Retro Charlotte

Housewives’ Revolt

“Family Pickets A & P on Park Avenue: Mrs. Curtis H. Mills of 2821 Wilmount Road, her daughters Deborah, 8, Teresa, 3, and son, Derwood, 6, march for lower prices.” Oct. 28, 1966
“Family Pickets A & P on Park Avenue: Mrs. Curtis H. Mills of 2821 Wilmount Road, her daughters Deborah, 8, Teresa, 3, and son, Derwood, 6, march for lower prices.” Oct. 28, 1966 The Charlotte Observer

October, 1966: anger over high food prices bubbled up across the country and became a national movement - and Charlotte housewives rallied for the cause!

From the Charlotte Observer, October 30, 1966

Small Bands of Marchers Get Support

‘Mad Mothers’ Picketing Cheered, But Trade Goes On

Charlotte’s “mad mothers” got sparkling blue skies and shouts of encouragement from passers-by Saturday to make up for their small numbers as they picketed local supermarkets for lower food prices.

“You’d be surprised at the number or people who clap,” said Mrs. David Sanders as she and her daughter marched in front of the Harris-Teeter market at Central Avenue and The Plaza. “Some of them would feel foolish to get out and walk, I did at first.”

Her daughter’s sign read, “Break the Ice - Cut the Price” and Mrs. Sanders warned her to follow “the rules” and stay 15 feet away.

Mrs. Sanders said that a policeman had sat in his car and stared at the group for a while in the morning, then had driven off when her husband got out a camera. That was the only “labor disturbance” seen Saturday, except for a yapping match between a picketer’s dog and one in a passing car near the A&P on E. Park Ave.

Housewives at all the stores felt that doing without trading stamps, gimmicks and fun-tests would mean lower prices, although store managers deny it.

Women who had crossed the lines to shop said they were in sympathy with the picketers. “I think it’s a good idea,” said one woman. “I hope they can do it. But I’ve got a lot of kids and we’ve got to eat.”

Another woman said she thought the picketing wouldn’t do any good, and the manager said business was “all right,” although you couldn’t know until the registers were added up. “It could be a lot of small orders.”

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