November 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - Sierra Leone: Country Directors - Sierra Leone: Birmingham Post Herald: George "Peach" Taylor and his family were singled out in Birmingham phone calls late at night, racist jokes at Sunday schools because of his desegregation views, and they decided to leave. He became head of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Sierra Leone: Peace Corps Sierra Leone : The Peace Corps in Sierra Leone: November 5, 2004: Headlines: COS - Sierra Leone: Country Directors - Sierra Leone: Birmingham Post Herald: George "Peach" Taylor and his family were singled out in Birmingham phone calls late at night, racist jokes at Sunday schools because of his desegregation views, and they decided to leave. He became head of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa.

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-21-111.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.21.111) on Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 9:53 am: Edit Post

George "Peach" Taylor and his family were singled out in Birmingham phone calls late at night, racist jokes at Sunday schools because of his desegregation views, and they decided to leave. He became head of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa.

George Peach Taylor and his family were singled out in Birmingham  phone calls late at night, racist jokes at Sunday schools  because of his desegregation views, and they decided to leave. He became head of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa.

George "Peach" Taylor and his family were singled out in Birmingham phone calls late at night, racist jokes at Sunday schools because of his desegregation views, and they decided to leave. He became head of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa.

George Taylor is one man who made many votes count

by CLARKE STALLWORTH

BIRMINGHAM POST-HERALD

Caption: George "Peach" Taylor (left) receives John Minor Wisdom Award

There are Eskimos in Alaska, cowboys in Wyoming, Cajuns in Louisiana and cab drivers in New York City who have better representation in their state legislatures because of George "Peach" Taylor.

We called him Peach in the late 1950s and the early '60s when he helped file a suit for members of the Young Men's Business Club, which culminated in the historic "one-man, one vote" decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. That decision gave better legislative representation to every citizen of the United States.

For this, and scores of other selfless acts, the 79-year-old Peach will take a long pull from his oxygen machine and stand up to get an award for public service from the students and faculty of the University of Alabama Law School. On Wednesday, each of his four children will tell about a segment of his life during the ceremony in Tuscaloosa.

I asked him over the phone what the words "public service" meant to him.

"Well, I think that everyone has a responsibility to do something for others," he said.

The award, from the Public Interest Institute of the law school, says it is "dedicated to the idea that the privilege of being an attorney includes service to one's community."

Peach grew up in Birmingham and became a partner in a prestigious law firm. He was one of those guys who became president of whatever club he joined.

The 1960 Census came, Alabama lost population, and the Alabama Legislature proposed to carve up Jefferson County, leaving Birmingham without a congressman. Members of the Young Men's Business Club, which had been picketed by the Ku Klux Klan for its views on desegregation, filed a lawsuit, asking the federal court to reshuffle the Alabama Legislature according to population.

Peach and Charles "Chuck" Morgan Jr., another young lawyer in the YMBC, pursued the case through the federal appeals courts until it reached the U.S. Supreme Court. They did it mostly pro bono, which means they didn't get paid for their work.

On June 15, 1964, the Supreme Court spoke, through Chief Justice Earl Warren's majority opinion. The court said legislatures should represent people, not areas, and ordered the Alabama Legislature and all the other legislatures in the United States to reapportion themselves according to population. Generally, this gave the cities more representation in state legislatures.

Peach and his family were singled out in Birmingham phone calls late at night, racist jokes at Sunday schools because of his desegregation views, and they decided to leave. He became head of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa.

"We arrived there on March 22, 1965," he said. "We didn't know where we would live, we didn't know where our kids would go to school." He said his wife, the former Mary Leta English, "tied it all together, as she always did."

Two years in Africa, including finding a cobra in the living room. A year with the Peace Corp in Washington, and more service with the Peace Corps in Guyana, just east of Venezuela in South America. Here, they lived through a military coup with 28 volunteers living in their house during the shooting.

Some of the volunteers demonstrated against the Vietnam War, marching with signs outside the U.S. Embassy in Guyana. President Richard Nixon sent a letter instructing Peace Corps officials to fire any volunteers who demonstrated against the war or else.

Peach chose "or else," refused to fire the volunteers, and was fired himself.

He and his family moved to Jackson, Miss., where he tried cases for a civil rights organization in a hostile atmosphere. In 1973, he came to the University of Alabama Law School as assistant dean and began to teach.

He retired from the law school as a full professor in 1989 and went to work as a public defender for Tuscaloosa County. For several years, he defended poor people who couldn't afford a lawyer.

He retired again in 1993 and now plays golf three or four times a week.

On Wednesday, Peach and Mary Leta will watch as each of their children stand up at the ceremony and tell about his career. There will be George "Peach" Taylor Jr., 51, a three-star general who is surgeon general of the U.S. Air Force; Ann Taylor, 50, a lawyer in Mobile; Jarred Taylor, 48, a lawyer in Birmingham; and David Taylor, 46, a lawyer in Nashville.

Sitting beside him will be the sweetheart of his youth, Mary Leta, who he says "made it all possible." They live in Tuscaloosa.

Peach says he occasionally substitutes for a judge in Tuscaloosa, but "I'm not in the public service business any more. I do play golf three or four times a week."

"I put my oxygen machine on the golf cart, ride until I get to the golf ball, take a long breath of oxygen, get off the cart, hit the ball, get back on the cart, take another whiff of oxygen, and chase that little ball some more," he said.





When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
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Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
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Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
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Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?


Read the stories and leave your comments.






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Story Source: Birmingham Post Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Sierra Leone; Country Directors - Sierra Leone

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By Anonymous (84-254-188-2.ip.skylogicnet.com - 84.254.188.2) on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 9:35 am: Edit Post

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