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New York Tennis Club Bars Jews and Negroes; President “explains” Ban

July 9, 1959
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Ralph Bunche, United Nations Undersecretary, said today he had been informed by the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, Queens, that the club bars Negroes and Jews.

He said he had been told by Wilfred Burglund, club president, that the club, site of many championship tennis matches, excludes Jews and Negroes from membership. Mr. Burglund was quoted by Dr. Bunche as saying that the club was a private one, the same as a person’s home, where “you can invite whom you want to.”

The disclosure followed a decision of Ralph Bunche, Jr, to apply for membership after taking lessons from the club’s pro, George Agutter, who suggested that the younger Bunche become a junior member. The father then telephoned the club president and thus learned of the club’s exclusionist policies.

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