Walter Pierce Ontario Lakers Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
ACMA.06-104
Creators:
Pierce, Walter C, 1946-1991
Dates:
1960-2000
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
2.42 Linear feet
2 boxes: 2.42 linear feet
Repository:
Walter C. Pierce (1946-1991) was a civic leader and founder of the Ontario Lakers Youth Organization in Washington, DC. The collection includes correspondence, certificates, flyers, proposals, newspaper clippings, political posters, city council resolutions, basketball tournament programs, and other items documenting Pierce's activism and activities of the Ontario Lakers.

Historical
Historical
The Ontario Lakers Youth organization was founded in 1964 by Walter C. Pierce (1946-1991) and his brother Ronald, in the Adams Morgan section of Washington, DC. Walter created the organization to provide the local youth with recreation and jobs. Youths from Adams Morgan joined the club's football, baseball, and basketball teams and competed against other teams throughout the city. The strength of their programs led to the creation of the Ghetto Invitational, a citywide basketball tournament. In addition to sports, members of the Ontario Lakers created a community garden, hosted community dances, participated in activities ranging from kung fu to tie-dye, took field trips around the region, and performed yard work and sold Christmas trees to raise fund for their activities.
Much of the Ontario Lakers programming took place at the Community Park West. This park was once a lot owned by a developer who planned to erect a luxury apartment building on the site. The land's history as a burial ground prevented initial building construction; in the interim, Pierce organized neighborhood youth to clear the lot and transform the space into a much-needed community park. This instigated a multi-year legal battle with developers, historic groups, and Congress before the lot was ultimately designated a public park in 1978.
Mr. Pierce was involved in numerous civic activities and served as the chairman of the Adams Morgan Organization (AMO). Prior to his untimely death in 1991; Walter C. Pierce was recognized by several organizations, including the Washington, D.C. City Council, for his dedicated service to the community. After his death, the large and heavily used green space that he helped to turn into a public park was renamed Walter Pierce Park, in his honor.

Notes
Oral History Interview with Ronald and Mary Pierce
Ghetto Invitational Championship Trophy

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Conditions Governing Use
The Walter Pierce Ontario Lakers collection are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Preferred Citation
The Walter Pierce Ontario Lakers collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of the Pierce Family.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Adams Morgan (Washington, D.C.) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Youth groups Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fliers (printed matter) Genre_form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Certificates -- 20th century Genre_form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grant Proposals Genre_form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Political posters Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Activists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newspaper clippings Genre_form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Basketball teams Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parks -- Washington (D.C.) Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
District of Columbia. Department of Recreation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
ACMArchives@si.edu
http://www.anacostia.si.edu/Collections/ArchiveCollection