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For Immediate Release:
April 02, 2014
Media Contact:
Jamil Rivers

305-245-4420

Commissioner Dennis C. Moss Begins Search for the 26 Founding Families of the Community of Richmond Heights

Richmond Heights Pioneers Monument to be dedicated on Memorial Day 2014


(MIAMI, FL) - This year marks the 65th Anniversary of the founding of the Community of Richmond Heights, Florida, one of the first suburban neighborhoods developed for black veterans of WWII. In recognition of this historic occasion, Commissioner Dennis C. Moss will celebrate Memorial Day 2014 with the dedication of the Richmond Heights Pioneers Monument. Today begins a nationwide search for the relatives of those who shared this vision 65 years ago.

The Richmond Heights Pioneers Monument, located on Lincoln Blvd. and Madison St., will be dedicated on May 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM in honor of those 26 families who became the first to purchase property in the development. "I am searching for members of the families who established this neighborhood so that we can celebrate what has become one of the most vibrant communities in Miami-Dade County," said Commissioner Moss. "It is only fitting that we gather on Memorial Day to recognize the veterans who fought for freedom abroad and right here at home."

Realizing that segregation and Jim Crow era policies created a void in the housing market for African-American servicemen, many of whom served with distinction, Captain Frank C. Martin, a former U.S. Army Air Corps pilot established Richmond Heights for disenfranchised veterans. This community, located just North of SW 152nd St. and East of the Turnpike, became a national model of neighborhood planning. Richmond Heights grew rapidly into an exemplary proud and purposeful residential district, regularly hailed for its commitment to educational achievement and civic engagement.

If you have not been contacted and are a member of one of the families below, please share your contact information with The Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss so that we may send you a formal invitation to this historic celebration.

RICHMOND HEIGHTS PIONEERS OF 1949

Walter Bethel
Richard G. Bullard
Barfield Burch
Lee M. Burton
John E. Byrd
Warric R. Ferguson
Johnnie Henderson
Grady Holloway
James C. Holmes
Samuel E. Hutcheson
Livingston James
Willie H. Johnson
Dewey E. Keese
Buchie McCray
Spencer N. Murray
Oliver A. Page
Willie L. Pearson
William R. Phillips, Jr.
Henry Prince
Albert D. Sample
George C. Swain
Gladston C. Taylor
Luther H. Wallace
James W. Wanza
Earnest White, Sr.
Stephen Worthy