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District Heights plans events to celebrate 75th anniversary The residents and officials of District Heights plan this spring and summer to celebrate the city 75th anniversary with a variety of events, including a Fourth of July fireworks celebration on the athletic fields at the city municipal center. District Heights was incorporated on May 4, 1936. The municipal center, which is named for former mayor E. Michael Roll, opened in 1962. Anastasia May said she has watched the city plan its Fourth of July celebrations since she and her husband, Edward May, moved to District Heights in 1954. The Mays raised five children in the city and were heavily involved in its former majorette team, the Heights Avengers. Daughters Mary and Cecelia twirled batons and marched in parades throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Aside from its racial make up which has changed from predominately white to predominately black her neighborhood has remained the same, said May, who is white. The city is clean, the recreation department still keeps the youth occupied and the police are always on patrol, she said. don think it changed a whole lot, May said. just the same people that were here once before are gone. Harris, who moved to the city in 1977, became its first black commissioner a decade later. Harris, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat in 1988, said he braced himself for possible pushback, given that he was the city first black official. But the backlash never came, he said, adding that he ran unopposed in 1990 and served until 1992. Harris said his was the second or third black family on his block on Ramblewood Drive when he arrived in 1977, adding that he saw the city population become mostly black in the late 1980s. biggest change that shocking me now is the fact we getting more whites moving back into the city, Harris said. You only about six or seven miles and you in the city. Wilma Smith, who is chairwoman of a planned June 25 health fair, which is part of the 75th anniversary celebration, said hers was the first black family to join the First Baptist Church of District Heights on Lansdale Street in 1978, three years after she moved there with husband Lloyd Smith. Smith, who also served as the church first black Sunday school teacher from 1979 to 1989, said there are about three or four white families now in the church, but said she, like Harris, notice more whites moving into the community. Smith, who is chairwoman of the planned June 25 health fair that is part of the 75th anniversary, said she believes real estate agents influenced white families to move from District Heights decades ago. May said she never had encounters or heard of any other residents who have confronted the type of agents Smith described. The 2010 census counted 352 white residents, compared to 548 in 2000. The city had 5,240 black residents in 2000 and 5,258 in 2010, according to the census.