Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Seat in Civil Rights History- Greyhound Poster Collection

From Rosa Parks quietly sitting in a bus' white section to the Freedom Rides by civil rights activists through the Deep South, buses have played an integral role in our country's struggle against racism. The Greyhound Bus Corporation celebrated some of its history by producing a series of annual posters in conjunction with Black History Month.

Beginning in 2000, Penn State's James Quigel, the head of Historical Collections and Labor Archives, in The Special Collections Library, noticed the posters hanging each February, in the Fullington/Greyhound Bus Station in State College. When he expressed interest in archiving the posters for the University Libraries collection, the Greyhound Bus Corporation in Dallas agreed and gave Penn State permission to use for university events commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month.

This virtual exhibit includes the seven posters comprising the Greyhound Bus Corporation, Celebrating Black History Month Poster Collection, in Historical Collections and Labor Archives, The Special Collections Library, Penn State. For more information, contact James Quigel at 814-863-3181.

Poster 1
February 1999

Highlights of Black History—One life touches many lifetimes as family and social histories are woven into our cultural identities. Benjamin Banneker, November 9, 1731–October 9, 1806, a free African American astronomer, mathematician, surveyor, almanac author and farmer, who made the first clock in the new world; William Alexander Leidsdorff, who launched the first steamboat in San Francisco in1847; Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936; Toni Morrison, who in 1993, was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1993; and more. Read more at

Poster 2
February 2000

Founded in 1914, Greyhound Lines, Inc. is the largest provider of intercity bus transportation. Today it serves more than 2,300 destinations with 13,000 daily departures across North America. It has become an American icon, providing safe, enjoyable and affordable travel to nearly 25 million passengers each year. The Greyhound running dog is one of the most-recognized brands in the world.

Poster 3
February 2001

Clockwise from top left: Rev. Henry Holmes, William H. Suber Sr., Muriel Hightower, Michael "Little Man" Lawson, Milton Leverette, Cleon Wiiliams, Tyrone Jones, Tom Shaffer, Dennis Baker. Special thanks to Chuck Jones, who dedicated Greyhound memorabilia used in this poster.

Poster 4
February 2002

In 1961, the Freedom Riders, a brave group of men and women, black and white, young and old, boarded buses, trains and planes headed for the deep South to test the 1960 Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation in all interstate public facilities. They found violence in Alabama and were jailed in Jackson, Mississippi. Their efforts led to a Federal law effective November 1, 1961, banning segregation at all interstate public facilities based on "race, color, or creed," Read more at
(Link not affiliated with the Alumni Library.)

Poster 5
February 2003

Most everyone knows that Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play major league baseball during the modern era. Surprisingly, few people have given much thought to how Robinson came to the attention of major league scouts, where he played before signing with the Dodgers, or what the nature of baseball in the black community was before professional baseball's integration. Read more at:
(Link not affiliated with the Alumni Library.)

Poster 6
February 2004

Enjoy the sound clip of this Greyhound Bus Lines 2003 Motor Coach Industries G4500 #7149 on: Youtube
(Link not affiliated with the Alumni Library.)

Poster 7
February 2005

1870: First African-American US Senator Took Oath Of Office
Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African-American to serve in the US Senate as well as the US Congress. He represented Mississippi from 1870-1871, during reconstruction. As of 2011, he is one of six African Americans to ever serve in the US Senate.

1874: First African-American Yale Graduate
Edward Alexander Bouchet was the first African-American student to graduate from Yale University. He graduated in the Class of 1874, with a focus in physics.

1876: First African-American Earned His Doctorate
Edward Alexander Bouchet was also the first African-American to earn a doctorate. He received his doctorate in physics from Yale University in 1876.

1939: First African-American Academy Award Winner
Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award She won the award for best supporting actress for her role of Mammy in Gone With The Wind (1939).

1947: First African-American Major League Baseball Player
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

1950: First African-American Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Ralph Johnson Bunche was an African-American political scientist and diplomat, who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine,

1956: First African-American Tennis Player Won A Major Title
Althea Gibson was the first African-American woman to win a Grand Slam title in 1956.

1961: First African-American Freedom Riders Tested Desegregation In The South
Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia (1960) and Morgan v. Virginia. The first Freedom Ride left Washington D.C. on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17.

1983: First African-American Mayor Of Chicago
Harold Lee Washington was a lawyer and politician who became the first African-American Mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.

1983: First African-American Made A Serious Bid For Presidency
Jesse Jackson was the first major party African-American candidate to run nationwide primary campaigns as a Democratic Party candidate.

1992: First African-American Woman Astronaut
Mae Carol Jemison, a physician and NASA astronaut, became the first African-American woman to travel in space, when she went into orbit aboard the space shuttle Endeavor on September 12, 1992.

1992: First African-American Woman Elected to the US Senate
Carol Elizabeth Moseley Braun is a politician and lawyer who represented Illinois in the United State Senate from 1993 to 1999. To date in 2011, she is the first and only African-American women elected to the Senate

1997: First African-American Golfer Won The Masters Tournament
Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods became the first golfer of African-American heritage to win the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia in 1997.

2001: First African-American Appointed Secretary Of State
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army He was the first African-American United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.

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