Today in History: Remembering Frank W. Cyr
"If you're the father of the yellow school bus, what does that make me?" Cyr replied that, whenever he saw a school bus, the boy could say, "There goes one of my brothers."
-- excerpted from Frank W. Cyr, 'Father of the Yellow School Bus,' Dies at the Age of 95
, Teachers College Newsroom
On August 1st, 1995, Frank W. Cyr passed away at the age of 95 years. Best known as the Father of the Yellow School Bus, Professor Cyr of Teachers College, Columbia University was an expert in rural education who sought to make school transportation safe, and education, accessible. Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cyr organized the first national week-long conference in 1939 for standards in school transportation, which included the color yellow, soon officially known as "National School Bus Chrome". In the 1950s's Cyr experimented with teaching by telephone at Teachers College and was instrumental an educational television system for rural schools in the Catskills. In Stamford, Connecticut, where Cyr resided until his death, the Frank W. Cyr Educational Center of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services was established; it included a television station.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers
, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- U. S. Educator To Set School Bus Standards. (1939, Apr 09). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Study School Bus Safety: Educators From Entire Nation Holding Conference Here. (1939, Apr 11). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Aid Urged For Rural Schools. (1944, Oct 13). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Higher Type Urged In Rural Teaching: Special Training For the Work Is Needed, Educators Agree At Columbia Conference. (1947, Aug 16). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Rural Teacher Shortage Pinned to Low Salaries. (1949, Oct 22). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Marke, D.T. (1949, Nov 22). Low Pay, Unfavorable Conditions Discourage Rural Area Teachers. The Austin Statesman (1921-1973)
- To Confer On Rural Education. (1951, Jul 22). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Mother Drives the School Bus. (1952, Jan 06). Daily Boston Globe (1928-1960)
- Yellow School Bus--Symbol of Nation. (1975, Sep 06). New Journal and Guide (1916-2003)
- Mitang, L. (1989, Apr 09). 'Father Of Yellow School Bus' Put An End To Color Chaos 50 Years Ago. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- James Gomez, C. R., & Patricia Wen, G. S. (1987, Oct 14). School Buses Roll: Few Snags.... Boston Globe (1960-1988)
- A Bus of A Different Color: The Father Of the Yellow School Bus. (1989, Apr 26). Newsday (1940-1990)
- Rothman, R. (1989, Apr 30). The Standardized Yellow School Bus, An 'American Icon,' Turns 50. The Sun (1837-1993)
- Fun Facts. (1992, Sep 13). The Sun (1837-1993)
- Frank Cyr, 95, Father of Yellow School Buses. (1995, Aug 06). Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Barron, J. (2013, Feb 20). Why the School Bus Never Comes In Red Or Green. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- See the archival footage showcase, The Invention of the Yellow School Bus on Vialogues
- Read the Teachers College obituary, published on Friday, June 21, 2002 that includes many more fascinating details about the life of Frank W. Cyr
- Explore the Frank W. Cyr Collection in Pocketknowledge, the digital archive of Teachers College, Columbia University
- Frank Cyr, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College, Columbia University
- Special Slide, Courtesy of Edlab Studios
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