Befitting its namesake Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways, January 1956 opened a critical new phase of the bus boycott. The month began with heated public debate in the pages of the Montgomery Advertiser, on the street, and in meeting rooms about whether a compromise settlement was feasible, of what it might consist, and whether the protest was justified. January ended with a "get tough" policy by city officials, a historic decision by MIA leaders and lawyers to challenge the constitutionality of bus segregation--stepping beyond their demand for "separate but equal" treatment--and the bombing of King's parsonage. Meanwhile, day in and day out through the winter cold and rain, thousands of black citizens trod miles to work or school or rode in hundreds of hymn-singing car pools that crisscrossed the city every morning and afternoon.
Editor, The Advertiser: Montgomery has always had the reputation as a city of "good will, pleasant living, and cordial relations between the races." I, for one, think the vast majority of its people still believe this to be true, and cannot understand why the bus boycott has dragged on and on, and hasn't been settled long ere this. There is so much basis for compromise, without violating either city or state laws on segregation, if only men will meet together with "open minds and good will in their hearts."
There is no reason not to take in good faith the statements and advertise-