Oral History Interviews of the March on Milwaukee Oral History Project, 2007-2008


The March on Milwaukee Oral History Project was designed to help document the open housing movement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of 1967-1969, led by Father James Groppi, Alderwoman Vel Phillips, and the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council. It was also intended to help commemorate the 40th anniversary of the open housing marches in September 2007, which included a day-long conference at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), exhibits at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and America's Black Holocaust Museum (both located in Milwaukee), and a commemorative march and program on the city's James E. Groppi Unity Bridge (formerly the 16th Street Viaduct). The oral history interviews were conducted by Amanda Wynne, a UWM history graduate student intern, undergraduate students in Professor Michael Gordon's fall 2007 senior history seminar, and by Michael Gordon himself. Interviewees include Margaret (Peggy) Rozga, Father Groppi's widow and the organizer of the 2007 commemoration; several priests who participated in the demonstrations and other civil rights activities; Frank Aukofer, a journalist who covered the demonstrations for a local newspaper; members of the NAACP Youth Council and the NAACP YC Commandos; and ordinary citizens.