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Petition Succeeds in Effort to Remove Plummer Name from Auditorium

Fullerton Union High School District Superintendent Scott Scambray announced last week that they have made the decision to remove the name of Louis E. Plummer from the auditorium next week at the Board meeting on June 16. The decision was made in response to a petition started by Jacqueline Logwood that has been circulating in Fullerton in the last few weeks urging the removal of the name due to Plummer’s ties with the KKK.

“When I first saw that the petition was a success, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so proud to be a member of such a comprehensive and responsive community and I’m very thankful for all of the support I have received,” Ms. Logwood said.

Jacqueline Logwood, a Fullerton native and current student at UC Riverside, started the petition to change the name of Louis E. Plummer Auditorium because of Plummer’s active membership in the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. She learned about Plummer’s past from Maddy Marks, a friend who attends Fullerton College, who found the information on the Fullerton College Library website. Ms. Logwood decided to do something about it. “I thought, ‘This is just wrong.’ The name should be changed,” she said.

Protesters gather outside Louis E. Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton on June 6.

She posted the information on Twitter and got more responses of support than she had ever gotten on a single post. She then created the petition to change the name and emailed a “bunch of people” to spread the word. In a matter of only 3 or 4 days, over 20,000 people had signed the petition. After 23,000 signatures, she set a new goal of 25,000.  The most recent count as of Friday, June 12, was 25,292.

Ms. Logwood then emailed Fullerton High School District Superintendent Scott Scambray and he told her the petition was on the agenda and would be discussed at the School Board meeting on June 16. The announcement to remove Plummer’s name was made a week before the Board meeting. The auditorium sits on the north-west corner of Lemon and Chapman on the Fullerton Union High School campus and is owned by the high school district.

Ms. Logwood used social media to publicize this cause. “I’ve only gotten a few negative comments about changing the name, and they have been on Instagram, but mostly the responses have been very positive,” Logwood said. “Some of these comments are from people who say we shouldn’t change history, but this history has been painful to many people,” she said. “I think the key to battling ignorance is knowledge. If we do succeed in changing the name, someone suggested putting a plaque on the front of the building next to the door explaining that the name used to be Louis E. Plummer Auditorium but was changed in 2020 because of his affiliation with the KKK. That way, we don’t forget the past, we educate people.”

“This is not a new issue. It has been simmering for years but hasn’t gone anywhere. There have been other protests—but this is the time,” Logwood said.

Jacqueline Logwood grew up in Fullerton. She attended Orangethorpe Elementary, Parks Junior High, and Sunny Hills High School.  “I think I’ve always been an activist. At Sunny Hills, I started the BSU (Black Student Union), but when I left, there was no one to keep it going. Even if I hadn’t succeeded with my petition, at least I would have put the message out there,” she said.

The petition is online HERE.

The agenda item for the June 16 FJUHSD Board meeting, which will be held via Zoom at 6pm may be viewed HERE.

The agenda item states the following:

The historical record indicates that Louis Plummer was associated with the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK is known to have engaged in acts of violence and terrorism against minority populations. Louis Plummer’s association was noted in a 1979 doctoral dissertation by Christopher Cocoltchos (UCLA) entitled The Invisible Government and the Viable Community: The Ku Klux Klan in Orange County, California During the 1920s.  Cocoltchos writes, “Plummer was . . . a leader in the Myers-led Klan.” (page 288).

A facility named for someone associated with the KKK is at odds with both Board Policy 0100 (a) Philosophy and Goals and Board Policy 0145:  NONDISCRIMINATION (Educational Programs or Activities) “The Fullerton Joint Union High School District shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious background, national origin or ancestry, ethnic group identification, marital or parental status, gender, sex, age, physical or mental disability, gender preference or sexual orientation or the perception of one or more such characteristics, or economic status in the educational programs or activities which it operates for its students.”

Protesters gather outside Louis E. Plummer Auditorium on June 6.

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27 replies »

  1. That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. If we don’t realize our history we are bound to repeat it.

    • Man! The only reason they would bother to change the name of this historic landmark, most likely is so someone doesn’t burn it down. Crazy times. People are getting their way by throwing temper tantrum threats. How about tell people why it was named, “Louis E. Plummer Auditorium” in the first place? Would it be here today if it weren’t named after this man? Research that.

