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Irene Morgan v Commonwealth of Virginia (1946)
Irene Morgan v Commonwealth of Virginia (1946)
Published: 2015/03/02
Channel: Promethean Society
Before Rosa Parks there was Irene Morgan: The Power of Prayer in the Civil Rights Movement
Before Rosa Parks there was Irene Morgan: The Power of Prayer in the Civil Rights Movement
Published: 2012/03/06
Channel: Blacksdahistory
Irene Morgan-African American History
Irene Morgan-African American History
Published: 2013/03/04
Channel: FASH OUTTV
Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia
Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia
Published: 2013/02/08
Channel: Naga Kanyah
Before Rosa Parks - The Life of Irene Morgan in Just over A Minute
Before Rosa Parks - The Life of Irene Morgan in Just over A Minute
Published: 2017/06/14
Channel: Blacksdahistory
Black History Month Series: Irene Morgan Kirkaldy
Black History Month Series: Irene Morgan Kirkaldy
Published: 2017/02/15
Channel: 411 Talk Zone Radio Show Channel
Not a Day Goes By
Not a Day Goes By
Published: 2015/10/30
Channel: Irene Morgan
Senior Living with Irene Morgan
Senior Living with Irene Morgan
Published: 2014/11/14
Channel: BobbyandJJ
Buying Your First (or Next) Home with Irene Morgan
Buying Your First (or Next) Home with Irene Morgan
Published: 2014/08/18
Channel: BobbyandJJ
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? With Irene Morgan
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? With Irene Morgan
Published: 2014/09/15
Channel: BobbyandJJ
Lovingly Remembering Keegan on his 18th Birthday
Lovingly Remembering Keegan on his 18th Birthday
Published: 2015/07/16
Channel: Irene Morgan
TIGER CONFIDENTIAL: Football program adjusts following Hurricane Irene
TIGER CONFIDENTIAL: Football program adjusts following Hurricane Irene
Published: 2011/08/28
Channel: TheTowsonTigers
Cheers and Beers to 50 Years
Cheers and Beers to 50 Years
Published: 2015/08/19
Channel: Irene Morgan
Irene Morgan,1899-2008,the old days
Irene Morgan,1899-2008,the old days
Published: 2008/03/01
Channel: heunoproduction
Night Owl Nursery~06~Morgan has arrived!!!!
Night Owl Nursery~06~Morgan has arrived!!!!
Published: 2014/05/16
Channel: Shannon Hardin
Love is Like a Sin (Alice Morgan/Irene Adler)
Love is Like a Sin (Alice Morgan/Irene Adler)
Published: 2012/09/23
Channel: The Fatal Desire
Irene Morgan - Partners In Progress
Irene Morgan - Partners In Progress
Published: 2016/04/27
Channel: History Center on Main Street
Irene Morgan,1899 - 2008 in memory of
Irene Morgan,1899 - 2008 in memory of
Published: 2008/03/01
Channel: heunoproduction
Irene Morgan
Irene Morgan
Published: 2017/04/08
Channel: Bobby Beverly
South Fork Law - Irene Morgan, Restorative Community Coalition
South Fork Law - Irene Morgan, Restorative Community Coalition
Published: 2014/12/26
Channel: VIKINGtv
Invicta FC 13: Irene Aldana Interview
Invicta FC 13: Irene Aldana Interview
Published: 2015/07/08
Channel: UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship
Irene Aftermath: Tara Morgan on New Kent Damage (8/31/11)
Irene Aftermath: Tara Morgan on New Kent Damage (8/31/11)
Published: 2011/08/31
Channel: NBC12 News
Irene Morgan(108) from Christchurch,NZ,died 22nd Feb. 08
Irene Morgan(108) from Christchurch,NZ,died 22nd Feb. 08
Published: 2007/11/09
Channel: heunoproduction
Irene Morgan - Paranoid
Irene Morgan - Paranoid
Published: 2012/07/11
Channel: DeAnna Hundley
ROCKET MORGAN Irene
