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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Rev. Robert S. & Jean Graetz

Advocates for Civil Rights

 
 
Rev. Robert S. & Jean Graetz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 16, 2021
1. Rev. Robert S. & Jean Graetz Marker
Inscription.  Robert S. Graetz Jr. was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1928. He studied theology at Capital University and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary, both in Ohio. Active in organizing campus social justice causes, he was also a member of the Columbus chapter of the NAACP.

Born on a farm near East Springfield, Pennsylvania, in 1929, Jean Ellis was a student at Capital University when she met Graetz. They married in 1951 and would have seven children together. The young couple arrived in Montgomery in 1955, where Rev. Graetz pastored the predominantly African American congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Personally committed to the equality of all, Robert and Jean Graetz were among the small group of whites who supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They were confidants of several important figures in the yearlong endeavor, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Rev. Graetz served as secretary of the Montgomery Improvement Association, which was organized to sustain the historic boycott. The Trinity parsonage where they lived was bombed twice.

The Lutheran church transferred Rev. Graetz

Rev. Robert S. & Jean Graetz Marker at Graetz home. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 16, 2021
2. Rev. Robert S. & Jean Graetz Marker at Graetz home.
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in 1957 but the couple frequently returned to Alabama and were participants in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. They remained beacons in the fight for equality wherever they were. Returning to Montgomery in 2005, the couple lived out their final years in this home. They died, three months apart, in 2020.
 
Erected 2021 by Alabama Historical Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionCivil Rights. A significant historical year for this entry is 1928.
 
Location. 32° 21.555′ N, 86° 17.577′ W. Marker is in Montgomery, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Dunbar Street 0.1 miles south of Carter Hill Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1558 Dunbar St, Montgomery AL 36106, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Moore-Tyson-McPhillips Home (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fitzgerald Home (about 400 feet away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birth of Montgomery Bus Boycott (approx. 0.4 miles away); Birthplace of Nat "King" Cole (approx. half a mile away); Home of Ralph David Abernathy (approx. half a mile away); Black Members of the Alabama Legislature Who Served During The Reconstruction Period of 1868-1879
Photo of the Graetz home noted on marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, May 16, 2021
3. Photo of the Graetz home noted on marker.
(approx. half a mile away); Folmar - Siegelman House (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montgomery.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia article on Rev. Robert Graetz. (Submitted on May 16, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Additional commentary.
1. Marker dedicated today!
This marker was unveiled Sunday May 21st at 2 p.m. Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed opened the ceremony and several speakers, including Attorney Fred Gray who worked as the attorney for Rosa Parks and legal adviser to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., among other rights figures and helped stamp out Jim Crow laws. Historian Richard Bailey organized the ceremony and compiled a 50-page souvenir program for those who attended.
    — Submitted May 16, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 16, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 16, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Jun. 16, 2021