Noel Agler Day
College Athlete, Woodsman, and Activist
Dartmouth College A.B.
Class of 1953
Born 1933 New York NY
Died 1995 San Francisco CA
Quotes from Biographical Sources
Noel A. Day, Independent candidate and first Negro ever to run for U.S. Congress from Boston's Congressional District Nine, was born Doc. 25, 1933 in New York City. His father was a school teacher in the New York City public schools, and his mother an active community and church worker as well as housewife. His maternal grandfather, Frederick R. Moore, was an escaped slave who learned to read and became a newspaper publisher (The New York Age), alderman, friend of Sin. Robert Taft and Mayors Walker and Laguardia, philanthropist, and unofficial "mayor" of Harlem. A New York public school is named after him.
Day attended the N. Y, City public schools and graduated from Evander Childs High School where he played football and basketball and was a member of the swimming and track teams. He was the first Evander graduate to be admitted to Dartmouth College, which he entered at the age of 15. A football injury there caused Day to become interested in the Dartmouth Outing Club, whose championship Woodsmen's Team in 1952 and 1953 brought him national sports recognition. He was also holder of the Inter-collegiate bait casting record at that time. During his college years Day worked as construction worker, road builder and lumberjack.
Graduating in 1953 with a major in psychology, he enrolled for graduate studies at the College of the City of New York (CCNY), after which he taught public school in New York's Harlem district from 1955-1958, also serving as grade advisor and guidance counselor. He played a key role in organizing the Teachers Union of the school. After classes he worked afternoons for the Community Center program of the Bureau of Community Education and evenings as a street gang worker for the N. Y. City Youth Board, an assignment he received shortly after a boy had been fatally injured in a gang fight. From 1958-61 he was Program Director of the United Community Center in Brooklyn, an inter-racial agency founded by neighborhood women in a Jewish community in Flatbush and East New York.
Day came to Boston in 1961 as Director of St. Mark Social Center, a Roxbury settlement house. In this capacity he plans community programs and works closely with both children and their families, mothers receiving Aid to Dependent Children help, Golden Agers, the poverty stricken. As a social planning consultant, he has organized programs for slum areas and his advice has been sought on housing and the "War on Poverty." Day is co-chairman of the Massachusetts Freedom Movement and served as co-director of Boston's 1963 and 1964. Freedom Stay-outs, which were sponsored by the Movement in reaction to de facto segregation in the Boston public schools. The June 1963 Stay-out was the first in the North. At this time Day, together with an Episcopal priest, conceived the idea of Freedom Schools, which have since been imitated throughout the country and which will be an important feature of the education and action program in Mississippi this summer.
He is vice-chairman of the Mass. Committee on Discrimination in Housing and a member of the Mass. Advisory Committee to the U. S. Civil Rights Commission. Since 1959 he has participated in many peace marches and vigils focusing on the need to end the arms race or face the alternative threat of world destruction. Day is National Consultant for the Northern Student Movement (NSM) and member of: Advisory Committee, Boston Friends of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); Advisory Committee, Mass. Political Action for Peace (PAX); Advisory Committee, Boston Chapter, American Association for the United Nations; Community Relations Committee, American Friends Service Committee; and Executive Committee, Civil Liberties Union of Mass.
Mrs. Day, the former Margaret Dammond, has been a participant in the White House Conference on Children and Youth, SNCC field staff-voter registration worker in Albany, Georgia, and Harlem youth worker. She is the grand-niece of Monroe Trotter, publisher and editor of the popular Negro newspaper, the Boston Guardian. now no longer published. The Days have and 8-year old son, Noel, Jr.
Lipsky, Michael. Noel A. Day campaign, 1964. Michael Lipsky and David J. Olson Papers, 1935-1981, (Z: Accessions, M96-024, Box 1, Folder 12). Washington Historical Society. Retrieved from http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15932coll2/id/2759
Profile image source: Dartmouth Aegis 1953