1960-1970: Changing & Growing

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YMCA National Council Bulletin 1966In the January 1966 YMCA National Council Bulletin, the story of integration of the Fort Worth YMCAs unfolds.  With the title, “Decade of Integration Progress Achieved ‘One Brick At A Time,'” the article details the process of combining the members and volunteers from the McDonald YMCA with the Central YMCA, and opening up all branches to all races by 1967.  The article states that the process began as early as 1940, when staff meetings began to integrate.  In 1947, YMCA club rooms were opened to all races, and in 1949, the YMCA’s Annual Meeting held at the Central Branch (later the Downtown YMCA) became interracial. The National Council Bulletin also states, “when [the annual meeting] moved from the Central branch gymnasium to the Texas Hotel in 1960, it was one of the first, perhaps the very first, integrated banquet held in a Fort Worth hotel.”  The YMCA’s general secretary, Paul S. Heyward, described how the board members of the Central Branch took turns escorting the McDonald YMCA board members upstairs to the banquet hall to make sure there were not any problems.  In 1965, the Metropolitan Board adopted a no discrimination policy and by 1967, all branches and programs were open to people of all races.

The Bulletin also mentions several Y leaders who were appointed to a committee by the mayor to help the city smooth its school desegregation.

Canoeing at Camp Carter

Canoeing at Camp Carter

1966 YMCA National Council Bulletin

Cover of 1966 YMCA National Council Bulletin


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Welcome to the blog celebrating the 120-year history of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. In this blog, we will have information for those interested in history, Fort Worth or the YMCA – month by month, decade by decade.

Were you a YMCA member or participant years ago? Do you remember camp outs at Camp Carter or swimming at the Downtown Y? We invite you to share your YMCA memories in this blog – let us know what you remember or what you enjoy most now as a member of the YMCA. We can’t wait to hear from you!