      • There have been no threats to the building itself, only peaceful protests. While Plummer did good things in his life, he was also fundamentally a racist by being so actively involved with the KKK. It’s time for us to honor new local heroes, ones with less troubled pasts.

        And “If we don’t realize our history we are bound to repeat it?” What are we bound to repeat here? It’s not like they are removing a war memorial or some incredible piece of local history. They are just changing the name of a high school auditorium, so its namesake doesn’t represent a racist ideology.

      • Fortunately, on the other side of the cynical view you express regarding the name changing of Plummer Auditorium, is a well-intentioned notion that building could bear another name. Names on buildings change all the time. In one era, a building could be named after one person, and in another era the citizens could decide to change the name to honor or pay tribute to another person. In addition, I would suggest that you also consider that there could be circumstances where a building name is no longer viewed with the same esteem, as in a prior era. For example USC removed the jersey of O.J. Simpson. O.J. is still a great football player of the past, but people just don’t like looking at his highlights anymore.

        Louis E. Plummer was a significant figure in Fullerton. His contributions to Fullerton College and the local school system was indeed legendary. That’s why the auditorium was named after him at the time. However, it has been documented that he was also a prominent member of the Ku Klux Klan. You may be aware, that during that time, Orange County was ruled by white supremacists who wore KKK regalia and made life generally difficult for African Americans, Mexican Americans and other non-white citizens. The schools that Louis Plummer gets credit for supporting were segregated. Indeed, schools for non-whites, were substandard on many levels such as teacher’s pay, buildings, classes, nutrition, etc. With that in mind, isn’t there a better name we could apply to the building in 2020.

        Because of the petition, more people are more aware of this issue. Is it okay to have a prominent building named after a KKK member? Every year, people enter the auditoriums. Every year people speak the name of the building maybe even millions of times per year. While it’s probably not a big deal for you, speaking the name of a Ku Klux Klan member may be a negative experience for others including African American students who perform in the auditorium each year.

        In the main, changing the name of a building doesn’t change the contributions of Louis E. Plummer. A placard or exhibit could be placed inside the building to pay tribute to those contributions and also educate students and citizens why the name may be changed.
        A discussion is being had. A decision regarding the naming of the building should be made, and the citizens will either support or oppose that decision. That’s the way democracy works. We all have opinions. Your comments are indeed valid. I respect them, and I respectfully request your consideration of the points and ideas outlined above.

    • So how much is all this going to cost? And who is going to pay for it? Maybe the person that started this petition should pay for it. This is just plain stupid. So what’s next, change the name of San Juan Capistrano Mission because of the treatment to Native Americans? This is all history. It doesn’t change any of these events.

  2. Leo Fender Auditorium has my vote. He is the man who put Fullerton on the map around the world. It’s time to give him more credit than a mural in an alley behind where his radio shop was on Harbor.

    • I totally agree. Leo Fender did as much as anyone to change the course of music. He is the Stradivarius of the 20th Century.

    • Leo has a Museum. Leo has a street. Not to mention a Brand. Leo went there a few years and had zero to do with the auditorium. Let’s honor some other very deserving people, shall we? Ones how MADE that building we’re naming, maybe?

  3. The city, county and state are nuts. We’re the laughingstock of the world. Where oh where did our history go? Some dumb people who know nothing, and our government is bowing down to them. I’m ashamed of this country. At least kids don’t have to take American history, there is none. What happened 100 years ago was 100 years ago. Get off your Duff and make your country say we changed. Those were the old days. Get over it.

    • Do you even know what happened in this country 100 years ago? One of the most important things was that women were given the right to vote. Before women could vote, there were protests, sit ins, violence, incarcerations and yes, death. Women were bred for making babies. In the case of divorce, they lost their children and had little opportunity to earn a living. Men ruled their wives. Would you like to turn back the clock?

    • So when we remove KKK members’ names from buildings or tear down Confederate statues, all of a sudden the history doesn’t exist? I’m pretty sure the books haven’t been altered. Also, kids are still taking American history. Except hopefully, now they will actually learn the truth about our racist past.

      What happened 100 years ago is still happening now. We’re still lynching black people, enslaving them with an inequitable prison system, and killing them softly with environmental injustice.

