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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Takoma Park in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Lee Jordan

Coach Extraordinaire & Civil Rights Leader

 
 
Lee Jordan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
1. Lee Jordan Marker
Inscription. Lee Jordan was one of the most influential citizens in Takoma Park history. By the time of his death in 1988 he achieved legendary status for his inspirational role in the lives of hundreds of children through the Takoma Park Boys & Girls Club and for his work at Parker Memorial Baptist Church and his leadership in the Ritchie Citizens Association.

As a young man growing up on Ritchie Avenue, he was a talented baseball catcher. He left Takoma Park for a short stint with the Negro Baseball League before returning in 1937 to take a job as a custodian at the then all-white Montgomery Blair High School. He began coaching basketball at Blair on Saturdays and his first group included boys who were caught by police breaking into the school gym. Mr. Lee, as they called him, became their mentor.

Over the years he created a full-fledged athletic program of baseball, basketball and football. It encompassed generations of boys and girls, black and white. Mr. Lee's routine was to pick up children at their homes and pile them into his wide-body station wagon. In the era before seat belts, they crammed in, often 20 at a time, eager for another afternoon on a sports team. Police often enlisted his assistance, and many teenagers avoided criminal records if they joined one of his teams.

The Boys and Girls Club that he founded
Lee Jordan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
2. Lee Jordan Marker
was the first racially integrated one in Montgomery County. His baseball players likewise were pioneers in integration, enduring catcalls but winning the county league championship in their inaugural season. The first girl to participate in the league played on a Mr. Lee team. In her first game she hit a home run. Lee Jordan's aplomb and good humor as a trailblazer is acknowledged as a primary factor in the peaceful integration of Takoma Park schools in 1955 following the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

To recognize those efforts, the field at Takoma Park Middle School, where he later did custodial work, was named in his honor in 1981. He was inducted posthumously into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2006.

Support for this project was provided by Maryland Program Open Space, City of Takoma Park, Montgomery County Public Schools and Historic Takoma.
 
Erected 2014 by Maryland Program Open Space, City of Takoma Park, Montgomery County Public Schools and Historic Takoma.
 
Location. 38° 59.187′ N, 77° 0.786′ W. Marker is in Takoma Park, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Piney Branch Road. Click for map. Marker is in Lee Jordan Field just north of Takoma Park Middle School. Marker is in this post office area: Takoma Park MD 20912, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Lee Jordan Field Markers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
3. Lee Jordan Field Markers
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lee Jordan Field (here, next to this marker); Sligo Creek Waterworks (approx. 0.4 miles away); "The Presidents Tree" (approx. half a mile away); Belle Ziegler Park (approx. half a mile away); Living in Takoma Park (approx. half a mile away); The Metropolitan Branch and Takoma Park (approx. half a mile away); Walt Penney Field (approx. half a mile away); The Blair Family and their Silver Spring Homes (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Takoma Park.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationSports
 
Lee Jordan image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
4. Lee Jordan
Close-up of photo on marker
A Salute to Lee A. Jordan<br>June 6, 1981 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
5. A Salute to Lee A. Jordan
June 6, 1981
Close-up of certificate on marker
Lee Jordan image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
6. Lee Jordan
Close-up of image on marker
Lee Jordan image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, July 9, 2014
7. Lee Jordan
Close-up of photo on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 362 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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