As a theologian, Martin Luther King reflected often on his understanding of nonviolence. He described his own “pilgrimage to nonviolence” in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, and in subsequent books and articles. “True pacifism,” or “nonviolent resistance,” King wrote, is “a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love” (King, Stride, 80). Both “morally and practically” committed to nonviolence, King believed that “the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom” (King, Stride, 79; Papers 5:422).
Montgomery City Lines resumes full service on all routes. King, Abernathy, E. D. Nixon, and Glenn Smiley are among the first passengers to seat themselves in the section formerly reserved for whites. The first act of violence involves a black woman who is slapped by a white youth as she leaves a bus.
The Supreme Court bus desegregation mandate arrives at Judge Johnson’s office. U.S. marshals deliver writs of injunction to Montgomery city officials. Judge Jones dissolves his injunction against Montgomery bus integration and rebukes the Supreme Court. Later that day, King presides over MIA meetings at Holt Street Baptist and St. John AME Churches during which attendees vote to end the boycott.
Anonymous leaflets are distributed throughout Montgomery’s black community asking residents to rebel against the leadership of the boycott.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejects Alabama’s final appeal.
U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., meets with thirty-three U.S. district attorneys in a daylong conference at which he calls for “voluntary compliance” by carriers with the Supreme Court’s 13 November ruling. The Supreme Court delays hearing petitions from Birmingham and the state of Alabama contesting the ruling.
King presides and J. H. Jackson gives the address at the closing mass meeting of the Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change at First Baptist Church.
On the first anniversary of the bus boycott, King presides over an institute seminar on “Nonviolence and the Social Gospel.”