Our reader, Thomas M. Boyd, has put forward a great idea: “In the wake of the recent recognition of Irene Morgan’s … historic achievement, old Route 17, now named Hayes Road, should be renamed Irene Morgan Memorial Road.”
Irene Morgan was the Gloucester County woman who in 1944 boarded the bus at Hayes heading from her parents’ house back to her home in Maryland. When the bus reached Saluda, Morgan refused to give up her seat to a white man when told to do so by the driver. Her act of civil disobedience came years before that of Rosa Parks, and because she was a black woman defying the Jim Crow system, she was arrested in Middlesex and convicted of violating state segregation laws (she pleaded guilty to resisting arrest).
She appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in her favor, and thereafter segregation on interstate transportation was illegal.
Her act of resistance was never reported by the Gazette-Journal of that era. Keepin...
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