Pauli Murray’s Home Slated to Become a National Historic Landmark

The Pauli Murray Project at the Human Rights Center at Duke University has been working for many years to obtain landmark status for the civil rights activist’s home in Durham. Those efforts have finally reached fruition. Recently the Landmarks Committee of the National Park Service unanimously voted to recommend that the home at 906 Carroll Street become a National Historic Landmark. The final decision on the matter rests with the Secretary of the Interior and the decision can be made before the change in presidential administrations. The Pauli Murray Project has fully restored the home and it is expected that it will be made into a museum and social justice center.

Pauli MurrayA native of Baltimore, Pauli Murray was orphaned at age 13. She went to Durham, North Carolina to live with an aunt. After graduating from high school at the age of 16, she enrolled in Hunter College in New York City. She was forced to drop out of school at the onset of the Great Depression. In 1938, she mounted an unsuccessful legal effort to gain admission to the all-white University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1940, 15 years earlier than Rosa Parks, Murray was arrested for refusing to sit in the back of a bus in Virginia.

Murray enrolled at the Howard University in 1941 and earned her degree in 1944. She later graduated from the Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California at Berkeley. She became a leader of the civil rights movement and was critical of its leadership for not including more women in their ranks. In 1977, Murray, at the age of 66, was ordained a priest of the Episcopal Church. She died in Pittsburgh in 1985 after suffering from cancer.


Pauli Murray’s home before and after restoration


Comments (3)

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  1. Barbara Lau says:

    Thank you so much for your article. We look forward to the celebration of NHL status in the new year – fingers crossed!! We have restored the exterior of the house but have a lot of work to do inside and in developing exhibits and educational programs. If you want to keep in touch or know more, check us out at
    Thank you — Barbara Lau, Director of the Pauli Murray Project, DHRC@FHI

  2. Marjorie Diggs Freeman says:

    So glad to see your years of effort coming to fruition!

  3. Temple Porter- McGill says:

    My daughter, Brooke attends Duke University. We will definitely visit this historic gem.

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