University of Georgia Integration


On January 6, 1961, federal district court Judge W. A. Bootle ordered the immediate admission of Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter to the University of Georgia, ending 160 years of segregation at the school. Bootle's decision precipitated a constitutional crisis for state legislators, who passed legislation several years earlier mandating an immediate cut-off of state funds to any white institution that admitted a black student. As rumors circulated Athens and Atlanta regarding the possibility of the university's closing, college administrators urged students to remain calm and observe their usual routines. Order did prevail on campus until January 11, when an angry mob gathered outside Hunter's dormitory, causing significant property damage and garnering negative publicity for the university and the state. In the wake of the disturbance, state officials condemned the rioters and ultimately repealed the laws barring state support of integrated schools.

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