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<Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation>

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Greyhound Bus Station Waiting Area, Desegregated, Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1953
The beginning of the desegregation of the Greyhound Bus Station waiting rooms in Louisville, KY, took place in 1953 and continued with the activism of Charles Ewbank Tucker, who was a minister, a civil rights activist, and an attorney. The actual challenge began in December of 1953 when William Woodsnell took a seat in the white waiting area of the Louisville Greyhound Bus Station and refused to move. Woodsnell was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. The next day, Charles E. Tucker, Woodsnell's attorney, took a seat in the white waiting area of the bus station and no one approached him or asked him to move. The Louisville Greyhound Bus Station was the starting point for segregated waiting rooms for passengers heading south aboard Greyhound buses. Though there were states with laws that enforced segregation on buses, there were no such laws in Kentucky. When Charles E. Tucker challenged the practice in Louisville, the Greyhound Bus Company admitted that there was not a company policy on segregated waiting rooms, and the segregation was a local custom. Throughout the South, there were challenges to the laws and the customs of segregation. In 1955, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) banned segregation on buses in interstate travel, which did not include bus terminals, waiting rooms, restaurants, and bathrooms. In 1961, the ICC issued new rules ending discrimination in interstate travel. For more see "Jim Crow...," Plaindealer, 01/01/1954, p. 1; "Arrest Negro for sitting in white Ky. waiting room," Jet, 12/24/1953, p. 6; heading "Civil Rights," p. 191, second column, last paragraph in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, by J. E. Kleber; The Road to Civil Rights; waiting for the ICC, a U.S. Department of Transportation website; and search the Department of Transportation website for additional information on the desegregation of public transportation in the United States.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gulley, Rosemarie C.
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 1994
Rosemarie C. Gulley, born in Louisville, KY, was the first woman and the youngest person to become executive director of the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI). The organization was formed in 1942, and encouraged African Americans living in the inner city to vote in regional and state elections. Gulley joined the Chicago staff of IVI in 1965, and advanced to executive director, 1969-1972. She had moved with her family from Louisville to Chicago in 1956. Gulley was a graduate of Roosevelt University. Following her years with IVI, in 1972 she became one of the first African American television reporters in Chicago; Gulley was the consumer and education reporter at WLS-TV until 1979. She was co-host of the television talk show Feminine Franchise and was later named director of community relations. The Feminine Franchise was produced by Theresa Gutierrez, who was also the other co-host of the series. The program was the first weekly feminist television program. Both Gutierrez and Gulley were pioneers in television; Gutierrez was one of the first Hispanic women in television journalism. Gulley left WLS-TV in 1985 to become director of media relations at the Chicago Transit Authority. Rosemarie Gulley was the daughter of Marie S. and Ernest Lee Gulley, Sr. For more see the [Rosemary] C. Gulley entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather; B. Austin, "Rosemarie Gulley - the girl scout promise? I still take it very seriously," Chicago Tribune, 04/19/1987, p.3; and "CTA media director Rosemarie Gulley," Chicago Tribune, 06/24/1994. For more on Theresa Gutierrez see her entry in Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 edited by B. J. Love.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Television, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Luckett, William Benjamin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1852
Death Year : 1922
In 1887, William B. Luckett established what is thought to be the first public transfer line [local bus service] and street car in Frankfort, KY. It was his intent to meet every train coming into Frankfort with his new horse drawn* omnibus that would take passengers to any location in the city. The service could be ordered by the telephone; Luckett's phone number was 81 [source: "Wm. B. Luckett," Frankfort Roundabout, 06/04/1887, p.4]. Luckett had purchased a 12 passenger bus with an attachable seat on the top, and he officially opened his business on May 30, 1887, according to his ad on p.7 of the Frankfort Roundabout, 06/04/1887. His prices ranged from 25 cents for 1 passenger with a valise or satchel, to 60 cents for 2 passengers with 2 trunks. The fare for children between the ages of 5 and 9 was 5 cents. If there were several children, "the rates will be reasonable." Customers could leave their orders at his Telephone 81, or at the Telephone Exchange, Holmes and Halloran's Drug Store, Blue Wing Office, and A. H. Waggoner's Grocery Store on Broadway. The transfer line business seemed like a good idea, but it did not generate a profit for Luckett. On June 25, 1887, there was a notice on p.3 of the Frankfort Roundabout, "W. B. Luckett proposes to run his omnibus as a street car from some point on the North Side to the extreme end of South Frankfort in the middle of the day and in the evening to accommodate persons living on the South Side going to and from their meals." On July 4, 1887, there was another notice on p.7 of the Frankfort Roundabout encouraging that his business should be patronized or the transfer line may not continue. The ad on the same page had all the previously mentioned locations for placing orders, plus the additional location of the LeCompte and Carpenter's South Side Drug Store. By the end of August 1887, there were no more ads for the transfer line business. The city of Frankfort still desired to have a street car line. But, in 1891, the mayor's veto was sustained at the city council meeting, the ordinance would have allowed the Capital Railway Company to construct the first street railroad [source: "We must continue to walk," Frankfort Roundabout, 07/25/1891, p.4]. Without the transfer line business, William B. Luckett developed his livery business located on Ann Street. In 1899, when he was preparing to move out of state, Luckett put the livery business up for sale or lease. Ads was posted in the newspaper. William B. Luckett is described as a mulatto in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. He was born in Franklin County, KY, the son of Cordelia Duff Hayden. He was the husband of Katherine A. Taylor Luckett (1857-1936), they married in 1882 and the couple had at least six children [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1900, the family lived in Dayton, OH, according to the census, and William B. Luckett was an insurance agent. The family was noted as Black in the census, they lived on Hershey Street. They next moved to Yellowstone, Montana, and Luckett was a farmer. The family was listed as white in the 1910 Census and the 1920 Census. William B. Luckett died October 30, 1922 in Big Horn, Montana.

