Plaque to mark effort to integrate Chicago beach

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A new landmark will be dedicated this weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of efforts to integrate a public beach on Chicago’s South Side.

CHICAGO (AP) — A new landmark will be dedicated this weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of efforts to integrate a public beach on Chicago’s South Side.

During the summers of 1960 and 1961, demonstrators staged "wade-ins" at Rainbow Beach to protest segregation.

Organizers of Saturday’s dedication ceremony say mobs of whites used violence to keep black visitors from using the beach.

Protest leaders Norman and Velma Hill were seriously injured on Aug. 28, 1960, when they tried to use the beach as part of the "wade-in." The beach was successfully integrated the following summer.

Velma Hill says the "wade-ins" inspired people across the city to work against discrimination.

A plaque honoring the demonstration will be installed on the lakefront.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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