Baton Rouge Bus Boycott


The fight over reserved seating began, when Reverend T. J. Jemison, the pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, denounced the fare increase for bus rides in Baton Rouge.

February 11, 1953

City Council moves to approve Ordinance 222. (Ordinance 222 stated that black people could fill up the bus from the back to the front, and white people could fill the bus from front to back based on a

February 25, 1953

Ordinance 222 was in effect, but ignored.

March 19, 1953

Reverend Jemison tests law by sitting in front seat of a bus. He carries a copy of Ordinance 222 in his shirt pocket.

June 13, 1953

Bus Drivers Strike ends. Raymond Scott goes to radio station, WLCS, and has the announcement about the Bus Boycott read to the public

June 19, 1953

Free Ride System goes into effect. First mass meeting was held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Crosses were burned at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and at Reverend Jemison's home

June 20, 1953

McKinley High School -- At the mass meeting, money was collected to purchase gasoline for the car pool

June 21, 1953

Mass meeting was held at the Memorial Stadium because of the enormous crowds that were attending the meetings

June 22, 1953

Reverend Jemison calls off the Boycott. There were conflicting views about ending the Boycott; some protesters continued to refuse to ride the buses even though the Boycott was officially over. United

June 23, 1953

Ordinance 251 is passed. It was considered a compromise: all people could now sit on the buses. The only exception was that the first two seats on any bus were reserved for white people, and the last

June 24, 1953