*Omnibus is a public vehicle designed to carry a large number of people.

See photo image of an 1890s horse drawn omnibus, in the Encyclopedia of Chicago online.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / Yellowstone and Big Horn, Montana

Travis, Oneth M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1991
Travis was born in Albany, KY, the son of Jacob and Nanny Overstreet Travis. He graduated from Lincoln Institute. He owned a family dry goods store and was also an educator and community leader in Monticello, KY. Travis purchased a bus from Wayne Taxi Company to establish the first school transportation system in Wayne County, KY. Travis also purchased land and established the Travis Elementary and High Schools in Monticello. In 1955, Travis and Ira Bell helped facilitate the integration of the Monticello and Wayne County Schools. In 1965, Travis was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education by Governor Simeon S. Willis, and was the first African American to be named to the post. Later, Bell was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Travis also developed a recreation center in Wayne County. He was a World War I veteran and a Kentucky delegate to Republican national conventions. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and a Mason. Travis moved to Pittsburgh in 1986, where he passed away in 1991; he is buried in the Monticello Cemetery. He was the uncle of Thomas J. Craft, Sr. and the father of Oneth M. Travis, Jr. For more see "Oneth M. Travis," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/20/1991, OBIT section, p. B4. See also African American Schools in Wayne County, KY; and Mr. Oneth Morview Travis in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database. 

 


   See photo image of Negro school and gymnasium in Monticello, KY, Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

WACs Beaten in Elizabethtown, KY
Start Year : 1945
In 1945, three African American members of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) were beaten by police officers for sitting in the waiting room for whites at the Greyhound bus station in Elizabethtown, KY. One of the women, PFC Helen Smith of Syracuse, NY, was taken to jail and released a few hours later, bleeding from her injuries. PFC Georgia Boson, from Texas, and Pvt.Tommie Smith, were also beaten. The women continued on their return to Fort Knox. When they arrived on base, they were summonsed by the commanding office, then lectured about obeying the supposed segregation laws of Kentucky pertaining to public buildings and transportation. The women were court-martialed. They were defended by Lieutenant W. Robert Ming, base legal officier at Godman Field under Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. The charges were later reduced to disorderly conduct. Helen Smith spent a week in the hospital recovering from her injuries. For more see Harry McAlpin, "Beat by cops: WACs to stand trial, violated Ky. Jim Crow," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/04/1945, p.1; "Wac's Beating Case" in The Negro Handbook, 1946-1947 edited by F. Murray; Creating GI Jane by L. D. Meyer; To Serve My County, To Serve My Race by B. L. Moore; and "Council demands investigation of WACs' beating," Baltimore Afro-American, 08/11/1945, p.12.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs), Court Cases, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky / Syracuse, New York

 

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