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Weekly Challenger African American Digital Newspaper Archive and Research Guide


September 1967
The newspaper is started by M.C. Fountain but soon acquired by Cleveland Johnson who changes the name from The Weekly Challenge to The Weekly Challenger.  

December 1967
St. Petersburg doctor and civil rights leader, Dr. Ralph Wimbish, who grew up in the African-American Gas Plant district, dies at the age of 45. Funeral services for Dr. Wimbish take place on December 6th at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Institutional Church in St. Petersburg. Since the 1950s he had been one of the community's most important voices for the integration of segregated beaches, lunch counters, and various businesses. He is also remembered for housing segregated African-American baseball players during spring training.


During 1968
The Weekly Challenger reports on the closing of the Manhattan Casino. The former entertainment facility on St. Petersburg's historic 22nd Street "The Deuces" was built in 1925. The building was designated a local landmark in 1992 and reopened in 2011. Sylvia's soul food restaurant occupied the first floor from 2013-2016. The building reopened again in 2018 with a restaurant and other services managed by the Callaloo Group.   

August 1, 1968
A group of African-American St. Petersburg police officers known as the “Courageous 12,” who had filed a 1965 lawsuit against the city citing discrimination within the police department, win their lawsuit on appeal. 

August 30, 1968
St. Petersburg’s four-month sanitation workers strike, which began on May 6, 1968, comes to an end. More than 40 marches took place during those 116 days, often starting at the Jordan Park Community Center and ending at City Hall. Strike leader Joe Savage, attorney James B. Sanderlin, and Reverend Enoch Davis are remembered as some of the key figures during the strike. (Years later Joe Savage's son, Abdul Karim Ali, would often talk about about his father's role in the historic strike.)


During 1969
C. Bette Wimbish is elected as the first African-American St. Petersburg city council member.