Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Irene M. Kirkaldy; Case Spurred Freedom Rides
By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, 90, who died of Alzheimer's disease Aug. 10 at her home in Gloucester, Va., quietly changed history in 1944 when she refused to give up her seat on a crowded Greyhound bus to a white couple. Her case resulted in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in interstate transportation and sparked the first Freedom Ride in 1947.
Mrs. Kirkaldy's defiance of the discriminatory Jim Crow laws of Virginia came 11 years before Rosa Parks's similar act in Montgomery, Ala., galvanized the civil rights movement and made her a national icon. Without fanfare, Mrs. Kirkaldy's early case provided a winning strategy for fighting racial segregation in the courts.
Article from New York Times