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November 19, 2017

Washington School Reunion


To celebrate the days of the original Booker T Washington School in Luther, a reunion will be held this weekend. 

A gospel extravaganza will be offered tonight free of charge at the current Luther high school auditorium at 6:30 pm. Musicians “From A to Z” will perform. 

A banquet will be held Saturday night at the Communitu Center. Tickets are $50 each and I Clyde a meal and goodies plus entertainment. 

Town Trustee Ron Henry said all are welcome. He remembers going to the school as a boy before the school district de-segregated in the 1960s. 

Read more about that here from Oklahoma History Center. 

In 1916 Booker T. Washington High School for African Americans opened in Luther. The facility expanded in 1922. Destroyed by fire in December 1930, the school building was rebuilt in 1931. It was heralded as one of the premier high schools for blacks in the United States; its graduates were accepted at African American colleges across the country. In 1928 U.S. Highway 66 (now State Highway 66) was opened from Los Angeles, California, to Chicago, Illinois, passing through the northern side of Luther. There were 613 residents on the 1930 census. The Great Depression of the 1930s had a devastating effect on the town and surrounding area. Foreclosures forced many farmers to relocate, and town merchants, facing reduced business, closed their doors. Only 425 people were counted in 1940 and 409 in 1950. Those who could afford an automobile became commuters, driving to Cushing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Guthrie, and Langston University to work. In 2000, 94 percent of Luther’s employed residents commuted to work.

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