Clifford & Virginia Durr

The announcement by AUM of its upcoming Clifford & Virginia Durr Lecture Series gave me cause to post this picture of that couple’s rented home during Montgomery’s turbulent civil rights era. The house is at #2 Felder Avenue, located on the corner at Court Street, and was built ca 1915. It was Clifford and Virginia that posted bail for Rosa Parks the night she was arrested. Much of the civil rights plotting took place by groups seated on the floor of this residence. Clifford was son of the wealthy John Durr that founded Durr Drug Company, a Montgomery institution that played such a major part in equipping dozens of new Alabama hospitals during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Clifford was president of his class at the U of A, later moved to Washington where he assisted FDR with his “New Deal” welfare programs. Virginia assisted Eleanor Roosevelt in her drive to abolish the poll tax. Clifford was appointed to the FCC and became known as “Father of Public Television” (which explains how Alabama became such a pioneer in that realm). The couple moved back to Montgomery in 1952, but needless to say they were not well received. The pole-mounted cast iron historic tablet posted in front of this house does not bear the Alabama flag.
-Charles Humphries


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