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Esther Ridpath Delaplaine ’44

box_delaplaine_ridpath_esther.jpgEsther Ridpath Delaplaine ’44 has been inducted into the Human Rights Hall of Fame in Montgomery County, Md., in recognition of her civil rights efforts in the county. According to Richard Ramsey, president of the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, in 1960, Delaplaine and her neighbor Mary Lou Rogers Munts ’45, mobilized a countywide organization to support and pass a public accommodations ordinance that established a Human Relations Commission that is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Delaplaine was a neighborhood organizer in 1960 protests seeking to end segregation of the Glen Echo Amusement Park in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. The park—a popular attraction that refused to admit African Americans—was picketed for a summer by Howard University students and residents of Delaplaine’s nearby Bannockburn neighborhood in Bethesda, Md. The protests succeeded, and the park re-opened in spring 1961 as a desegregated facility. Delaplaine received Swarthmore’s Arabella Carter Award in 2009, which is given to an alumnus or alumna whose life has displayed a deep-seated commitment to community service, especially quiet and unpaid service.

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