In this WSB newsfilm clip from Foster Auditorium on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on June 11, 1963, Alabama governor George C. Wallace stands in the doorway of the auditorium to prevent the integration of the university before receiving and complying with a presidential order to step aside. The clip begins with a crowd standing on the sidewalk leading to Foster Auditorium. Wallace, standing at a podium, appears to be speaking, although his comments are not recorded. Led by Lieutenant General Henry Graham, Alabama National Guard soldiers walk up to the podium and hand the printed presidential order to Wallace. Wallace then walks away from the building, enters a car, and waves as the car drives away. After his departure, African American students James Hood and Vivian Malone are escorted to the building where they will register for classes; two soldiers escort Hood first; then three more soldiers escort Malone. Several years previously, in 1956, Autherine Lucy became the first African American student to matriculate at the University of Alabama, after having won a three-year court battle. However, after three days of constant rioting, the university suspended her, purportedly for her own protection; Lucy was later expelled after her lawyers accused University of Alabama officials for conspiring with the rioters. In 1963, federal courts ruled that the university would have to admit Vivian Malone and James Hood. On June 11, governor George Wallace followed through on a 1962 campaign promise to "stand in the schoolhouse door" to preserve segregation in Alabama by standing in the entrance of Foster Auditorium in an orchestrated and high profile attempt to block the way of federal officials escorting Malone and Hood. Wallace only stepped aside after a presidential order was presented directly to him by members of the Alabama National Guard. Wallace implemented tight security on campus and made a plea for Alabama citizens to stay away in order to avoid a repeat of the rioting and violence that characterized the 1956 Autherine Lucy affair and the 1962 integration at Ole Miss. After Wallace left campus, Malone and Hood successfully registered for classes that afternoon. Two days later, another African American student, Dave M. McGlathery, was admitted to the University of Alabama's graduate school at the Birmingham campus. Neither the Tuscaloosa nor the Birmingham campuses experienced violence or rioting with the 1963 integration.
DigiBeta preservation master.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
|Rights and Usage:|
Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of Alabama governor Georgia C. Wallace standing in the doorway to prevent registration of African American students at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1963 June 11, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0783, 58:01/59:28, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.