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Lucinda Gordon celebrates 100th birthday

November 24, 2015
Lucinda Gordon

Lucinda Gordon

Dozens of family, friends and supporters showered Lucinda Gordon with con- gratulations and praise on her 100th birthday on No- vember 7. Gordon, whose grand- mother was emancipated from slavery, was born and raised in Chester, Pennsylva- nia. She came to Milwaukee during World War II to com- plete field work for her Mas- ter’s Degree from Smith Col- lege. While here she met and fell in love with Lieutenant Grant Gordon of the segre- gated 320th battalion whose members would distinguish themselves for bravery on the beaches of Normandy, manning anti-aircraft dirigi- ble balloons tethered to the beach. After the war, the couple married and had two chil- dren. Grant Gordon would become the first black prin- cipal in the Milwaukee Pub- lic School system while Lu- cinda became president of the Milwaukee chapter of the NAACP. She also helped found the Lady Pitts School for pregnant teens. Lucinda helped to arrange a visit to Milwaukee by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She said it was the sad- dest day of her life when he was assassinated in 1968. Still mentally sharp, Lucinda said she never dreamed as a young girl that she would live to see a black man elect- ed President of the United States. Lucinda did not move out of her own house until she was 96 and said she vividly recalled being very fearful that President Obama would not live to be inaugurated. Harkening back to her youth and years of struggle with the NAACP, she said she did not leave the house the day after President Obama was elected to his first term out of fear that there might be civil unrest. Lucinda was active at Faith United Church of Christ for more than 40 years. She and her husband helped in- fluence the congregation to call a white man to be pastor of the church and the Rev. James Gorman was one of many guests asked to deliv- er happy birthday wishes to Lucinda.