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Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, 90, Civil Rights Pioneer
New New York Times reported August 17 that Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, "whose defiance of white supremacy while traveling through the Upper South in the summer of 1944 led to a Supreme Court decision outlawing segregated seating on interstate bus lines, died Friday in Hayes, Va. She was 90.

"Irene Morgan’s fight against segregation took place a decade before the modern civil rights movement changed America. Mrs. Morgan, a worker in a plant that made World War II bombers and the mother of two small children, was returning to her home in Baltimore aboard a Greyhound bus in July 1944 after a visit to her mother in Gloucester County, Va. When the bus grew crowded, the driver told her to give her seat to a white person. Mrs. Morgan refused, and when a sheriff’s deputy tried to take her off the bus in Saluda, Va., she resisted.

"In 2001 President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal. 'When Irene Morgan boarded a bus for Baltimore in the summer of 1944,' the citation read, “she took the first step on a journey that would change America forever.”

NY Times Article


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