Georgia Tech Integration


To avoid the civil unrest that attended the University of Georgia's court-ordered desegregation, officials at Georgia Tech began plotting an integration strategy in January 1961. After months of careful planning, Tech President Edwin Harrison announced the following May that the school would admit three of thirteen black applicants for admission the following fall. Despite enjoying broad support from Atlanta's business and political communities, tensions remained high as the fall semester approached and school administrators took a number of steps to preclude the possibility for disorder; Members of the press were barred from campus to discourage disruptive behavior and plainclothes police officers were on hand to ensure a peaceful desegregation process. On September 27, the school's first three black students attended classes without incident, making Georgia Tech the first institution of higher education in the Deep South to integrate peacefully and without a court order.

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