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Three Major Railroads End Segregation in Station Facilities

Oct. 16, 1961 - Three major railroads serving the South — the Illinois Central, the Southern, and the Louisville & Nashville — have agreed to end racial segregation in their station facilities, Justice Department officials said today. The Justice Department had not intended to make public this development until the desegregation policies had gone into effect. When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told reporters about it after leaving an hour-long meeting with President Kennedy, however, a statement by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy on the matter was issued quickly. The railroads acted after an FBI investigation had disclosed that a number of stations operated by the three carriers maintained policies of racial segregation. “I would commend the railroads on this very forthright step,” said Dr. King. The Attorney General, in his statement, gave the railroads “great credit” for their action.


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