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Peggy Murison interview, Part 1
Peggy Murison begins the interview by describing her upbringing in New Jersey, including her father's liberal perspectives on politics. She describes how she left nursing school because she found the environment to authoritarian and prescribed. Murison continues to overview her career and describe her family background. She describes her first experiences encountering racial and ethnic prejudice. Rogers asks how Murison became a political liberal, which she explains as the result of a "strong feeling of fairness." Murison then begins to detail her activist work in public education in New Orleans. She talks about corruption and crony politics at the Orleans Parish School Board and her work to influence voters against this "corrupt machine." She mentions enlisting the help of A. P. Tureaud and A. M. Trudeau in these efforts. She describes how the attorney who handled the act of sale on a real estate transaction asked Murison if she would consider a leadership role in Save Our Schools (SOS). She describes being brought to tears when she saw a desegregated marching band in a Mardi Gras parade. She mentions having rocks and eggs thrown at her, as well as a near-miss with a truck attempting to hit her and other acts of intimidation. She also praises the leadership of Mary Sand. Rogers asks Murison about her opinions on segregationists, and she notes that she appreciated the directness of Mrs. Gaillot and mentions the "Uptown Housewives Association." She also describes an incident where she witnessed Leander Perez remove his teeth to clean them publically at a cafeteria and offers "that's no gentleman!" She summarizes her activism as such: "I used to think that if people knew all the facts they would come up with the correct conclusions; I no longer feel that way." She summarizes her work with Save Our Schools, particularly in driving schoolchildren and the fear that she felt; she mostly discusses her work driving the Gabriel family and with Lusher school. She describes her other work with SOS, including speaking in front of the Louisiana State Legislature.
Amistad Research Center
Box 7, Item 8, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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