Organizer of Montgomery bus boycott dies at age 96
BY Wire reports
Thursday, July 26, 2012
7/26/12 at 3:32 AM
Thelma McWilliams Glass, a longtime professor and civil rights pioneer who helped organize the Montgomery bus boycott, died Wednesday in Montgomery, Ala. She was 96.
William H. Harris, president of Alabama State University, where Glass was a professor of geography, said: "The ASU family lost one of its crown jewels today. Mrs. Glass was the consummate educator whose life was a shining example of service, courage and commitment. She will be truly missed."
Glass was one of a group of women who helped put together the bus boycott in 1955. The effort came together after Rosa Parks, a black woman, was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person.
The boycott by black residents in the city crippled the bus service and helped bring an end to segregation of public transportation in the South a year later. Glass was secretary of the Women's Political Council, a group that spread the word through the black community in Montgomery about the boycott.
"The men talked about it, you know, but we were ready to take action," Glass said during a recent interview.
Instead of riding buses, boycotters organized carpools to get to where they were going, or they walked.
Glass also was an educator for 40 years, building a reputation for instilling in her students a desire to learn and become involved in the fight to end racial inequality.
Alabama State University - her alma mater - honored Glass with the Black and Gold Standard Award in 2011. Glass was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Developer of loved-hatedhome treadmill dies at 96
William Staub, who took the treadmill - that ubiqui-tous piece of exercise equipment that's loved and loathed by millions - into homes and gyms, died Thursday in Clifton, N.J. He was 96 and had been spied on a treadmill as recently as two months ago.
Staub, a mechanical engineer, built and marketed his first treadmill in the late 1960s - 40 steel rollers covered by an orange belt, a gray cover over the motor, and orange dials to determine time and speed. He envisioned it as a tool for people who couldn't run or walk outside because of inclement weather, less-than-ideal circumstances or creative excuses, his son Gerald Staub said.
At the time, the treadmill was almost exclusively used by doctors, said Dr. Kenneth Cooper, a health and fitness pioneer who used the machine to perform stress tests. William Staub, who didn't exercise at the time, read Cooper's 1968 book "Aerobics," which espoused the health benefits of exercise.
The book mentioned a treadmill, and Staub wanted to develop it commercially.
"The treadmills we were using were very expensive, but there wasn't one on the market for the masses," Cooper said. "I encouraged it. I said, 'If you can develop a treadmill that could be used in a home or an apartment it would be a slam dunk.' And it was."
But not at first. Gerald Staub remembers conversations with his father in which the two hoped to sell 10 or 12 treadmills a day. The machine was a curiosity at trade shows because few had ever seen or heard of a treadmill.
"Some people couldn't pronounce it. They would call it a threadmill," Gerald Staub said. "I would joke and say we were helping people get no place quickly."
At the time, William Staub owned an aerospace company called Besco but soon focused on selling his treadmill, the PaceMaster, through a company he called Aerobics Inc. William Staub sold it to Gerald Staub and another son in the 1990s, and the company folded in 2010.
"I don't think he thought it was going to be quite as big as it was," Gerald Staub said.