Side A: William McCulloch was born in Holmes County where he was educated in a one-room schoolhouse before moving to Wooster to attend high school and the College of Wooster. He attained prominence as Ohio’s Speaker of the House from 1939-1943 and House member from the Fourth Ohio Congressional District from 1948-1973. During his time in Washington, McCulloch was best known as a co-sponsor and staunch advocate of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He was recognized by President Lyndon Johnson as the prime mover for passage of this landmark legislation. As a conservative Republican voice in the House, he was instrumental in championing other civil rights legislation, including fair housing and public accommodations. McCulloch was a founding partner in 1928 of the Piqua law firm that bears his name.
Side B: Twentieth century racial discrimination was common in Ohio and a fact of life in Piqua. To counter it, a Piqua chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was active from 1921 to 1923 but was shut down by local Ku Klux Klan violence. Local businessman Darrell Taylor reorganized the NAACP in 1943 and served as its first president. By the end of World War II, the group actively fought segregation in Piqua, holding a sit-in at the “whites only” bus station lunch counter with support from former Ohio Speaker of the House William McCulloch. The group also fought segregation at the Schine’s Piqua Theater by sitting everywhere, not in the restricted three rows in the rear. While these protests did not immediately end segregation, they were the start of a decades long process that ended discrimination in public accommodation, housing, and veterans and community organization memberships.
Sponsors: McCulloch, Felger, Fite & Gutmann Co., L.P.A. and The Ohio Historical Society