  4. More grist for the psyop do you hate white people, that makes you a racist and you’ll burn in the Lake of Fire.

  5. This is great news. History is not a fixed document, it is a living understanding of who we were, who we are now, and who we aspire to become. Let’s rename it The People’s Auditorium.

    • “History is not a fixed document . . .” history is the documentation of time. Altering historical primary documents is propaganda. Primary documentation of history is not limited to written record. It is found in statues, names on buildings, parks, churches, colleges and even sports arenas. The practice of one segment of society asserting superiority over its other members has existed since recorded time and will continue long after the name Plummer is ripped off this auditorium. “. . . living understanding of who we were. . .” what does that mean? Are you trying to say the past is subject to contemporary interpretation? Instead of a superficial erasing of deeply rooted flaws, put a permanent plaque at eye level, at the entrance to Plummer Auditorium showing Mr. Plummer’s nefarious past along with his good works. This historical document will impart to its readers the paradoxes of humanity applies to all people and should serve as warning to each individual to compare and contrast their own current motives with those of the past. So, Mr. Lewis may I expect to find you at Fullerton’s library burning “offensive books” penned in the past?

  6. I propose Plummer Auditorium be re-named The Jan and Griff Duncan Auditorium, or Duncan Auditorium. In 1972 the couple founded the Fullerton Civic Light Opera Company (FCLO) and produced live musical theatre in Plummer Auditorium for over 40 years. As residents of Fullerton, and leaders of the community, they contributed greatly to the cultural arts landscape of Orange County. FCLO became one of the top regional theatre companies in the US to produce professional theatre. The 501(c)3 continues today as the John Raitt Awards for Youth (JRAY), recognizing excellence in high school music theatre in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties by holding an awards show every year in the (Plummer) auditorium. The JRAY mission is to promote and support high school education by recognizing musical theater excellence in all performance and technical production categories, and to provide outstanding students with unique opportunities and professional exposure through the granting of awards and educational scholarships. Jan and Griff Duncan are synonymous with the Auditorium, and in my opinion are deserving of this honor.
    http://www.jrayawards.com

    • I absolutely support this renaming option. Few have done as much for the city of Fullerton and for the Auditorium itself as the Duncans. This would be a fitting way to rename the auditorium, as they were all-inclusive at all times.

  7. I signed the petition because I am against bigotry and discrimination in all its forms and against memorializing those that practice it. I was, however, unaware that Ms. Logwood had begun a Black Student Union at SHHS. I must ask, as a person of mixed Northern European ancestry, would I have been able to join? If not, why not? And was there a corresponding White Student Union? Would that have been allowed? Food for thought.

  8. Rename it DUNCAN AUDITORIUM.
    Jan and Grif Duncan left an indelible mark on the community and helped start the careers many young performers whom they treated as if they were one of their own kids.

  9. This building has really had for decades only ONE family name that should be attached to it’s longstanding legacy of semi-pro theater in North Orange County: DUNCAN. That should be the name of THIS building PEROID! They MADE that theater! They were why it got a new sound system and upgrades. They nurtured future stars there. There own kids went there. Yes, there are others from the area and others who attended, but there is ONE name that rises far above the rest: I vote for the Jan and Grif Duncan Auditorium

  10. Quote by Golda Meir…”One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”

  11. Stop! Just Stop! Enough already. Just because you can erase history on a computer to hide what makes you feel bad doesn’t mean you should do this in real life. The antidote is love. You want change? Ve the change! Love people. All people. If you hate anyone, even just one person… YOU are part of the problem… Not the solution. Apparently, they didn’t teach Martin Luther King Jr. in History class. This is societal destruction for the sake of destruction. MLK jr. Is rolling in his grave.

  12. Reading these comments softens me to change the name of the auditorium. Duncan Auditorium gets my vote (so far) for their contribution to education and the community for so long. I really appreciated Hilda’s response today:

    “Instead of a superficial erasing of deeply rooted flaws, put a permanent plaque at eye level, at the entrance to Plummer Auditorium showing Mr. Plummer’s nefarious past along with his good works. This historical document will impart to its readers the paradoxes of humanity applies to all people and should serve as warning to each individual to compare and contrast their own current motives with those of the past.”

