Traveling with Twain

In Search of America's Identity

Maitre d’ bans us from dining room for wearing jeans

Before our interview of William A. Davis, Jr., president of Davis Property Ventures, Inc., he kindly invited the three of us to his club, the University Club of Washington, D.C., for breakfast. Upon entering the Taft dining room we were informed by the maître d’hotel that one of us was not dressed in accordance with the club’s dress code: “creased slacks (no denims).” We could not enter. Davis led us out of the club to a nearby hotel, saying that not too long ago he, as an African-American, would not have been allowed to enter. The club’s official online history says nothing about the admission of blacks, but it does refer to the admission of women in the 1980s, which ended, alas, “nude sunbathing on the deck.” For a snippet from our interview of Davis, see Dan Tham’s video.

Loren Ghiglione

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