Save the Date: The Friends of Port Chicago Reception
Hosted by Bingham McCutchen LLP, Equal Justice Society and Perkins Coie
You are cordially invited to attend a reception at the home of Marc and Eden Bruner to learn about the Friends of Port Chicago, to hear about its important mission, and to meet its Board of Directors (Reverend Diana McDaniel, Robert Allen, David Salniker, Marc Bruner and Camarin Madigan).
Saturday, May 19, 2012
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Private residence in Orinda, Calif.
The Friends of Port Chicago National Memorial is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the memory of the sailors who were killed and wounded while serving during World War II at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in Contra Costa County.
On July 17, 1944, a large explosion at the base, which was used to load munitions onto ships bound for the Pacific Theater of Operations, killed and injured hundreds in the worst World War II-related disaster on United States soil. Most of the dead and injured were enlisted African-Americans, serving in a segregated Navy under highly dangerous working conditions. When the surviving sailors refused to return to those conditions after the explosion, 50 men were convicted of mutiny. The convictions sparked public protests, drew the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt and a young Thurgood Marshall, and ultimately led to the desegregation of the Navy beginning in 1946.
In 1994, the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial was dedicated to the lives lost in the disaster and in 2009 was recognized as the 392nd unit of the National Park Service by Congress and President Obama. The Friends of Port Chicago was established in recognition of the need to provide additional resources and support for the Park.
One of our core missions is to develop programs to promote public awareness of the history of Port Chicago, which played a vital role in our nation’s early civil rights movement and in the history of the Bay Area. Another important mission is work to overturn the unjust mutiny convictions and exonerate those who stood up for their rights.
Please join us for an evening of light fare, drinks, and enlightening discussion. Meet the author of the Port Chicago Mutiny, a compelling account of the disaster and its aftermath, and the other members of our Board of Directors. Find out what we do and how you can help. We look forward to seeing you!