Samuel Snipes, 99, Dies; Lawyer for First Black Family in Levittown, Pa.
Samuel Snipes, a white attorney who held off a mob of protesters whilst representing the primary black circle of relatives to transport into the all-white building of Levittown, Pa., died on Dec. 31 at his circle of relatives farm in Morrisville, Pa. He used to be 99.
His circle of relatives showed his demise.
Mr. Snipes represented Daisy and Bill Myers after they and their 3 small children moved into Levittown in 1957. He treated the remaining at the house acquire and knowledgeable the police that an African-American circle of relatives can be transferring into the advance, figuring out that controversy would apply, stated David Kushner, the writer of the 2009 e-book “Levittown,” which explored the circle of relatives’s ordeal.
“He felt they had every right to live there,” Mr. Kushner stated.
The Myers circle of relatives’s arrival on Aug. 13, 1957, sparked weeks of unrest, harassment and move burnings. Threats have been made by way of telephone, by way of mail and by way of screaming, spitting protesters outdoor the circle of relatives’s house. At one level, Mr. Snipes held off a mob till the police arrived.
In an interview with The Associated Press in 1999, Mr. Snipes recalled status outdoor the home as a crowd of a number of hundred known as him a betrayer of white other folks. He stated the mob chanted, “Thirty pieces of silver,” a connection with the quantity Judas Iscariot used to be supposedly paid to betray Jesus.
The governor of Pennsylvania ordered in the state police, and the Myerses stood their flooring, ultimate in the house till 1961.
When Levittown used to be underneath building from 1952 to 1957, its builder, William J. Levitt, known as it “the most perfectly planned community in America.” Its 17,311 homes would sprawl over 8 sq. miles, that includes yards and commonplace spaces.
But as used to be the case together with his Levittown tasks in Nassau County, N.Y., and later in New Jersey, Mr. Levitt refused to promote to black other folks. He defended the follow as a trade determination.
Recent census estimates put the Pennsylvania Levittown’s black inhabitants at lower than four %.
Mr. Snipes used to be a Quaker peace activist and a conscientious objector all through World War II. After the conflict, he labored for the United Nations in Germany, serving to to relocate refugees and escorting trainloads of displaced other folks getting back from ghettos and focus camps to their houses in Poland and Hungary thru Russian strains, in step with his youngsters, Jonathan Snipes and Susan Snipes-Wells.
They continue to exist him, as do his spouse, Marion Smith Snipes; 3 different youngsters; 9 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren. His spouse of 51 years, Barbara Taylor Snipes, died in 2001.
Samuel Moon Snipes used to be born on Aug. 15, 1919, in Morrisville, to Edgar and Jane (Moon) Snipes. He graduated from Temple Law School in 1953 and practiced legislation in Yardley, Pa., for 60 years, specializing in property making plans and civil legislation. In 1967, he represented shoppers opposing the Centennial School District’s distribution of Bibles to scholars. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dominated in opposition to the district.
As Falls Township solicitor in 1972, Mr. Snipes thwarted an try to construct a nuclear energy plant on an island in the Delaware River, throughout from Pennsbury Manor, the summer season house of William Penn.