Transcript of video clip from interview of attorney William T. Coleman

Well, Mississippi was probably worse but Virginia was bad enough then, but that’s the way it is, but I never—. Of course when I was a law clerk to Mr. Justice Frankfurter here the restaurants were segregated, and in fact, it didn’t bother us because we used to eat in the court lunchroom, but there was a day when the court was working but everybody else was closed and I remember being in, working with Justice Frankfurter on an opinion, and Elliot Richardson, who was the other clerk, came along and said, “Bill, we’ve all decided to go down to the Mayflower for lunch.” I said, “Wait twenty minutes; I’ll go with you.” So when I went out Elliot said, “Well, gee, it’s so late; let’s go down to the railroad station.” I went and I came back and I noticed about an hour after Frankfurter and Elliot were there and they were both crying. And it turned out that apparently Elliot had decided I’d better check to see whether they’ll take Coleman and they found out they said, no, we don’t take blacks, and if they did. . . . I say this only because recently I read that in a case four years later when they were discussing that Douglas said that Frankfurter spent a lot of time talking about this, and one reason why the case that now said you can eat in here came about, and I didn’t know that but I read that in an article about a week ago.