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Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, 90, Civil Rights Pioneer
- History/Culture
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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