Bill and Daisy Myers were a young black couple with three small children when they moved into Levittown in Pennsylvania. They both were college graduates and were looking for a quiet and peaceful area to raise their children. Little did they know the area they purchased their home was for ‘whites’ only.
On August 13, 1957, Levittown’s mailman, after learning the identity of the Myers, walked the neighborhood shouting “It’s happened (blacks) (mailman used the ‘N” word) have moved into Levittown!”
After hearing the news, groups of housewives gathered across the street from the Myers to torture the young couple by spitting, cursing, and using foul language against them. Before nightfall, over 300 townspeople had formed to throw rocks and smash the windows of the home. However, the torturous act didn’t stop there. The crowds came every night thereafter. The Myers received death threats daily and eight crosses were left burning on their lawn and one on the lawn of their neighbors, who had defended the Myers.
To force the Myers out of their home and town, the Levittown Betterment Committee was formed. Supposedly the group wanted a peaceful departure for the Myer’s but if that didn’t work, other “options” were to consider, the group’s leader ominously warned. The Ku Klux Klan organized a Klavern in town. Although the Police Chief John R. Stewart would have Bill Myers believing he was working for the good of his family, he had the townspeople believing Myers was a communist.
Discovered in bushes near the bedroom of the Myers’ youngest child, who was only two months at the time, were bottles filled with gasoline and topped with cotton wicks. The family fled their home three times within the first two weeks.
Keeping a close eye on what had been happening in Levittown, the governor at the time, George Leader, sent the state police to restore order and to give the Myers protection from the townspeople. The Myers moved in 1961 and received a public apology in 1999 from the Bristol Township.