ROCKET MORGAN Irene
Published: 2017/03/28
Channel: bebopcapitol
Fame (1982 TV series) Irene Cara
Fame (1982 TV series) Irene Cara
Published: 2013/11/12
Channel: SunArtHeart
Irene Morgan Gratitude
Irene Morgan Gratitude
Published: 2011/09/20
Channel: unitingcreatives
Irene: "Run" - Audiciones a Ciegas - La Voz 2016
Irene: "Run" - Audiciones a Ciegas - La Voz 2016
Published: 2016/10/06
Channel: La Voz / The Voice of Spain
irene Morgan
irene Morgan
Published: 2017/02/28
Channel: Linquist Reading
Civics Project: Morgan v Virginia
Civics Project: Morgan v Virginia
Published: 2013/10/30
Channel: Jesse Castang
Lois Irene Morgan Lords
Lois Irene Morgan Lords
Published: 2014/06/29
Channel: David Lamb
Birthday Cake Rihanna - Morgan and Irene
Birthday Cake Rihanna - Morgan and Irene
Published: 2012/04/26
Channel: Irene Naranjo
IRENE MORGAN
IRENE MORGAN's Flight Video July 15, 2013
Published: 2013/07/16
Channel: iFLY Indoor Skydiving
Lucía Briñas e Irene Morgan - Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Lucía Briñas e Irene Morgan - Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Published: 2013/03/19
Channel: Lucía Briñas
Blanca Ravina e Irene Morgan - Loca (Luz Casal)
Blanca Ravina e Irene Morgan - Loca (Luz Casal)
Published: 2013/05/01
Channel: Blanca Ravina
Irene Morgan Sepulveda (L) Verano2011
Irene Morgan Sepulveda (L) Verano2011
Published: 2011/11/23
Channel: Estrella Valladolid Laurón
Silje, Hanne, Meg og irene.. = Morgan
Silje, Hanne, Meg og irene.. = Morgan
Published: 2009/08/05
Channel: lano0gakk0gakk
Morgan & Irene Kizomba Milano - demo stage @ New York Club (Bg)
Morgan & Irene Kizomba Milano - demo stage @ New York Club (Bg)
Published: 2014/10/20
Channel: Irene Lombardi
Freedom Riders - Civil Rights Protesters
Freedom Riders - Civil Rights Protesters
Published: 2013/03/20
Channel: Little Dread
Morgan e Irene demo Kizomba Luna rossa
Morgan e Irene demo Kizomba Luna rossa
Published: 2015/01/26
Channel: Irene Lombardi
Apollo Irene x Aarron Morgan - Champion
Apollo Irene x Aarron Morgan - Champion
Published: 2013/04/10
Channel: ApolloIrene
I Pledge- Irene and Morgan
I Pledge- Irene and Morgan
Published: 2012/09/17
Channel: ksdje dsafe
MORGAN E IRENE KIZOMBA MILANO - demo @MU EVENT CLUB (Treviolo - BG)
MORGAN E IRENE KIZOMBA MILANO - demo @MU EVENT CLUB (Treviolo - BG)
Published: 2014/10/21
Channel: Irene Lombardi
Irene Crocker
Irene Crocker's Ordination 1 - Morgan White Prelude Solo
Published: 2012/09/27
Channel: Saint George Episcopal Church
Conspiracy Of Kings - Until the End of the Day - Video
Conspiracy Of Kings - Until the End of the Day - Video
Published: 2017/08/08
Channel: Conspiracy Of Kings
Wheels To Prosper Sonoma 2014 Body Best of Sonoma
Wheels To Prosper Sonoma 2014 Body Best of Sonoma
Published: 2014/10/09
Channel: Dino DiGiulio
Family Military Tribute
Family Military Tribute
Published: 2016/11/05
Channel: Irene Morgan
Shinrin-Yoku
Shinrin-Yoku
Published: 2017/05/29
Channel: Bolily Band
Irene Dunne vesves Frank Morgan 1944
Irene Dunne vesves Frank Morgan 1944
Published: 2017/05/26
Channel: Raymond Sojka
THESIS: Irene Geller and Morgan Stephenson interview
THESIS: Irene Geller and Morgan Stephenson interview
Published: 2012/09/11
Channel: Irene G
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Irene Morgan
Irene Morgan.jpg
Born (1917-04-09)April 9, 1917
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died August 10, 2007(2007-08-10) (aged 90)
Gloucester County, Virginia, U.S.
Children 2

