During the 1960s and 1970s, Cookeville, Tennessee only had three bars, but John's Place stood out as the city's first fully integrated establishment, where people from all walks of life were welcomed with open arms. Visitors could enjoy a refreshing beer, indulge in a famous John Dog, and socialize with a diverse group of patrons.
To capture the essence of this beloved Cookeville hotspot, WCTE set up at the bar and interviewed customers, friends, and family for their documentary, Everybody's Welcome at John's Place.
Larry Schreiber is spearheading a fundraising campaign to honor the memory of John "Shakey" McClellan by creating a named space in the Football Operations Center, with a goal of raising $250,000.
Shakey was a beloved figure in Cookeville, where he managed John's Place, the city's first fully integrated establishment, and supported Tech Athletics.
In this exclusive interview, Becky Magura has the pleasure of sitting down with Mary Alice Peake McClellan, the remarkable owner of John's Place, the first fully integrated establishment in Cookeville, TN. Mary Alice's life story is one of resilience, determination, and a commitment to promoting racial equality.
Growing up in Cookeville during the civil rights movement was not easy for Mary Alice. She experienced firsthand the effects of segregation and witnessed the struggle for equal rights. However, she was determined to make a difference in her community and be a catalyst for change. Mary Alice became actively involved in the civil rights movement and worked tirelessly to promote integration.
April 20, 2016