that African-Americans had to eat their lunches outside in that heat.

“In 1958 Wichita was one of the most segregated cities in the country,” said local historian Gretchen Eick in the episode. “There was a law against this but it wasn’t being enforced.”

So Walters led a sit-in at the lunch counter of the Dockum Drugs Store at Broadway and Douglas for three weeks. It was the first successful youth-led sit-in in the country. “This is the first domino in what would become a nationwide movement,” Eick said.

The seven-minute episode uses a combination of old photos, interviews and modern actors to dramatize the events behind the 20-foot-long, bronze, lunch-counter sculpture that now sits in Chester I. Lewis Reflection Park on Douglas between Market and Broadway. The original Dockum Drugs was in what is now the Ambassador Hotel.


(c)2015 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)

Visit The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.) at www.kansas.com

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