30 Facts About Challenger Astronaut, Ronald McNair

A mob killed Frazer Baker and his infant daughter Julia in Lake City, in 1898. This is his surviving family, pictured in 1899. Wikimedia Commons

29. Lake City has a troubled race history

Lake City in the 1950s was fairly typical of a pre-Civil Rights Southern rural settlement. The city was home to segregated black and white populations. Think of what Martin Luther King Jr. fought against in the 1960s, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of life in Lake City during Ronald McNair’s childhood. Lake City’s history is peppered with racial injustice. In 1898, for example, a notorious murder took place there. A white mob burned the house of Frazier B. Baker, shooting him and his infant daughter dead when they fled. Baker’s crime? Being Lake City’s first black postmaster.

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