Editor's note: Scroll down to watch an extended interview with John and Bradford Tatum.
Catherine Chomiak, Nightly News desk assistant writes: On Tuesday evening, Nightly News first reported the story of Shirley Sherrod's hasty dismissal from the Department of Agriculture for remarks she made at an NAACP banquet that were taken out of context and made her appear to be a racist.
Tonight, something a little different, two brothers will show us how far we've come even now as we're seeing there's still work to be done.
John and Bradford Tatum love to swim. At 91 and 89-years-old, respectively, they still drive three days a week to a public pool in northwest Washington, D.C., to practice with the Water Wizards, a senior swim team. But, for the brothers, swimming wasn't always as easy as hopping in the car and then hopping in the pool.
Growing up, there were no public pools in their neighborhood that allowed blacks. So they would sneak into the reflecting pool, fittingly situated at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, from which you can also see the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial and the United States Capitol. There, they would wade and splash around, with nobody to teach them the differences between breaststroke and backstroke, backstroke and butterfly. They'd cool off until, as Bradford put it in our interview, "the park police suggested we would leave and we had to run out of there."
In 1929, the Francis pool opened and the Tatums were able to take some formal swimming lessons. Every Fourth of July, the brothers competed in races at the new pool. They still have the medals they won back then and keep them displayed among their ever-growing collection of Silvers and Golds. Last year, John and Bradford traveled to Palo Alto, California to compete in the National Senior Games and brought home a slew of new awards to add to the case - five for Bradford and three for John.