San Francisco State University Mel's Drive-In Pickets

SFSU Department of History 1600

Holloway Ave., SF, CA 94132


FAX: 415.338.7539

In October of 1963, after investigating the prejudiced hiring practices at the popular Mel’s Drive-In restaurant chain, civil rights activists in the student-formed Direct Action Group and W.E.B. DuBois Club began a high-profile picketing campaign against the eatery. The owner of Mel’s, San Francisco Supervisor Harold Dobbs, was running as the Republican candidate for mayor at the time, heightening the level of attention paid to the pickets by the press. After weeks of protests and dozens of arrests, restaurant management signed an agreement, which included provisions for immediate nondiscriminatory hiring and the establishment of training schools. The negotiations signaled a major turning point for civil rights in the city.

Dobbs Says Picket Plan has Political Motive (October 18) pdf

Dobbs Gets Picket Treatment SFSU Gator article (October 23)

Mel's Settles Civil Rights Dispute (Nov 9) (part 2) pdf

Pickets, Dobbs Finally Agree (November 12) (part 2)

How did the Ad Hoc Committee Against Discrimination come about?


















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