The absolutely wild story from the civil rights movement you didn't hear in history class.

Lucille Times just wanted to get some dry cleaning done. She ended up a major part of forgotten United States history.

Countless people stood up, marched, and resisted during the civil rights movement. This is the story of one such woman so fed up with the BS that decided to do something about.

(And the end is absolutely bonkers!)


Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King leading a black voting rights march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital in Montgomery. Photo by William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images.

It’s June 15, 1955.

Lucille Times, a 33-year-old black woman living in Montgomery, Alabama, drove her Buick LeSabre to the dry cleaners. On the way, a Montgomery municipal bus driver attempted to run her car off the road.

Not once. Not twice. But three separate times.

“The bus driver got angry and tried to run me off the road and into a ditch,” Times told Troy Today.

GIF from "The Daily Show."

After the third attempt, Times pulled over.

She hoped the bus would pass and she could carry on. Instead, the bus driver pulled up behind her and got out. Times got out of her car too.

The driver and Times had a heated altercation, exchanging expletives. She says the confrontation even got physical at one point, so the bus driver called the police. When they arrived on the scene, the Montgomery Police were of little help to Times. They didn't arrest her, but after nearly killing her, the bus driver went unpunished.

Steaming mad and frustrated, Times called the city transportation department. The city never returned her call.

GIF from "Pretty Woman."

Fed up, Times went to the president of her NAACP unit. She wanted to start a bus boycott.

The president, E.D. Nixon, was a well-known union leader, strategist, and activist. He already had an idea for a bus boycott in the works and was looking for the perfect sympathetic plaintiff to be the face of the movement.

As empathetic to the cause as he was, he suggested Times wait to begin the boycott until after Thanksgiving so the city would lose out on fares from holiday shoppers. But that timeline didn’t suit Times. A veteran organizer herself, Times decided to go it alone. She started her boycott the next day.

GIF from "This Is Us."

Times got in her car and drove around the city. When she saw black people at the bus stop, she offered to pick them up and take them to their destination.

She was one woman in a Buick, so the impact was relatively small, but her purpose and passion were undeniable. Soon, a few other friends and neighbors with cars joined in to help. Their boycott went on for nearly six months.

GIF from "Laugh at My Pain."

Cut to Dec. 1, 1955: E.D. Nixon had finally found the perfect plaintiff for a potential bus boycott.

She was a seamstress and NAACP secretary trained in civil disobedience.  (Cough, cough, Rosa Parks, cough cough.)

After Thanksgiving, as planned, she sat down in the front of a Montgomery bus and refused to move. Parks' refusal and subsequent arrest triggered the official launch of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. E.D. Nixon got on the phone to find ministers and senior leaders in the church to help lead the effort. One person he called was Martin Luther King Jr. The rest of that story is 381 days of courage, grit, and U.S. history.

A man looking at a photograph of Rosa Parks at the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

But wait, there’s more. And it’s so, so good.

The driver of Rosa Parks’ bus was James Blake — the very same bus driver who tried to run Lucille Times off the road less than six months prior.

Wild, right?

In your face, bigots! GIF via Nickelodeon.

After the official launch of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Times continued to give rides to people in need.

She stepped up to serve in several capacities throughout the civil rights movement, providing space for organizers at the café she owned with her husband, as well as opening their home to NAACP meetings. She even marched the entire route from Selma to Montgomery, hosting 18 other marchers of all backgrounds at her home.

But while Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin made history books, Lucille Times is rarely mentioned.

However, the state of Alabama listed the Times’ home in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 2007, and a large marker stands there today. Lucille Times is still alive and in her mid-90s.

Photo of Lucille Times by R. Scott Golden/Wikimedia Commons.

Not too shabby for a woman who just wanted to pick up her dry cleaning.

Shoutout to Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings at The Nod podcast for telling Lucille's story on their show and bringing it to my attention.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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