George Houser
(1916 — 2015)


As remembered by Paul T. Murray
September 2, 2015

Rev. George Houser, a Methodist minister and veteran civil rights activist died August 19, at age 99. In 1947 he was one of the organizers of the Journey of Reconciliation in which black and white activists rode interstate buses in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee to test compliance with the Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation of interstate passengers unconstitutional....

This protest was the model for the better known Freedom Rides of 1961. In 1940 Houser, then a student at Union Theological Seminary, refused to register for the draft and was sentenced to prison. After his release Houser, together with James Farmer and Bayard Rustin formed the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) which initiated direct action campaigns against segregation, first in the North, and later in the South.

In the 1950s Houser began organizing American opposition to South Africa's apartheid regime, serving as the first executive secretary of the American Committee on Africa.

Rest in peace George Houser. You have fought the good fight.

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