In this WSB newsfilm clip from January 9, 1961, Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver, speaking from the governor's mansion in Atlanta, Georgia, reads from a statement he sent to lieutenant governor Garland T. Byrd and Speaker of the house George L. Smith, Jr., regarding the inevitable integration of the University of Georgia and a state law preventing the funding of integrated educational institutions. Governor Vandiver expresses his disappointment with the University of Georgia's integration and with the required withholding of state funds from the school, but declares that he will follow the law. He reviews some of the ten-year history of the legal battle to integrate the university, and declares that "all legal resources available...have been exhausted." He recognizes that as long as the 1956 appropriations act requires the state to withhold money from the school, the school will not be able to operate.
African Americans began trying to integrate the University of Georgia with Horace T. Ward's application to the university's law school in 1950; his case ended unsuccessfully in 1957. In 1959, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter applied to the university but their applications were denied, allegedly because of "lack of space." After unsuccessfully renewing their applications several more times, lawyers for the two students filed a federal lawsuit against the university in 1960. On January 6, 1961, federal judge William A. Bootle ruled that the university could not reject otherwise qualified applicants solely based on their race and ordered the university to admit them. On January 10, 1961, Bootle issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state of Georgia from cutting off funds to the university, and on January 13 he declared the 1956 appropriations act prohibiting funding integrated schools unconstitutional.
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 Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver reading a statement sent to state officials regarding the integration of the University of Georgia from the governor's mansion in Atlanta, Georgia, 1961 January 9, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0890, 34:48/35:54, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.