Museum opening hours: Tuesday, Friday & Saturday 1 - 4 pm



Waverly Yates was born in Brunswick County, VA, in 1935, and started his schooling at Good Hope Elementary School.  He continued his education at James Solomon Russell High School, where he was a basketball star on the championship team of 1951-52 (SIAA-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association).  He was also a band member where he served as the drum major.  After graduating in 1954, he joined the USAF and was sent to Sampson Air Force Base at Geneva, NY, where he graduated as a lieutenant specializing in radio technology.  From there he attended flight school at Lockbourne Air Force Base at Columbus, OH, and was assigned to the 26th Reconnaissance Wing Division.  He was then stationed in France with the 388th Fighter Bomb Wing.  In 1958, he was involved in an airplane crash, landing with minor injuries.  Afterward, he was nominated for the USAF Academy; however, he elected to attend the University of Maryland instead.

While attending UM in 1960, he got involved in the civil rights movement and joined the national organization CORE (Congress of Racial Equality).  Soon after, he became the NE Regional Director, and was involved in and oversaw numerous civil rights activities. Yates believed in and fought for the preservation of neighborhood schools and racial equality during the school integration era.  At the same time, he was heavily involved in his high school alma mater, speaking and donating to his class of 1954.

Over the years, he was constantly speaking, lecturing and organizing all over the country.  His honors and activities included: National President-CORE; Chair, DC & LA Board on White Collar Crime; National President of the Council of White-Collar Crime; Council Member of the Dept. of Justice Conference on Crime; President-Bonabond Inc.; lectures at Howard University, American University, DC Ethical Society, US Senate, National Council to Black American Students, DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Board and Board member of the Community Council for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Mr. Yates relaxed from some of his activities, became a minister of God’s word, and began to spend more time with his family and community.