Peoria’s independent chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality was already active when national CORE President George Houser contacted Peoria CORE president Dick Trotter in 1945.

According to Trotter the group’s first project took on racial discrimination in eating establishments in Peoria. “We have visited several places,” he stated, “and have been using direct action on one of the largest cafeterias here.”

Trotter explained that group’s efforts were gaining the public’s support but that their sit-ins weren’t so successful: at one local restaurant, the protesters had failed to disturb a busy night for the eatery.