Terrell Place is named after
Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954)
Teacher, Writer, Civil Rights Activist
Mary Church Terrell championed equal rights throughout her life — locally, nationally, and internationally.
From 1951 to 1952, at the advanced age of 88, Terrell led a campaign to end segregation at the lunch counter of Hecht's Department Store (Formerly on this site).
This was part of a larger effort by the Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of the DC Anti-Discrimination Laws to desegregate restaurants throughout Washington. As chair of the Committee. Terrell organized boycotts. picket lines, and sit-ins participating in many herself with a cane in one hand and a protest sign in the other. They convinced over 40 restaurants; including Hecht's lunch counter to stop discriminating. Then on June 8, 1953, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that pre-existing anti-discrimination laws (the "Lost laws" of 1872 and 1873) were still valid, officially ending segregation in restaurants across the city.