San Francisco State University Response, Results, and Repercussions

SFSU Department of History 1600

Holloway Ave., SF, CA 94132


FAX: 415.338.7539

The job discrimination campaigns waged by Bay Area civil rights groups achieved important victories for racial and economic equality, but not without some costs.  By August of 1964, local companies signed over 220 separate hiring agreements. While Bank of America refused to sign an agreement with CORE, it did sign a memorandum of understanding with the Fair Employment Practices Commission, agreeing to hire 400 new African American employees. In July, companies that were afraid they would be targeted next, like Pacific Gas and Electric, Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, and the western Greyhound bus lines, all announced hiring agreements through the Public Utilities Commission. 

Although largely successful, the arrests incurred during the campaigns were beginning to take their toll on activists and organizers by mid summer.  Over 600 people had been arrested during the previous nine months and court trials were proving costly and exhausting.  Many trials resulted in hung juries and expensive retrials.  Juries seemed willing to find lead organizers guilty and once convicted judges applied harsh sentences.  Tracy Sims was convicted and sentenced to ninety days in jail and a $200 fine.  Nat Burbridge, head of the San Francisco NAACP, was sentenced to nine months in jail for his leadership role in Auto-Row direct action campaign.  Tied up in legal battles and checked by the intransigence of the three-month Bank of America campaign, energy for the job discrimination campaigns began to fizzle. 

But local activists were also turning their attention to other struggles. Many student participants went on to organize on the campuses of UC, Berkeley and San Francisco State, some participating in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley the following fall.  CORE activists became increasingly attracted to militant and Black Nationalist approaches to social struggle.  Many others became involved with the movement against the war in Vietnam, linking the issues of civil rights and anti-war organizing.  As groups and individuals became increasing radical, they met harsh opposition from conservative, corporate, and government sectors. Anticipating future conservative reactions, a deluge of hostile letters flooded Mayor Shelley’s office following the Sheraton Palace campaign.  And years later, after a trip to Vietnam by local organizers in 1966, the national offices of the DuBois Club were bombed. The job discrimination campaigns in San Francisco ushered in an era of increasingly militant and radical social struggle.

All letters to Mayor Shelley courtesy of John F. "Jack" Shelley Papers, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Letters to Mayor Shelley Regarding Civil Rights Protests

"160 Million White People"

"A Big Plot"

"A Bunch of Rejects"

"A Fair Resolution"

"A Lot of Grief" (Cont'd)

"Ad Hoc Beatniks"

"Ad Hoc Needs Your Help"

"Aid Mod Rule"


"Amorphous Group"


"Approved Letter Cover"

"April 1"

"Beat-niks, Fairies and Commies"

"Believed Communistic"

"Bordered on Anarchy"

"Boycott" (Cont'd)


"Civil Wrongs"

"Condemn You"

"Damned Niggers"

"Declaration - Military Order of the World Wars"


"True SF Lovers"

"Unreliable Gangs"

"Use Some"

"Vigilante" (Cont'd)

"What Kind of Irishman"

"What Kind of Mayor"

"What Not to Do"

"While You Were Out"

"Why the Going is Good"

"Williams to Editor" (Cont'd)

"Williams to Shelley"

"Wise Up" (Cont'd)

"you know what"

"Disgrace to the City"


"Disgusting Antics"

"End Unfair Practices" (Cont'd)

"Expense of the Many" (Cont'd)

"Fine and Fair"

"Fourth Generation"

"Free of Charge" (Cont'd)

"Get Tough" (Cont'd)

"Good Luck" (Cont'd)

"Good Policy"

"Good Senses"

"Gutless Cheap Politicians"

"Gutless Yellow Mayor"

"Hasty Note" (Cont'd)


"I Salute You"

"In the Gutter"


"Intelligent and Courageous"

"Invite Your Friends"

"Kennedy's Killer"

"Law Enforcement Responsiblity" (page 2) (page 3) (page 4)

"Love This City"


"Man or Mouse"

"Mayor with Guts"

"Mayor's Approved Response" (Cont'd)

"Mayor's Response" (Cont'd)

"Military Order" (Cont'd)

"Minority Groups"

"Misfits, Crackpots, Exhibitionists"

"Montgomery Street Set"


"Native Son" (page 2) (page 3)

"Necessary Shop-Ins" (Cont'd)

"Not Proud"

"Old Time"

"Pacific Oil and Gas"

"Prouder than Ever"

"Public Outrage" (Cont'd)

"Replaced by Niggers"

"Responsible Citizens"

"Rioters Took Over"

"Righeous Demonstration"

"Rough Treatment of Negroes" (Cont'd)

"Segregation in San Francisco"

"Send Letter"


"Sick of This"

"So-Called Civil Rights"


"Sorry I Hustled for You"


"Sullivan to Shelley"

"Taken Over" (Cont'd)

"Teeth Come Out"


"The Negro Element"

"The Student Are Right"

"This or That or Else"

"Threats of Violence"


Community Response

A. Hayes, Fire Department to DuBois Club

DuBois Club Press Release (Page 1)

DuBois Club Press Release (Page 2)

HERE Local 28, Box 6 - Local 31, Minutes, Feb 23, 1965 (Courtesy of the Labor Archives Research Center, San Francisco State University)

Insurgent Article About Headquarter Bombing

Insurgent Cover 5

DuBois Club Release (Nov, 1965)

Police Brutality Flyer

"Why Was the Club Bombed" Flyer

Willie Brown to A. Hayes, Re: DuBois Office



HERE Local 28, Box 6 - Local 31 Minutes, (Feb 23, 1965) (Courtesy of the Labor Archives Research Center, San Francisco State University)

DuBois Club Statement, (Nov, 1965) (pdf)

A. Hayes (Fire Department) to Fowler (DuBois Club, Jan 19, 1966)

Willie Brown to A. Hayes (Feb 2, 1966) (pdf)

DuBois Club Press Release, page 1 (March 6, 1966) (pdf)

DuBois Club Press Release, page 3 (March 6, 1966) (pdf)

INSURGENT article about headquarters bombing (March, 1966) (pdf)

INSURGENT Cover (March - April, 1966)(pdf)

DuBois Club Police Brutality Flyer (pdf)

"The DuBois Club Was Bombed: WHY?" Flyer (pdf)


Sims Trial Documentation

What lessons can people concerned with social justice take from the SF 1963 - 1964 movement?

Photo courtesy of San Franciso History Center, San Francisco Public Library


SF Labor Articles, 1963 - 1964

"Action on the Job"

"Affirmative Action in Council"

"Auto Dealers Hit on Bias"

"Bias in Jobs"

"Case Studies"

"City Still Short on Jobs"

"Civil Rights Measure"

"Council Backs Culinary Union"

"Council Renews Call for Rights"

"Council to Ask Talks on NAACP"

"Culinary Talks"

"Dignity, Courtesy, Rights, Too"

"Equal Rights"

"HRC Won't Interfere with Unions"

"Jobs Still Key to Rights"

Labor Day 1963 Cartoon

"Labor Day 1963"

"No Progress in Scuttling Union"


"President Signs Civil Rights Measure"

"Rights Work Needed"

"Ruling Upholds Hotel Contract"

"Supriano Challenged on Job Rig"

"Tensions Bound to Grow"

"The Main Target"

"We Need More Jobs"