Research and reporting for “24th and Glory” dates back to 2006. The overwhelming majority of information comes from interviews and newspaper archives.
The World-Herald conducted extensive interviews with about 60 characters. Among the most valuable: Marlin Briscoe, Roger Sayers, Johnny Rodgers, Bob Boozer, Ron Boone, Rodney Wead, Bob Rodgers, John Beasley, Brenda Council, Preston Love Jr., Cathy Hughes, Jerry Bartee, Sam Crawford, Don Benning, Dan Goodwin and Ernie Chambers. Most of these conversations were recorded and preserved.
Other sources included athletes’ autobiographies (Bob Gibson’s especially), Omaha historical books, academic theses, census reports, old photographs, even 1940s and 50s city directories — they’re 4 inches thick!
Special recognition goes out to local authors who previously devoted thousands of words to North Omaha, especially Adam Fletcher Sasse, Leo Adam Biga, John Dechant and Steve Marantz. Their writing helped point us in the right direction.
Finally, those treasure troves of newspaper archives. The World-Herald and The Omaha Star, digitally accessible via the public library, provided essential detail and context. This project wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of 1950s and 60s newspaper reporters. They documented local history (on deadline) and did it with superb craft and judgment.
Hopefully, Omaha journalists 50 years from now will say the same about us.
Here’s a more complete list of sources:
“Stranger to the Game.” Bob Gibson and Lonnie Wheeler.
“From Ghetto to Glory.” Bob Gibson with Phil Pepe.
“Gale Sayers: I Am Third.” Gale Sayers with Al Silverman.
“The Year of the Pitcher: Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, and the End of Baseball’s Golden Age.” Sridhar Pappu.
“The Gate City: A History of Omaha.” Lawrence H. Larsen and Barbara J. Cottrell.
“Patterns on the Landscape: Heritage Conservation in North Omaha.”
“The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” as told to Alex Haley.
“North Omaha History.” Adam Fletcher Sasse.
“10 Minutes of Insanity: The Johnny Rodgers Story.” Johnny Rodgers and Loren Murfield.
“The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the ’68 Racial Divide.” Steve Marantz.
“A.V. Sorensen and the new Omaha.” Harl A. Dalstrom.
“Black and Catholic in Omaha: A Case of Double Jeopardy.” Jack D. Angus.
“Militant Mediator: Whitney M. Young Jr.” Dennis Dickerson
“Negro and White, Unite and Fight!: A Social History of Industrial Unionism.” Roger Horowitz.
“Free Radical: Ernest Chambers, Black Power, and the Politics of Race.” Tekla Agbala Ali Johnson.
“Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989.” Amy Helene Forss.
“Ahead of Their Time: The Story of The Omaha DePorres Club.” Matt Holland.
“Then the Burning Began: Omaha, Riots and the Growth of Black Radicalism, 1966-69.” Ashley Howard.
“The Negro High School Student: A study of the Negro Students in Omaha Central High School (1935-41).” Francis Y. Knapple.
“A Survey of Employer Attitudes toward the employment of qualified Negroes in white collar positions in Omaha.” Marion M. Taylor.
“The Urban Renewal Movement in Omaha, 1954-70.” Donald Louis Stevens, Jr.
“Racial and Spectral Landscapes of North Omaha: An analysis of the Omaha Riots, 1966.” Nicholas Petersen.
“Fighting Jim Crow in post-war II Omaha, 1945-1956.” Kathleen Mary Davis.
“The Omaha Housing Authority Story.” Stephen E. Szmrecsanyi.
Newspaper archives of New York Times, Daily Nebraskan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated, West Omaha Sun, Woodbine Twiner.
Other archives include Douglas County Historical Society records, Omaha Public Schools photos and clippings and Great Plains Black History Museum files.