Lee Jordan

Lee Jordan (HM1F8Y)

Location: Takoma Park, MD 20912 Montgomery County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 59.187', W 77° 0.786'

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Coach Extraordinaire & Civil Rights Leader

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 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.
HM NumberHM1F8Y
Year Placed2014
Placed ByMaryland Program Open Space, City of Takoma Park, Montgomery County Public Schools and Historic Takoma
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 2:07pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 325641 N 4317200
Decimal Degrees38.98645000, -77.01310000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 59.187', W 77° 0.786'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 59' 11.22" N, 77° 0' 47.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3547-3575 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Takoma Park MD 20912, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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