University of Arizona

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Records of the Tucson Council for Civic Unity

Civil Rights Rally Flyer, 1949

Tucson Council for Civic Unity (TCCU) was dedicated "to foster and promote better understanding and relations among people of various racial, religious, social and national backgrounds in Arizona and to promote better conditions among all groups with respect to education, housing, employment, recreation, health and other community problems." It was affiliated with the Arizona Council for Civic Unity and  The Greater Phoenix Council for Civic Unity.

ACCU's founder was Dr. Fred G. Holmes, whose interest in initiating this agency was triggered by President Truman's Commission on Civil Rights' report of 1946, To Secure these Rights. During 1946-1947, Holmes worked with Louis Wirth and Louis E. Hosch of the American Council for Race Relations in Chicago on planning the Arizona Council for Civic Unity. Many well-known Tucsonans were involved with TCCU over the years, including Morris and Stewart Udall, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Maxwell, Maria Urquides, Rabbi Bilgray, Dorothy Barber, Laura Banks, Thomas Bahti, Harry Gin and Sam Goddard.

The Council contributed to several achievements including the desegregation of Tucson public schools, 1948-1951, and repeal of school segregation laws in Arizona; the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity bill, the creation of the Human Relations Commission, and in many daily local battles against racial and religious discrimination. TCCU's longest struggle was for the passage of the Public Accommodations legislation in the Arizona State Legislature. 

The Tucson Council for Civic Unity records pertain to the council's activities in Tucson and in the state legislature to achieve its mission. Historical information includes the constitution and by-laws, and background information about TCCU. Board of directors lists, meeting minutes, and treasurers' reports are included. Correspondence on general matters and membership files are included There is also a file of internal memos, meeting notices and a few newsletters sent to members. Various programs, conferences and committees sponsored or cosponsored by TCCU as well as subject files that cover Tucson organizations and civil rights activities, regional and national organizations, and newspaper clippings are included Also included are records for Arizona Council for Civic Unity. Included are Board of Directors lists, the meeting minutes, and financial records. Correspondence regarding the early development of ACCU is present as well as newsletters.