On 21 August 1939, five young African American men applied for library cards at the new Alexandria Library to protest its whites-only policy. After being denied, William Evans, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray, Clarence Strange, and Otto L. Tucker each selected a book from the shelves, sat down, and read quietly. The men were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct despite their polite demeanor. Local attorney Samuel W. Tucker, who helped plan the protest, represented them in court. The judge never issued a ruling. In 1940, Alexandria opened the Robert Robinson Library for African Americans. Desegregation of the library system began by 1959.