The young Black man stood against the backdrop of Trinity United Methodist Church on Robertsville Road in the late afternoon. Jefferson Avenue stretched across the way. It was the summer of 1963 and the picketers had gathered again outside the MultiMatic Laundry at the end of the West Mall and Market Area in Jefferson Center. Their goal: integrate the laundromat.Continue reading “PART 2: The Integration of Oak Ridge ~ The Secret City”
Ray Smith is a man of many missions, a man of many hats and he wears them well: Secret City historian, U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran, Chaplain Emeritus, having served the Oak Ridge Police Department for 23 years. Mr. Smith is also an engaging storyteller, author, videographer, Tennessee Historical Commission Commissioner, teacher, photographer, documentary producer, multi award-winning citizen, church elder, father, and devoted husband to his beloved wife of 57 years.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ray Smith in May 2021 when he gave me a tour of the Oak Ridge History Museum as part of my research trip for the book I’m writing on the integration of Oak Ridge in the 1960s. What a delight to discover he was a police chaplain as I’m about to embark on a series featuring law enforcement officers from around the country.
Mr. Ray Smith’s achievements resemble what would take several men a lifetime to accomplish. He calls himself retired but shows no signs of slowing down. I’m honored to host this brave, humble hero in this video interview and share his stories, insights, and resources with you. Enjoy.Continue reading “Ray Smith: Secret City Historian, Veteran, Police Chaplain Emeritus”