1917 - 2007
In 1944, Irene Morgan refused to give up a bus seat for a white passenger. This led to a Supreme Court decision outlawing segregated seating on interstate bus lines, almost a decade before Rosa Parks’ famous bus boycott. In 2001, she was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal. Its citation read: “When Irene Morgan boarded a bus for Baltimore in the summer of 1944, she took the first step on a journey that would change America forever.”
Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray
1910 - 1985
The writings of The Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray were a cornerstone of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the 1954 Supreme Court case that ended school segregation, but the lawyer, Episcopal priest, pioneering civil rights activist and co-founder of the National Organization for Women wouldn’t be made aware of that accomplishment until 10 years after.
In 1965, Murray co-authored the essay “Jane Crow and the Law,” which argued that the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment should be applied to sex discrimination as well. In 1971, a young lawyer named Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully argued this point in Reed v. Reed in front of the Supreme Court.
Murray died in 1985, and in the decades since, public awareness of her many contributions has only continued to grow. Murray was sainted by the Episcopal Church in 2012, and she has become an LGBTQ icon, thanks to the progressive approach to gender fluidity that she personally expressed throughout her life.