With desirable housing closed to his family due to their race, Andrew Wade approached Carl and Anne Braden, a white couple known as militant supporters of civil rights causes. On May 10, 1954, acting on the Wades' behalf to secure the home they wanted, the Bradens completed the purchase of a house on a semi-rural cul-de-sac in a new development outside Shively. They handed the keys to Andrew Wade.

On the night the Wades moved in, neighbors burned a cross in the adjacent lot and fired shots into the house, then drove to the Bradens’ home with threats and the demand that they “get the Wades out." The police protection the Wades sought provided cold comfort when officers,all white, set up their post on the lawns of hostile white neighbors. Days later, the Wades’ home insurance was canceled, and the mortgage company demanded full payment on the loan.

A group of mostly black supporters formed a Wade Defense Committee to protect the family and demand justice, but other threats continued. Over the next six weeks, a local dairy canceled milk delivery to them, and the Courier-Journal ended their subscription because the paperboy refused to deliver to blacks in a "white" neighborhood.

Finally, just before midnight on June 27th, dynamite exploded under the Wades' home. No one was injured but the rear half of their house was destroyed, awakening Louisville to the racial violence cities like Chicago had long known.



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