A picture of Representative Bennie G. Thompson
Bennie T.
Democrat MS 2

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  • Honoring Maude L. Williams Ballou

    by Representative Bennie G. Thompson

    Posted on 2014-01-07

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    THOMPSON of mississippi in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 7, 2014 Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a remarkable public servant, Mrs. Maude L. Williams Ballou, who was born in Fairhope, Alabama, and raised in Mobile. She received a Bachelor of Science in business administration in 1947 from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After marrying music instructor, Leonard Ballou, she and her husband relocated to Montgomery, Alabama in 1952. Mrs. Ballou met Jo Ann Robinson before the start of the bus boycott and talked with her about how to obtain better conditions for blacks in Montogmery.

    After Martin Luther King's election as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) at the start of the Montgomery bus boycott, Maude Ballou became his personal secretary.

    After becoming King's secretary at the MIA, Mrs. Ballou helped coordinate carpools during the boycott. She often responded on King's behalf to his correspondence. Mrs. Ballou accompanied Dr. King when he moved to Atlanta in 1960, staying with the King family and assisting him in establishing his office at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference [[Page E9]] headquarters there. Mrs. Ballou left that summer to rejoin her family in Peterburg, Virginia, where her husband had accepted a position at Virginia State College.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Mrs. Maude L. Ballou for her dedication to serving others.


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