Maceo H. Turner

Marker is located on Northeast corner of New York and Atlantic Avenues.

Marker text:

Atlantic City native, Maceo Turner was a prominent black Attorney, war hero and civil rights moderate. He earned his B.S. Degree from Virginia State College in 1939. He served with the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945, rising from Private to Captain. Mr. Turner commanded a Chemical Smoke Unit for the Third Army. Laying a smoke screen, while exhausted and under heavy enemy fire, Turner earned the Silver Star for gallantry. He received his Law degree from Howard University and began his practice in 1951. While attending college, Mr. Turner belonged to the U.S. Capital Police Force. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1956 and served as an Atlantic City Municipal Court Judge in 1960. Turner led a march to Trenton in the 1960's to stop a trespass bill which he felt was discriminatory. He also served on the boards of numerous legal, civic, religious, educational, political and social organizations.

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Additional information:

Maceo Turner was born in Greenville, South Carolina, and moved to Atlantic City at the age of four. He graduated from Atlantic City High School, and enlisted in the US Army following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. After only 32 months in the Army, he had achieved the rank of Captain. Turner was one of the founding members of the local NAACP branch in Atlantic City, and organized marches both locally and in the state's capital even before the Civil Rights movement became widespread. He served as President of this NAACP branch for 2.5 years, during which time he was said to reject "extreme or violent policies" and instead had a "quiet and proud determination to work for long-denied rights within the framework of the American Constitution." Turner's legal background helped him during the fight for Civil Rights, and he was quoted on the struggle as saying that "the Civil Rights fight is not a black versus white fight as much as it is right thinking versus wrong thinking: justice versus injustice." Turner also became the first black man in this area to serve as a Municipal Court Judge, and was was a board trustee of the St. James AME Church, the Atlantic City Board of Trade, and the YMCA and YWCA.


For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Atlantic City Press article
AC Crusader, article from May 11, 1968
Johnson, Nelson: The Northside

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