    I believe a plaque should be a condition of the name change.

  13. The scariest part about this whole thing is that there is NOT one piece of valid evidence that the supposed KKK list even is real. There are tons of names put on this list and it does not mean it’s in fact real. Anaheim Heritage Center worked with the City of Brea 3 years ago and found that there was no evidence this list was in fact even a KKK member list. The Anaheim Heritage society thinks it may have been given to them by the City Attorneys Office many years ago. However, they aren’t, sure. An article in the newspaper (Santa Ana Register-Historical name) cites how there was this big political move, which questioned the authenticity of the list at the time. The City Attorney’s Office began publishing names of supposed members within elected offices to call out their roles. However, it stopped when some spoke out that it was untrue ( Stevenson).

    This is tricky, a list from the City Attorney’s Office at the time was produced to unveil not to right wrongs but because there were political gains. Again, the list may or may not be valid. As they say “ dead men tell no tales.” This is a very sad truth. Louis E. Plummer’s name has no case for defamation now that he is dead.

    Let that sink in….once a person is dead…you can accuse them of whatever you want and it’s up to society as to what history we believe.

    Louis E. Plummer has interesting elements to his life. He was not without public scandals. The historical facts show that he was brought in to testify to a Grand Jury in 1920s involving a home made wine scandal involving a lively character, Coach Smith. Louis E. Plummer was brought again in 1940 to the Grand Jury along with several others on the District Board involving an investigation into the issuing of contracts and the District underwent a larger scope of examining. After more than 10 months, the Grand Jury did not find any criminal wrong doing and instead made recommendations for change. This is all in the historic newspaper archives on news published at the time.

    Louis E. Plummer was very active in the start of Kiwanis, YMCA, and served on national education boards.

    None of that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a KKK member at one time. It doesn’t even mean his name is worth keeping on the building or not.

    Around 1940 the CWA mural on the Plummer Auditorium was painted over because it was deemed to be “grotesque” and “not representing the community.” Those are from District Board at the time. It was covered until 1997. Many do not know that story. I do not know who actually supported that covering. I have not done enough research to know how Louis Plummer himself felt about it. Those are things that take further time and digging.

    Finding out who a person truly was before slapping a label upon them is important. We did not do that in this case and yet we stand for the removal saying that this person judged others.

    The conclusion of membership was reached quickly to avoid a true intellectual discussion.

  14. It sure seems like we are rushing to change the name, while the political iron is hot.” From what it sounds like, the facts are vague at best as to whether Plummer was a member of the KKK, and whether the list is real. Maybe slow down, do some serious research and some additional resident comment…. unless you (the school board) just want to use this name change as some political advantage during this ground swell of pro BLM sentiment. As a graduate of FUHS, I was sad to hear that the Willie Ugh mascot was changed because of similar political sentiments involving Native Americans. It was changed to make a small group happy, and erases all the good and favorable feelings we had for the Indian people. Whoever they name the auditorium for in the future, they better do an exhaustive check of yearbooks and social media for fear that some nugget of negativity gets used to change it again. Cancel culture is cancelling history and we will likely repeat it, it’s what we do.

  15. imaginesomebodylike you identifies a very scary trend in American society. It is called Kafkatrapping named for the author Franz Kafka who wrote The Trial. This book concerns an innocent man who is accused of a crime that he is unaware of and can’t defend himself because the accusation originates from a logical fallacy.
    The popular victim ideologies accuses a person(Plummer) or a segment of society based on their superficial characteristics of committing thought crimes. Victim ideologists don’t need evidence to prove someone has committed a crime.
    The name Plummer is removed from an auditorium in Fullerton because he was a white man, living in Fullerton and was active as an educator from the 1910’s to the 1940’s. There is no primary document that proves Plummer was a member of the KKK or that he harmed anyone based on their race, ethnicity, religious affiliation and or sexual orientation. This lack of proof is an irrelevant detail to the victim ideologists. Mr. Plummer was a white man living in a time and place that held racist beliefs about people of color therefore he had racist thoughts so, his name must be removed from the auditorium.
    History, not victim ideology propaganda, will never record Mr. Plummer as a racist due to lack of evidence and the fact that he has been dead for quite awhile and can’t defend himself from the accusations of having racist thoughts.

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