Carol and Laura Thomas were considered civil rights pioneers in Reston. They moved to the then-new development in the mid-1960s, after reading about the first inclusive community in Virginia.
Carol, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency's Civil Rights Division and later Secretary of the FTC, and Laura, a longtime educator, were among the first black families to move to Reston. They are still here, enjoying retirement in their Reston Town Center high rise. Son, Paul, the youngest of their three children, is also raising his family here.
The Thomases also recently recalled their experience at the 1963 March on Washington in a story for The Fairfax Times. Aug. 24 marks the 50th anniversary of the large civil rights gathering led by the late Martin Luther King Jr.
“People were coming from all over," Laura Thomas told the Times. "People were coming in by busloads… It was the biggest thing that had happened in Washington that I remember.”