He was there while America's racial history was being remade: the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.
When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia. "We had never had anything," Mr Allen, 89, recalls of black America at the time. "I was always hoping things would get better."
Allen retired in 1986. WAtoday has a fascinating account of his years in the White House, a story with a twist that made a Fark forum cry. http://www.watoday.com.au/world/us-election-2008/butler-who-saw-racial-history-being-remade-20081107-5k79.html -via Fark