Tri-Citians Remember Racist Sign in Kennewick
Someone remembered that sometime around the 1960's there was a sign on the Kennewick side of the green bridge that warned for "all colored people to be out of Kennewick by sundown". They asked their Facebook group,"You Know Your from Tri-Cities When" and here are some of best of what people remembered.
-- I think the sign is at the Historical Museum in Kennewick
--Yeah it was there. Kennewick was a 'sunset town' meaning people that were not white had to be out of town before sunset.
-- I remember seeing it on the "old bridge" when driving toward Kennewick. Sadly, it's true.
--Actually the Pasco museum is on 4th ave. I would encourage people to go there. So full of rich history and the people working there are so amazing and kind.
--Used to be that the blacks had to be on the east side of the underpass on Lewis before dark also.
--Kennewick had an ordinance (repealed in 1966 I think) that forbade any landlord to rent to black people or for any resident to sell a home to a black person.
-- The sign was definitely real. I saw it when I first moved to Kennewick in 1962. I don't recall how long it was up however. When I first got a computer and internet I did a search for information about the sign as so many people disbelieved me, couldn't believe that Kennewick's leaders allowed such a sign. The only mention I could find about the sign was in a Richland High School's online memoirs. The sign was located a little West of where the service station is now, on the corner of Columbia Drive and Chemical.
--Yes, they did have posters on the trees in the parks and by the bridge. The reason was that I heard of was that the Mayor in Kennewick, back in the 50's daughter was raped and murdered by a black person in Pasco.
-- There really was a sign that stated that. I seen it many times. I wondered at one point when they'd take it down. Finally it just disappeared..
--Yes the sign was real. I saw it and was still up till the 60's. However I never saw a sign saying all blacks were to be east of the overpass. They weren't they were out and about just like anyone else.
--Yes blacks were still not allowed to live in Kennewick in 1965. During WWII, and for a while afterward, if you didn't work at Hanford you didn't live in Richland.
--The sign was there, yes; I grew up in 1960's-70's Pasco, down by "Old Green".