Horn Legislation to Rename Post Office
WASHINGTON–On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn (Dem., Okla.) to rename the downtown Oklahoma City post office in honor of civil rights leader Clara Shepard Luper.
Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in September with the support of Oklahoma’s full congressional delegation, the bill now heads to the White House to be signed into law.
“Clara Luper and the sit-inners are true civil rights heroes who never stopped fighting for justice and opportunity for all Oklahomans,” said Congresswoman Kendra Horn.
“This bill honors their legacy, giving Clara Luper’s name a permanent place in downtown Oklahoma City, just blocks from where she led the first sit-in and from the epicenter of the sanitation workers strike.
“Today, the story of Clara Luper and the NAACP Youth Council is inspiring a new generation of Oklahomans to take action. I hope the Clara Luper Post Office can stand as a testament to her enduring legacy, her courage, and her historic fight for justice.”
On Aug. 9, 1958, Luper and the NAACP Youth Council led a civil rights sit-in at Oklahoma City’s Katz Drug Store, the first civil rights lunch counter sit-in in America.
The sit-in was the first in a series of successful non-violent protests that led to the desegregation of Oklahoma City establishments.
These sit-ins helped inspire lunch counters protests across the South, occurring years before the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro, N.C. In 1969, Luper was also the spokesman for striking sanitation workers in Oklahoma City.
“Designating the Clara Luper Post Office is a long-overdue recognition of a remarkable Oklahoman, and I am pleased we passed this legislation today to establish it,” U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (Rep., Okla.) said. “Clara Luper had a profound impact on the Civil Rights Movement not just in Oklahoma – but across the country.
“I am proud that Oklahoma can honor her and her accomplishments permanently in this way and applaud Sen. Lankford for his years of work to acknowledge, celebrate and affirm the legacy of Oklahomans like Clara Luper.”
He was referring to U.S. Sen. James Lankford (Rep., Okla.).
“Naming a post office in Oklahoma City—in the heart of Ms. Luper’s professional, social and political life— is a meaningful way to honor Clara Luper’s tireless work toward helping our nation form a more perfect union,” said Sen. Lankford.
“In the years ahead, when kids see Clara Luper‘s name on the building, parents can tell the next generation of Oklahomans about her legacy and work for equality in Oklahoma City and around the country.”