1897: A laundry and litigation

Edward W. Anderson founds IXL Laundry.

Edward W. Anderson came to San Diego from Kentucky in the mid-1890s before starting his successful laundry business in 1897 at the age of 25. As the owner of IXL Laundry, he managed the largest steam laundry in the region with 35 employees. The original location was 546 Seventh Ave.nue, but the store later moved to 10th Avenue and Island Avenue.

Anderson v Fisher is the first case of such racial discrimination in Southern California.

Edward W. Anderson, a noted entrepreneur and political organizer, and his wife Mary were not seated in a performance at the Fisher Opera House. When they were refused their chosen seats near the orchestra, theater manager John C. Fisher stated, “I don’t allow colored people on this floor.”

Anderson filed a lawsuit for $ 299 damages and received $ 150. A higher court overturned Fisher’s appeal and ordered Anderson to pay Fisher $ 9.25 in damages. Although Anderson’s legal action was ultimately unsuccessful, his challenge set a legal precedent.

For more information on black history in San Diego and how to attend Celebrate San Diego: Black History & Heritage at the San Diego History Center, visit

In honor of Black History Month, the Union-Tribune has partnered with the San Diego History Center to showcase items related to local black history each day in February.

On February 13 national

1923 – The first professional black basketball team, The Renaissance, is organized.

1957 – Organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in New Orleans with meetings with Martin Luther King Jr. as President.

1970 – The New York Stock Exchange announces its first black member, Joseph Searles.

Source: Alice Tyler Milton of Lawson State Community College; For more information:

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