Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a senior reporter at Mother Jones. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy@motherjones.com.

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On the campaign trail, Sen. Bernie Sanders often mentions his work as a civil rights activist in the early 1960s, when he was a campus organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). As a leader of the University of Chicago chapter, he led sit-ins to protest racial discrimination at university-owned properties and picketed a Howard Johnson's restaurant.

Now we know a little bit more. L.E.J. Rachell, a researcher with the CORE Project, which is dedicated to collecting and preserving the records of CORE, recently uploaded four documents offering more details about Sanders' involvement with the group. During this period in 1961, UChicago's CORE chapter was sending white and black volunteers to university-owned housing facilities in the neighborhood to determine if the school was honoring its anti-discrimination policy.

The most interesting of the CORE Project documents is a testimonial written by Sanders himself. In it, he details a "test" he conducted of a hotel just off campus. He visited to see if it would rent a room to his older brother, Larry, and the clerk assured him that they would. When UChicago CORE finished its testing, the results were clear—rooms that were available to white students were not available to black students. The next year they launched a series of sit-ins to force the university's hand.

Take a look:

The CORE Project

Here's a testimonial from Wallace Murphy, an African American man who visited the university realty offices to inquire about an apartment rental one week before Sanders' drop-in:

The CORE Project
Thu Feb. 7, 2013 11:16 AM EST
Mon Jan. 28, 2013 3:45 PM EST
Thu Jan. 24, 2013 11:42 AM EST
Fri Jan. 11, 2013 5:29 PM EST
Wed Jan. 9, 2013 11:36 AM EST
Wed Jan. 2, 2013 12:16 PM EST
Fri Dec. 21, 2012 3:08 PM EST
Tue Dec. 18, 2012 12:24 PM EST
Wed Dec. 12, 2012 1:41 PM EST
Thu Dec. 6, 2012 10:54 AM EST
Tue Dec. 4, 2012 7:08 AM EST
Mon Dec. 3, 2012 1:25 PM EST
Tue Nov. 27, 2012 1:44 PM EST
Mon Nov. 19, 2012 3:13 PM EST
Mon Nov. 19, 2012 11:22 AM EST
Wed Nov. 14, 2012 11:15 AM EST
Mon Nov. 12, 2012 11:31 AM EST
Thu Nov. 8, 2012 2:45 PM EST
Wed Nov. 7, 2012 3:48 PM EST
Tue Nov. 6, 2012 11:20 PM EST
Tue Nov. 6, 2012 10:44 PM EST