History of Montgomery County

History of MGC 1800 – 1899

  • 1860


    A free Montgomery County Public School system was established for white children. In 1872, a segregated Montgomery County Public School system began.

  • 1902


    Silver Springs enacted more than 50 racially restrictive covenants that prohibited owning or renting “the whole or any part of any dwelling or structure thereon, to any person of African descent” between 1902-1948.

  • 1921


    Colonel Edward Brooke Lee, Maryland politician and Montgomery County private developer, attached racially restrictive covenants to all his suburban properties. These prohibited African-Americans from buying or renting homes in the subdivisions unless they were domestic servants.

  • 1927


    The first county secondary school for African-American students, Rockville Colored High School, opened for students in Grades 8-11. Prior to this, students who wanted to continue their education beyond Grade 7 had to go to another jurisdiction.

  • 1937


    The Montgomery County Board of Education agreed to abolish the practice of paying lower salaries to African-American teachers than to white teachers and equalized the length of the school year for African-American and white schools.

  • 1954


    The Montgomery County Public School system began to desegregate. In 1955, the Montgomery County Board of Education adopted an integration policy.

  • Early 1960s

    Community Organizing

    The NAACP Montgomery County Chapter boycotted two Rockville restaurants that refused to serve African-Americans. The Montgomery County Council formed a “Council on Human Rights” which addressed cases of discrimination in response to a petition from concerned citizens.

  • 1961

    Racial Desegregation

    Glen Echo Park was desegregated.

  • 1962

    Racial and Religious Discrimination

    Montgomery County Council outlawed racial and religious discrimination in places of public accommodations, the first Maryland county to prohibit discrimination in public places and two years ahead of the federal government.

  • 1966


    The Action Coordinating Committee to End Segregation in the Suburbs protested against segregated apartment complexes around the Beltway.


  • 1967


    Montgomery County passed an open housing law which outlawed discrimination in the sale or rental of all housing, except owner-occupied housing of two rented units or less.

  • 1968


    Montgomery County Council passed a new open housing law. Federal authorities stated that it was “the most comprehensive fair housing measure in the United States”, stronger than the recently enacted federal legislation against housing discrimination.

  • 1974


    Montgomery County established the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program, which pioneered inclusionary zoning practices by requiring any developer applying for subdivision approval, site plan approval, or building permits for construction of 50 or more dwelling units at one location to ensure that 15% of the units were MPDUs.

  • 1990s

    Immigrant Communities

    Montgomery County affirmed that it is not a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.

  • 1990s

    Immigrant Communities

    Montgomery County Police Department affirmed its policy of not inquiring about the immigration status of citizens nor conducting immigration enforcement or investigations.

  • 2004


    Montgomery County launched the Montgomery Cares program, which included a network of community-based health care providers that provided medical care to uninsured adults in the county.

  • 2009

    Social Services

    Montgomery County transformed the social service eligibility systems to be centered at the neighborhood level and included the formation of Neighborhood Opportunity Networks.

  • 2013


    Montgomery County Council increased the county’s Working Families Income Supplement for low-income households to 90 percent of the Maryland refundable credit beginning in Fiscal Year 2015, 95 percent in FY16, and 100 percent in FY17 and beyond.

  • 2013

    Minimum Wage

    The District of Columbia, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County raised the minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017.

  • 2017

    Minimum Wage

    Montgomery County approved a $15 minimum wage effective 2021.



  • Brack, David. “Twenty Years of Civil Rights Progress.” Montgomery County Maryland Government, Human Rights, 29 June 2010.
  • Rotenstein, David S. “Protesting Invisibility in Silver Spring, Maryland.” The Activist History Review. Editorial Board, 23 June 2017.
  • Rotenstein, David. “Montgomery County Needs to Reckon with Its History of Discriminatory Housing Practices.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 03 Mar. 2017.
  • Rotenstein, David S. “Is Montgomery County Planning Tainted by Racism?” History Sidebar, 08 May 2017.
  • “40 Years Ago: Montgomery County, Maryland Pioneers Inclusionary Zoning.” National Low Income Housing Coalition. 06 Oct. 2014.
  • Tegeler, Philip, ed. “Finding Common Ground: Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Promote Integration.” Poverty & Race Research Action Council, Oct. 2011.
  • “Montgomery County’s Position on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” Montgomery County, MD311 – Answering to you.
  • “Historical Chronology.” Montgomery County, Maryland. Maryland State Archives.
  • “History of Carver.” Montgomery County Public Schools.
  • Austermuhle, Martin. “Minimum Wage Set To Go Up In D.C. And Montgomery County, But Regional Efforts for $15 Remain Divided.” WAMU. 30 June 2017.
  • Staff Writer. “Council Approves Working Families Income Supplement Bill.” Blog Post. Montgomery Community Media. 29 Oct. 2013.
  • Siegel, Rachel. “Montgomery County Council Unanimously Approves $15 Minimum Wage.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 07 Nov. 2017.
  • “Montgomery Cares (Medical Care for Uninsured Adults).” Montgomery County Maryland, Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Kelly, John. “‘I Feel as If I Own This Road’: A Civil Rights Figure Who Was in It for the Long Haul.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 11 Oct. 2016.
  • “About” Communities United Against Hate – Montgomery County.