Days pass quietly now for Maude Ballou.
The retired Charlotte teacher lives in a peaceful subdivision off Statesville Road. At 82, she moves slowly around a home filled with pictures of children and grandchildren.
There's little reminder that a half-century ago, she was at the center of one of the most tumultuous moments in American history.
For five years, Ballou was personal secretary and sometime confidant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She witnessed the birth of the civil rights movement from his office in Montgomery's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and later from his Atlanta home.
She organized carpools during the tense days of the Montgomery bus boycott, even as Klan members followed her own car. She awoke one night to the bombing of King's home. Years later, she watched two men set fire to a cross in his yard.
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