Labor Unions Protest Busing Plan in Louisville, Kentucky

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NBC Nightly News
John Chancellor/Mike Jackson
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Labor unions are protesting busing for school integration in Louisville, Kentucky. The unions feel that forced busing is not constitutional.



"Labor Unions Protest Busing Plan in Louisville, Kentucky." Mike Jackson, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 12 Oct. 1974. NBC Learn. Web. 11 January 2020.


Jackson, M. (Reporter), & Chancellor, J. (Anchor). (1974, October 12). Labor Unions Protest Busing Plan in Louisville, Kentucky. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"Labor Unions Protest Busing Plan in Louisville, Kentucky" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 10/12/1974. Accessed Sat Jan 11 2020 from NBC Learn:


Labor Unions Protest Busing Plans in Louisville, Kentucky


Busing for school integration began today in Louisville, Kentucky and in Jefferson County, of which Louisville is a part. There are many people in Louisville who don’t want their children, white children, bussed to black schools. They demonstrated against that today, following a rally last night. Mike Jackson has the story.

MIKE JACKSON, reporting:

These seven thousand people oppose busing for desegregation. They rallied last night to show their solidarity, and their common cry was for a white boycott of the schools. And there was a boycott today; it was most successful in this blue-collar, working class, suburban neighborhood. At this high school, where three hundred fifty white students were to have been bused away to black neighborhood schools, fewer than twenty showed up. The buses went away almost empty.

CHARLES SUMMERS (High School Principal): I think many of the parents have held them out because of fear. Some could be honoring the boycott, but I feel most of them are from just anxiety and waiting to see what will happen, or what’s going to happen.

JACKSON: How long do you think that will continue?

SUMMERS: Just a few days. I look for many of them to start coming in Monday.

JACKSON: In other parts of the school district where anti-busing sentiment is not so great, white attendance was somewhat better. Although, overall, half the white students were absent. Black students did not seem to be boycotting. At schools where they were bused in, they were most often greeted with curiosity, seldom with hostility. There were no attempts to keep them away. But at mid-morning, in defiance of the federal court order, several thousand anti-busing demonstrators marched through the downtown area, blocking traffic.

Most of the marchers belong to labor unions. They carry cards identifying themselves as pipe fitters and electrical workers. They say that they’re on strike today because they don’t believe forced busing is constitutional.

The wildcat strike was so large it caused three factories in Louisville to shut down for the day, and another to cut back production. The march was peaceful for almost an hour, but then police moved in to enforce the court-ordered ban on demonstrations. Nine people were arrested, most were charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly. There were no serious injuries. In contrast, at the schools where students were bused today, there were no incidents. Instruction began as usual and classes were dismissed routinely. The only problems today took place off school grounds. Mike Jackson, NBC News, Louisville.