“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)

Harris House

Harris House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anita Curry, February 20, 2010
1. Harris House Marker
Between May 20-24, 1961 Dr. Harris opened this home to a group of 33 students from Nashville, Tennessee, who were challenging interstate bus segregation. Known as the Freedom Riders, the group was attacked at the historic Montgomery Greyhound Bus Station upon arrival and harassed by rioters. In the days following the attack, martial law was declared and Harris' home served as a haven for the Freedom Riders. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Ralph D. Abernathy, James Farmer, John Lewis, Diane Nash, and others met at the Harris House to develop plans and strategy for continuing the rides. On March 24, after solemn prayer, the Freedom Riders were escorted by the National Guard to the Greyhound Bus Station and continued on with their mission to Jackson, Mississippi.
In March 1965 Dr. Harris assisted local black doctors on the grounds of St. Jude's Hospital with medical care of the participants of the historic Selma-to- Montgomery Voting Rights March.
In 1992, the house was listed to the Alabama Register of Historic Places as a Contributing property of the Centennial Hill Historic District.

Harris House Marker (Reverse) image. Click for full size.
By Anita Curry, February 20, 2010
2. Harris House Marker (Reverse)
house, originally constructed at the turn of the century, was the house of Dr. Richard H. Harris Jr. (1918-1976). The grandson of John W. Jones, an Alabama state senator during Reconstruction. Harris was a captain with the famed 99th Squadron Tuskegee Airmen during WW II. A registered pharmacist, he operated Dean Drug Store, Montgomery's oldest black drug store, established by his father in 1907. The store was located at 147 Monroe Street in the historically black district listed in the National Register of Historic places before being demolished in the 1980s. During the 1955-56 Montgomery Bus Boycott Dean Drug Store served as a command center where Dr. Harris played critical roles in communications and transportation. Wearing a headset, he simultaneously dispatched vehicles while filling prescriptions. Dean Drug Store served as a secure meeting place during that turbulent time.
Erected by Alabama Historic Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsNotable EventsWar, World II.
Location. 32° 22.353′ N, 86° 17.776′ W. Marker is in Montgomery, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker is on South Jackson Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map
Harris House Marker (Distant View) image. Click for full size.
By Anita Curry, February 28, 2010
3. Harris House Marker (Distant View)
View on South Jackson Street
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 372 South Jackson Street, Montgomery AL 36104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. South Jackson Street / Victor Hugo Tulane (within shouting distance of this marker); Minister's Home / Dr. Martin Luther King (within shouting distance of this marker); The Hon. Rufus A. Lewis (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Aurelia Eliscera Shines Browder (about 600 feet away); Georgia Gilmore (approx. 0.2 miles away); Centennial Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Charles Oscar Harris Family Home (approx. ¼ mile away); Swayne College / Booker T. Washington School (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montgomery.
Regarding Harris House. From 1941 to 1946 996 pilots were graduated at at TAAF (Tuskegee Army Air Field). Most served overseas in the 99th Pursuit Squadron (Later named the 99th Fighter Squadron) or 322 Fighter Group.
These fighter pilots proved to be a valuable asset protecting the bombers on their missions.
At the end of the war these airmen had shot down 111 enemy aircraft and destroyed another 150 on the ground. One of these pilots alone sank a German destroyer,an amazing feat in wartime. At the end of the war the Tuskegee Airmen had lost 150 men in combat and accident, and made aviation history. Richard
Harris House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anita Curry, February 28, 2010
4. Harris House Marker
The home of Dr. Richard H. Harris (Marker on front lawn)
H. Harris (a fighter pilot) was part of this history.
Also see . . .  Tuskegee Airmen Website. (Submitted on March 4, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 17, 2017. It was originally submitted on March 3, 2010, by Dodson M. Curry of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 3,172 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on July 25, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 3, 2010, by Dodson M. Curry of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 27, 2021