Divine Lorraine Hotel Marker. Another Spectacular Event in Pennsylvania History.




Divine Lorraine HotelThe Divine Lorraine Hotel




This hotel is but one of the 6 Divine Hotels that accomplished the wonderful goal of abolishing here in the United States the Hotel Systems' tightly organized policy of segregation that existed throughout these United States.



On September 11, 1994, an Official State Historical Marker was unveiled at the Divine Lorraine Hotel, Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, thereby weaving into the tapestry of History yet another spectacular event in not only Peace Mission annals, but also in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia history.






Official State Historical Marker
Erected at Divine Lorraine Hotel

The Divine Lorraine Hotel Historic Marker



The Marker was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and by Dr. Bernard Watson and the William Penn Foundation. The FATHER DIVINE Peace Mission Movement was deeply proud to also sponsor this significant Marker.

There are hundreds of these handsome Markers all over the State. They are done on both sides with raised gold letters. They are 27 inches wide by 41 inches high, and are mounted on a post well above the heads of people passing by.

At 2 p.m. on this brilliantly sunny Sunday afternoon, a great crowd had gathered at the steps to the front entrance of the Divine Lorraine Hotel. At the top of the steps stood MOTHER DIVINE and the other dignitaries who were to speak.

The announcer, with great enthusiasm drew the attention of all as he said, "City Officials, State Officials, Foundation Presidents I give you MOTHER DIVINE" and the ceremony began. The Star Spangled Banner was sung. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was given.

MOTHER DIVINE opened the ceremony by saying "Peace" to FATHER DIVINE and to everyone present, and went on to introduce Mr. Charles L. Blockson, Curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection at Temple University. He realized many months ago the need for the State to erect this Marker to honor FATHER DIVINE. It was the inspiration of Mr. Blockson which, after his long and laborious efforts, eventually caused the Marker to be fabricated and installed. Mr. Blockson stated that it was through the interest of the William Penn Foundation that funds for this Marker were made available.

He went on to say:

'I am old enough to remember being a product of the depression, . . . when FATHER DIVINE was all we had. Even when the politicians, even when other people, even when the Government did not have programs, FATHER DIVINE said 'Come.'
It appalls me that so many people who benefited through the efforts of this Great Humanitarian have forgotten. But we haven't forgotten HIM today, and a hundred years from now, this Marker will tell His legacy.'

Vigorous applause sanctioned this remark.

Next to speak was our State Representative, James R. Roebuck, Jr., who represented the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He was there to officially observe the unveiling of the Marker.

Representing the City of Philadelphia was Charles Cuffeld, President Judge of the Philadelphia Traffic Court, who is a long time friend of the Peace Mission. He said that the FATHER DIVINE story is just beginning. He observed that FATHER DIVINE has touched lives in many nations other than the United States, and that in almost every corner of the earth, someone has been touched by FATHER'S Blessings. He stated,

'I stand as a shining example of those who have come out of blighted neighborhoods such as you see here and moved on to far better things in life. It's only because we've had FATHER'S Blessings.'

In continuing, he said that from depression days, even until the more prosperous present day, people still reach for FATHER DIVINE'S Blessings. He expressed a hope that FATHER DIVINE'S Message will be forever.

Mrs. Susan Stitt brought greetings from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She is the President of this highly respected Society. She stated that in the Library and Archives of the Society are materials on FATHER DIVINE, so that the story of the Peace Mission will be preserved here in Philadelphia. The Mayor of Philadelphia, Edward Rendell, is a friend of the Peace Mission who understands the great Work of FATHER DIVINE in this city. He sent his Special Assistant, Thomas Carter. Jr., to the ceremony in lieu of himself.

Another City Official, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, said that it was an honor for her to be there with MOTHER DIVINE to mark the long overdue occasion.

Still another high City Official, Mr. John F. Street, President of City Council, could not attend, but wrote a letter to MOTHER DIVINE, stating that FATHER DIVINE more than merits the Marker.

The Marker had been covered with a hood, but at this point, MOTHER DIVINE and Mr. Roebuck walked to the Marker, and they pulled the hood away from the handsome Marker, revealing its deep blue background and raised gold letters. Immediately loud cheers and hearty applause indicated the unanimous approval of the joyous, appreciative crowd.

Then the followers of FATHER DIVINE burst into spirited song. Several songs were sung "FATHER DIVINE, Your Work We Crown,"
'We Are Proud Of Our FATHER For The Work HE Has Done,"
'This Building Is Dedicated To Righteousness
The Divine Lorraine Hotel With Open Door," and
'We The True Americans Salute The Most Noble American."

MOTHER DIVINE opened Her remarks by saying that "What FATHER DIVINE did was a phenomenon. It hadn't been done before, and it hasn't been done since!" SHE went on to say,

'FATHER DIVINE was about bringing about the Universal Brotherhood of Man under the Fathership of GOD. HE was about basing our lives on the Life and Teachings of Jesus the CHRIST, and HE was about an economic Plan that would bring success and prosperity to everyone who put it forth in their lives.'

SHE also said that as many as 300 followers from all walks of life and from many countries who had been magnetically drawn to FATHER DIVINE'S Teaching, purchased the Divine Lorraine Hotel in 1948.

'They were willing to consecrate and dedicate their lives to these Principles that FATHER DIVINE had exemplified HIMSELF Personally for them and to them, that what HE advocated would go on, and be a blessing to all humanity, even as they had been blessed.'

Countless numbers of people have passed through the doors of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, and they have been lifted in one way or another, but the Divine Lorraine Hotel is only one facet of the great Work and Mission of FATHER DIVINE. MOTHER DIVINE exclaimed:

'If the United States of America would just honor FATHER DIVINE as a True American and as Someone Who really represented the Principles of True Americanism, things would be much different in this world today!'

This remark drew enthusiastic, extended applause from the proud, happy crowd. Followers do not steal or commit vice and crime. They pay cash for everything, be it a handkerchief or a ten story hotel. They do not borrow or take out loans nor accept any government grants. Neither do they purchase insurance of any type.

MOTHER DIVINE concluded by saying:

'I AM glad that the Divine Lorraine Hotel stands today, and has a hope of continuing to be a blessing in the future. And this Marker is here so that the younger generation can consider what FATHER DIVINE means to the people, has meant, and is still meaning today. The Truth has not been told about FATHER DIVINE because FATHER was for the people, and HE was not for graft and greed and speculation and selfishness. So we are indeed honored and privileged to be here to show our appreciation to FATHER DIVINE for His Great Work and Mission, and His Sacrifice to bring about a better world for all mankind.'

This was a memorable day for all the citizens of Philadelphia to consider. The Marker will stand for generations to come to make it known to the world that FATHER DIVINE came to save the people through His humanitarian Work.

Mr. Blockson held a little girl up to look at the Marker a prophetic act that ensures that the incredible accomplishments of FATHER DIVINE during these many years since 1919 will be taught to the youth of today and tomorrow so that they will realize that such a great Person exists and that in His Teachings is the solution to the woes of the world.