Irene Amos Morgan (April 9, 1917 – August 10, 2007), later known as Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, was an African-American woman from Baltimore, Maryland, who was arrested in Middlesex County, Virginia, in 1944 under a state law imposing racial segregation in public facilities and transportation. She was traveling on an interstate bus that operated under federal law and regulations. She refused to give up her seat in what the driver said was the "white section". At the time she worked for a defense contractor on the production line for B-26 Marauders.

Morgan consulted with attorneys to appeal her conviction and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund took up her case. She was represented by William H. Hastie, the former governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands and later a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Thurgood Marshall, legal counsel of the NAACP, her case, Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 328 U.S. 373 (1946), was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. In 1946 in a landmark decision, the Court ruled that the Virginia law was unconstitutional, as the Commerce clause protected interstate traffic. But neither Virginia nor other states observed the ruling and it was not enforced for decades.

Early life, education and family[edit]

Irene Morgan was born in 1917 in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended local schools and was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist. Morgan married Sherwood Morgan Sr., and had a son and daughter with him. He died in 1948.

During World War II she helped the war effort by working at Glenn L. Martin, an aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor in Baltimore. She worked on the production line for the B-26 Marauder.

She later married Stanley Kirkaldy and moved with him to New York City. They ran a child-care center near where they lived in Queens.[1] In her 60s Kirkaldy started college studies, attending St. John’s University in New York City; she received her bachelor's degree when she was 68 years old. Five years later Morgan earned a master's degree in Urban Studies from Queens College.[2]

Arrest, jail and conviction[edit]

In 1944, the 27-year-old Irene Morgan was returning to Baltimore, Maryland, after visiting her mother in Virginia. She was arrested and jailed while traveling in Virginia on an interstate Greyhound bus for refusing the bus driver's order to sit in a segregated section . Although interstate transportation was desegregated under federal law, the state enforced racially segregated seating within its borders.[3]

When Morgan refused to change her seat, the bus driver stopped in Middlesex County, Virginia, and summoned the sheriff. When he tried to arrest Morgan, she tore up the arrest warrant, kicked the sheriff in the groin, and fought with the deputy who tried to pull her off the bus. She was convicted of violating state law for segregation on buses and other public transportation. Morgan pleaded guilty to the charge of resisting arrest and was fined $100. However, she refused the guilty plea for violating Virginia's segregation law.[4]

Morgan appealed her case with the aid of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. After exhausting appeals in state courts,[5] she and her lawyers took her case to the federal courts, reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1946, the justices agreed to hear the case.

U.S. Supreme Court case[edit]

Her case, Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 328 U.S. 373 (1946), was argued by William H. Hastie, the former governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands and later a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP was co-counsel. He later was appointed as a US Supreme Court justice.[6]

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-1 in 1946 that Virginia's state law enforcing segregation on interstate buses was unconstitutional.[7][8] Hastie and Marshall used an innovative strategy to brief and argue the case. Instead of relying upon the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, they argued successfully that segregation on interstate travel violated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.[9]

"If something happens to you which is wrong, the best thing to do is have it corrected in the best way you can," said Morgan. "The best thing for me to do was to go to the Supreme Court."[citation needed]

In 1960, in Boynton v. Virginia, the Supreme Court extended the Morgan ruling to bus terminals used in interstate bus service. African Americans continued to be ejected or arrested when they tried to integrate such facilities, as Southern states refused to obey Morgan v. Virginia.[10] They staged numerous non-violent demonstrations using interstate buses and bus terminals, such as the Freedom Rides of 1961. White Southerners attacked the Freedom Riders, attracting renewed national media attention to the South's Jim Crow system.

Journey of Reconciliation[edit]

Morgan's case inspired the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, during which 16 activists from the Chicago-based Congress of Racial Equality rode on interstate buses through the Upper South to test the enforcement of the Supreme Court's ruling. The activists divided themselves between the interstate Greyhound and Trailways bus lines. They usually placed an interracial pair in the white-area of the bus. Other activists, disguised as ordinary passengers, rode in the racial sections "reserved" for them by segregation law.[9]

The group traveled uneventfully through Virginia, but when they reached North Carolina, they encountered arrests and violence. By the end of the Journey, the protesters had conducted over 24 "tests," and endured 12 arrests and dangerous mob violence. In a flagrant violation of the Morgan decision, North Carolina police arrested the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. A jury convicted him and he was sentenced to 22 days on a chain gang for violating the state's segregation laws, although he had been riding on an interstate bus.[9]

The 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, ahead of its time in the use of tactics of nonviolent direct action, inspired the highly publicized Freedom Rides of 1961, also organized by CORE.

Irene Morgan was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[11] In later life, Morgan moved from New York City to Gloucester County, Virginia. She died on August 10, 2007, at her daughter's home, at 90 years of age.[6]

Legacy and honors[edit]

  • In 1995, Robin Washington produced the documentary You Don't Have to Ride Jim Crow!, aired on New Hampshire Public TV. It featured Morgan Kirkaldy and survivors of the 1947 "Journey of Reconciliation." Morgan received renewed attention for her contributions.
  • In 2000 Morgan Kirkaldy was honored by Gloucester County, Virginia during its 350th anniversary celebration.
  • In 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal.
  • In 2002, PBS featured a four-part series entitled, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. Associated materials include an article on Morgan v. Virginia.[9]
  • In 2010, Kirkaldy was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.[12]

Representation in other media[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldstein, Richard (13 August 2007). "Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, 90, Rights Pioneer, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Richard. "Irene Morgan Kirkaldy, 90, Rights Pioneer, Dies," The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2007: n. pag. Print.
  3. ^ "Morgan v. Virginia (1946)". www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  4. ^ Lamb, Yvonne S. "Irene M. Kirkaldy; Case Spurred Freedom Rides," The Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2007: n. pag. Print.
  5. ^ "Morgan v. Commonwealth (June 6, 1945)". www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  6. ^ a b "Milestones," August 27, 2007 edition of TIME Magazine at p. 23.
  7. ^ [1] Photo of "Washington Afro-American" headline with 6-1 Supreme Court vote.
  8. ^ "Morgan v. Virginia (June 3, 1946)". www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Jim Crow Stories: Richard Wormser, "'Morgan v. Virginia' (1946)" , The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, 2002, PBS, accessed 5 February 2013
  10. ^ "Equal Access to Public Accommodations" - The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia, Virginia Historical Society
  11. ^ Presidential Citizens Medal Recipient Irene Morgan retrieved on 2007-12-01
  12. ^ "Maryland Women's Hall of Fame". MWHF. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 

External links[edit]

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