NBC's Chet Huntley reports on the aftermath of Rosa Park's refusal to sit in the back of the bus. Because police fined her, most African-Americans in Montgomery boycotted city buses.
A Look at Segregated Busing
CHET HUNTLEY, anchor:
Most Negroes in Montgomery, Alabama are boycotting the city buses because a woman who refused to take a segregated seat was fined in police court.
A Montgomery city ordinance requires segregation on busses and gives bus drivers police power to enforce the law. In three weeks that law will change, on long haul busses and in public waiting rooms. The Interstate Commerce Commission has ordered the change.
The issue may generate as much heat as the Supreme Court ruling abolishing segregated schools. Starting January 10th therefore we can expect a great deal of news space and time to be devoted to segregation in busses and waiting rooms.
Here, for those who have never seen it, is what segregation looks like.
This is Tyler. County seat of Smith County in east Texas, ninety miles from Dallas, eighty from the Louisiana border. Tyler grows rose bushes and pumps oil—both for shipment all over the United States. The population of Tyler is about 40,000. It’s a prosperous town, and passengers who come into Tyler by bus are separated according to race. Negroes get off the bus last.
BUS DRIVER: Folks, we have a fifteen-minute rest stop. This is the through bus to Houston, Texas….
CASHIER: That’s seventy-five two, three, four, five. Thank you very much.
Our colored people have their own waiting rooms, their own restrooms. They come around to buy their tickets and then they return to their waiting rooms. It’s always been like that. They seem to be happy with it, and so are we.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott, in which African-Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating, took place from December 5, 1955, to December 20, 1956, and is regarded as the first large-scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S.