Little trouble marks end of Montgomery bus segregation

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Dec. 22, 1956 (INS) - Only one case of physical violence and a few muttered threats marked the end of enforced racial segregation on the buses in Montgomery. Negroes ended their boycott and rode the buses for the first time in a year Friday following a U.S. Supreme Court order banning segregated seating on the city transit system.

Advised by their leaders "not to be arrogant," they took seats from the center of the buses to the rear, while during the rush hour white passengers rode - as usual in the front section of the vehicles.


One Negro man leaving commented: "I guess it's sorta voluntary segregation. But there is a big difference. Now we don't have to sit back there or stand."

The one example of physical violence occurred when a Negro woman, Mrs. Janie Ruth Wilson, was slapped by a white man as she stepped off a bus.

The man then got back in a car which had been following the bus and drove away.

In another incident, the Rev. Martin Luther King, one of the leaders of the boycott, was berated by a white man when he joined his followers in a return to the buses.


The minister said: "This is what we expected and what we'll have to put up with."

King also reported other incidents of Negroes "being cussed." He said: "Our people have suffered a great deal. They have stood abuse before; they will put up with it now, if that be necessary. But we pray that this chance to a new dignity of our race can be effected in peace and good will between all men."

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