Get your kicks on Route 66
an old American saying about taking a road trip
Richard Mitchell paid less than a buck for the Green Book he ordered by U.S. Mail after noticing an advertisement for one in a 1963 edition of Ebony Magazine.
He was nearing the end of his tour of duty as an Air Force cryptographer stationed in Turkey at the time and planning a road trip with his wife and two young children. "We left home in Pennsylvania in a two-tone green 1960 Dodge Dart station wagon," recalled Mitchell, 84, of Albuquerque, N.M. "I timed my travel to make sure that we would roll into a safe place to stay by night," he said.
"We only had one problem along the way," he said. "A bunch of young folks" hurled a racial epithet at a hamburger stand.
Out in the Los Angeles area, African Americans couldn’t buy a home in so-called red-lined neighborhoods. Some street corners had signs on 6-foot poles that said, "No Negroes or Orientals Desired."
In movie theaters, African Americans sat on one side of a velvet rope and whites on the other. Some department stores handed African American women pieces of tissue paper before they tried on hats.