Little Civil Rights Pioneer Reunites With US Marshal
Ruby Bridges meets with one of her school escorts, now 91
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2013 6:37 PM CDT
Ruby Bridges, right, who integrated Louisiana schools in 1960 under escort from U.S. Marshals, poses with Charles Burks, 91, who was one of those marshals.   (Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, who as a 6-year-old helped end public school segregation in the South, was reunited today with one of the federal marshals who escorted her past angry crowds so she could attend a previously all-white school. Bridges, who in 1960 became the first black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans, met with Charles Burks at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, which was filming the pair for its permanent exhibit called "The Power of Children." Burks, now 91, is the only one of the four marshals who escorted Bridges to and from school who is still alive.

"Thank you Charlie for doing what was right at a time when it might not have been the easiest thing to do," the 58-year-old Bridges told him. Burks said escorting Bridges to school was a highlight of his life, adding that he supported the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that struck down segregation in public schools. Bridges was in first grade when she started attending William Frantz Elementary School on Nov. 14, 1960, as the court-ordered integration of public schools began in New Orleans. "It was a privilege," he said.

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Sep 6, 2013 8:31 PM CDT
very nice story. god bless!
Sep 6, 2013 3:46 PM CDT
What a terrific story! So great to see this historical event take place! My best to all, for striving to make life in the US better!
Sep 6, 2013 12:21 PM CDT
I just might be politically incorrect for asking so, but does ANYONE remember the "open season" on Whites, males, and especially White-males during the peak of the PC era? (1979-1996) The racism--which was labeled "get-evenism"-- was blatant and horrendous. Whites were losing their jobs, careers, their lifestyle because of some overly-sensitive Black proclaiming racism when their wasn't. Whites had no defense of even the slightest "offense." They couldn't appeal as it would make the corporation/government look like it was picking on the minority. Promotions offered to Blacks because of the threat of a racism accusation. And no attorney's were interested in defending them--no money in a lost case. It was open season for minority--mostly Black--racists to practice. Does anyone remember?Where's the museum on that?