(From OC Today)
(April 27, 2018) The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners handed out thousands of dollars in fines to six businesses and issued three official letters of reprimand to Worcester businesses for selling alcohol to undercover, underage police cadets during its monthly meeting last week.
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Footnotes: The Empire Theater was located at the southwest corner of Market and Front Streets just across from what is now the Delmarva Discovery Center. The theater building was one of the few at the north end of Market Street that survived the devastating Pocomoke City fire of 1922.
When my parents moved to the Eastern Shore in the 1930's they were stunned at seeing a posted home-made sign (I believe they said it was at Public Landing) that read "No dogs or Jews allowed."
I recall matters described below that were indicative of public racial insensitivity, to put it mildly, when I was growing up in Pocomoke City in the 1950's. I don't attribute it to blatant prejudice but largely to an environment that was passed down through generations, white and black, where such things were taken as just the way it was and not questioned.
I recall that in Pocomoke City the water fountain in the Montgomery Wards Department Store had a sign reading "White Only" and the public rest room doors in the Municipal Building had signs reading "White Women" and "White Men." There was a "colored" entrance at the rear of the movie theater and seating for those patrons was only in the balcony. When "Aunt Jemima" visited Pocomoke City for a promotion at a local food market there was no public accommodation where she could spend the night because of her color. The store owner arranged for her to stay at the residence of the black house cleaning lady who worked for him.
Ethel Ernestine Harper was Aunt Jemima during the 1950s in person, in print and in media. She was the first Aunt Jemima to be depicted on TV and the final "living person" basis for the Aunt Jemima image until it was changed to a composite in the 1960s. She worked as a traveling "Aunt Jemima" on behalf of the Quaker company, giving presentations at schools, churches and other organizations. Prior to assuming the role, Harper graduated from college at the age of 17 and became a teacher.
Do you have a local memory to share with PPE readers or something of interest your parents or grandparents told you about? Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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