Dale Gibson was a long-time resident of South Bend, and a teacher at Adams and the former LaSalle High School.
As a white man, he neither experienced nor recognized the segregation happening in South Bend. In college, an attempt to bring a Black friend to a local swimming pool sparked a life-long interest in the anti-war and racial justice movements.
Dale was actively involved with South Bend’s First Unitarian Church. In the 1960s, they were vocal against the war in Vietnam and in favor of African American equality. It’s likely that outspokenness provoked someone to bomb the church in 1968.
Dale wrote an in-depth history of the 1968 Unitarian Church bombing: https://www.uua.org/midamerica/history/vignettes/history-vignette-6-first-unitarian-church-south-bend
In 2003, David Healey from the Civil Rights Heritage Center sat down with Dale. They talked about Dale’s early remembrance of South Bend, how that incident in college affected him, and how that led to a life devoted to the First Unitarian Church, childhood education, and the fight for justice.
Want to learn more about South Bend’s history? View the photographs and documents that helped create it. Visit Michiana Memory at http://michianamemory.sjcpl.org/.
Title music, “History Explains Itself,” from Josh Spacek. Visit his page on the Free Music Archive, http://www.freemusicarchive.org/.