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Business card for Charles H. Houston, attorney for Lucile Bluford. A brief note is written on the back.

Motion for new trial in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. Bluford requests that the court set aside the verdict against her of October 24, 1940, and grant a new trial. Her attorneys argue that the court erred in numerous ways, and that the verdict did not conform to the law. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
October 25th 1940

Letter from Charles H. Houston to the clerk of the United States District Court for the Central Division of the Western District of Missouri, writing that he was enclosing a motion and order in the Lucile Bluford vs. S. W. Canada case, and asking that it is called to the attention of the court. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
January 23rd 1941

Motion for extention of time for filing the designation of record, the transcript of record and statement of errors in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. Bluford and her attorneys request an extension of 60 days from the date of the original judgement to file documents, including a statment of court errors, in her appeal. She states that her attorney, Charles H. Houston, has been "physically unfit," delaying action on her case.

Date: 
January 22nd 1941

Order in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, granting 60 additional days for Lucile Bluford to file her appeal to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
January 1941

Affidavit of Lucile Bluford supporting challenge to panel in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. Bluford and her attorneys provided support to her challenge that black citizens were illegally removed from the jury pool for her trial, resulting in an all white jury panel. This document provides population statistics for the Missouri counties from which her jury was selected, including population data for each race.

Date: 
October 21st 1940

Amended motion for new trial in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, wherein Bluford's attorney Charles Houston moves to set aside the verdict and grant her a new trial. He argues that the original verdict was invalid due to an illegally assembled all-white jury, that a witness was allowed to testify that Lincoln University could have created a journalism department by Fall 1939 without any demonstrated knowledge of the logistics of doing so, and by excluding evidence that Bluford did contact Lincoln University regarding graduate work, among other factors.

Date: 
October 26th 1940

Memorandum from Lucile Bluford's attorney Charles Houston to University of Missouri attorneys William S. Hogsett, Kenneth Teasdale, and Rubey Hulen providing notice of a motion to be submitted on behalf of Bluford, and including a registered mail receipt certifying that the notice was provided. The motion itself is not included in this document.

Date: 
October 25th 1940

Complaint for deprivation of plaintiff's civil rights under color of state laws in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, claiming damages of $20,000 for Bluford's rejection from the University of Missouri graduate program in journalism based solely on her race. The complaint recounts the details of her case, including her qualifications for the program and her repeated applications to and denials of admission, as well as the absence of any comparable program open to black students in the state.

Date: 
November 2nd 1939

Letter from attorney Charles H. Houston to the U.S. District Court Clerk in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, providing notice that they are dismissing their appeal in the case, and asking to pay the court costs currently due. Houston also writes that he plans to file a new action on Bluford's behalf.

Date: 
March 10th 1941

Praecipe for subpoena in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, requesting that a subpoena be issued for Rev. Ernest S. Redd, Myron Leonard, and Rev. C. B. Johnson to appear as witnesses for the plaintiff on October 22, 1940. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
October 1940

Praecipe for subpoena in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, requesting that a subpoena be issued for James Mason, Earl F. Conley, Robert Turner, Effie Jackson, Owen Perkins, Hubert E. Washington, William Carter, and Earl Saxton to appear as witnesses for the plaintiff on October 22, 1940.

Date: 
October 1940

Praecipe for subpoena in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, requesting that a subpoena be issued for Duke Diggs, Robert S. Cobb, James Mason Carter, J. Harvey Jefferson, Alex L. Hicks, Lee W. DeCrouch, Fred Wilson, and Chares E. Robinson, Sr. to appear as witnesses for the plaintiff on October 22, 1940.

Date: 
October 1940

Praecipe for subpoena in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada, requesting that a subpoena be issued for Kenneth Logan and J. P. Washington to appear as witnesses for the plaintiff on October 22, 1940. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
October 22nd 1940

Letter from Judge John C. Collet to plaintiff's attorney Charles H. Houston regarding Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. Collet writes to confirm the plaintiff's amended petition was received and filed, and assuring Houston that he will be informed if there are any complaints about the form of filing of the petition.

Date: 
April 19th 1940

Letter from Judge John C. Collet to plaintiff's attorney Charles H. Houston regarding Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. Collet writes to confirm receipt of Houston's letter requesting a hearing on May 13, but reports that he will not be in court in Jefferson City on that date. He writes that the motion will be on his docket on May 4, or if Houston needs to delay it further, June 1.

Date: 
April 26th 1940

Amendment to complaint in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. The plaintiff's attorneys amend Bluford's original complaint by adding text to provide that Bluford knew that Lincoln University did not offer graduate or undergraduate work in journalism. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
February 3rd 1940

Amendment to amended second complaint in Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada.

Date: 
June 1st 1940

Telegram from plaintiff's attorney Charles H. Houston to Judge John C. Collet regarding Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada. Houston writes that, while research is completed for the Bluford case, he is physically unable to complete a memorandum at that time. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

Date: 
February 26th 1940

Undated handwritten note regarding Civil Action No. 42: Lucile Bluford v. S.W. Canada by an unknown writer. At the time, Bluford was the managing editor of the Kansas City Call and her effort to gain admittance to the masters degree program at MU's School of Journalism, and repeated denials due to her race, lead to a a series of lawsuits that eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court.

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KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.