In his letter to CORE national president George Houser, Dick Trotter, the president of Peoria’s CORE chapter, recounted the brief history of the group since its inception in April 1945.
In about three months the group had amassed twenty-five active members, sponsored a work camp at the Carver Center, and staged the first of many protests against discrimination in local restaurants at Bishop’s, a large cafeteria in downtown Peoria.
Although their initial protest “wasn’t very unsuccessful” according to Trotter, the group emerged undeterred and planned future anti-segregation demonstrations there and at the local YMCA swimming pool.
An excerpt reads:
“We’ve sent deputation teams to several churches — we sponsored a work camp at the Carver Community Center.
Our main project has been to fight discrimination in restaurants. We have concentrated our efforts on breaking down a large cafeteria (Bishops). We have had several conferences with the manager – to no avail. Our committees have tested other restaurants in town also. We have tried one sit-down strike, which wasn’t very successful.”