Gwynn Oak Amusement Park Protest Movement
- Amy Nathan
From 1955 to 1963, the Baltimore chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) organized interracial, nonviolent demonstrations calling for an end to racial segregation at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park. Located in Baltimore county, just northwest of Baltimore city, this amusement park had been whites-only since its opening in the 1890s. During its Gwynn Oak protests, Baltimore CORE was a small, interracial group dedicated to Gandhian nonviolent protest. Initially, it used only Gandhi's less-assertive tactics. Success came when it adopted a “fill the jails” approach in two massive demonstrations during July 1963, which received abundant national news coverage, due in part to the participation of large numbers of clergy, including white clergy, a first for the civil rights movement, as noted at the time by the New York Times. Baltimore CORE's tactical evolution reflected a similar shift at national CORE.