Louise Day Hicks, Boston City Councilor

[caption id="attachment2308" align="alignleft" width="300"]<a href="http://bostonlocaltv.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/401BPL03LTC4N3JG1CIRLthumbnail.jpg">Louise Day Hicks Boston School Committee Member Hicks interviewed about the 1965 Racial Imbalance Act. Watch the full story, which starts at 00:21:30.[/caption]

Louise Day Hicks is a famous name in Boston and across the country. She is probably the best known opponent of the court-ordered busing in Boston. Over the course of her career, Ms. Hicks served in many offices, including as a member of the Boston City Council, which makes her the second city councilor is our series of profiles highlighting these influential Boston figures. Before her time on the Council, she ran for and won a seat on the Boston School Committee in 1961. She served on the Committee for many years even though her own children attended parochial schools. In 1969 she was elected to the Boston City Council, and then in 1971 she won a seat in the US House of Representatives. Although her national political career was short lived (she was only in the House for one term), when she returned to Boston, she once again became an active participant in local politics, winning back a seat on the City Council. She served as the President of the City Council in 1976.

There are many Louise Day Hicks stories in our collections, although most have not yet been digitized. From the few that have already been digitized, we can see footage of Ms. Hicks from both her time on the Boston School Committee and the Boston City Council.

Within a compilation reel of stories on the King School from 1968, there is a short piece (starting at 00:21:30)  where John Henning interviews Ms. Hicks about her proposal to repeal the Racial Imbalance Act. Massachusetts passed the act into law in 1965, effectively ordering schools to desegregate at the risk of losing state funding. Ms. Hicks argues that neighborhood schools are better for all involved. By 1974, at the start of court-ordered busing in Boston, Ms. Hicks, was on the City Council. In this WCVB story, there is an interview with her about the public outcry against busing and the number of calls her office has received on the matter.

[caption id="attachment2307" align="alignright" width="300"]<a href="http://bostonlocaltv.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/barcode101986thumbnail.jpg">Louise Day Hicks City Councilor Hicks interviewed on a curfew proposal in 1976. Watch the full story.[/caption]

Later in her career, in 1976, Ms. Hicks is interviewed in her role as City Councilor on another topic. This piece is an unedited interview conducted by Steve Curwood. She explains her support of a proposed curfew, which has been asked for by the senior citizens and firefighters of Boston. Ms. Hicks is not sure of the success of such a measure, but thinks it’s a good idea to try it out, in case it can increase the safety of the city. She hopes that police won’t use the curfew as a way to harass young people, and states that she will vote to repeal it if that happens.

Both of these pieces shows an example of Ms. Hick’s politics and values. As such a well-known member of the city government, Ms. Hick was involved in many policy debates and other important city affairs. To find out more about her views and work, sponsor the digitization of one of the other stories about her.