Crossing the Line

A Wisconsin Historical Society exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of fair housing marches in Milwaukee, Crossing the Line, will be on display at the Little Red Store, 7720 Harwood Ave., in Wauwatosa’s Village area, near the location of the Farmers Market. 

The free exhibit, hosted by the Wauwatosa Historical Society, is open from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays on July 6, 13 and 20; 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays on July 8, 15 and 22; and 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays on July 9, 16 and 23. 

For 200 consecutive days, beginning Aug. 28, 1967, the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council and its advisor, Father James Groppi, joined other civil rights activists in the series of marches across Milwaukee’s 16th St. viaduct. They were demanding that Milwaukee’s common council adopt an ordinance prohibiting landlords from discriminating based on race. 

The traveling display consists of four freestanding, double-sided banners, including archival photographs, maps, documents and a historical account of the marches written by the state historical society. 

“We’re pleased to host this exhibit on the anniversary of a historic movement that also had a significant impact in Wauwatosa,” said Natalie Wysong, Wauwatosa Historical Society executive director. 

Wauwatosa’s common council adopted its own open housing ordinance in 1968. 

“This display is a good opportunity to inform younger generations,” Wysong said. “The marches dominated the news 50 years ago. Even for people who didn't experience the protests, it's worthwhile to connect that struggle with the here and now.” 

For more information, call 414-774-8672 or visit



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