In this WSB newsfilm clip from January 1961, chairman of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Robert O. Arnold, speaks to reporters about integration at the University of Georgia from an office in Atlanta, Georgia.
The clip begins with a man putting a microphone around the neck of Robert O. Arnold, chairman of the Board of Regents. The man also adjusts a small table in front of Arnold with several microphones on it. A reporter sits down on the couch next to Arnold and asks him to identify the reason for the recent calm at the University of Georgia which had been integrated by court order January 9, 1961. Arnold praises the "fine conduct of everybody concerned with this affair." He specifically mentions the Sunday, January 15 agreement between University officials and news reporters where the reporters agreed to stay away from campus. University officials believed such efforts would minimize the possibility of crowds gathering and help students build a routine.
Arnold declines to comment on restrictions university officials have placed on students because he has not visited the campus in several days. He also declines to comment on the students' mood for the same reason. Responding to a follow up question about the press and crowds Arnold states that "crowds gather around the press and the press gathers around the crowds." Arnold refuses to comment on the possible involvement of the press in the January 11 riot on campus, in part because "other people have commented too much already about this." The first reporter asks Arnold about African American applicants to other segregated schools in the University System of Georgia. Arnold expresses his confidence that admissions offices at other schools in the system will evaluate the merits of applicants. The Georgia Institute of Technology integrated in the fall of 1961 when three African American young men were admitted to the school. Asked again about the press's influence on racial tension at the university, Arnold suggests the press provides sensation to people who are looking for it. Finally a reporter counters Arnold's claim by asserting that the press presents "exactly what happened as we see it."
Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes first applied to the University of Georgia in July 1959. University officials claimed "lack of space" and refused to admit the two African American students for several quarters. In the fall of 1960, African American attorneys Donald Hollowell, Constance B. Motley, and Horace T. Ward filed a federal lawsuit seeking admission for the two students. Federal judge William A. Bootle on January 6, 1961 ordered the university to admit the two students, ending the university's segregation. Holmes and Hunter registered for classes January 9, and attended their first classes on campus January 11. White students and citizens rioted on January 11 following a basketball game where the University of Georgia team lost to Georgia Tech, leading to the suspension of Hunter and Holmes and their return to Atlanta. Some of the white students who were arrested during the riot were also suspended, leading other legislators to propose bills paying their tuition at other institutions. On January 13, judge Bootle ordered the university to readmit the two students, and they returned to classes January 16.
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.
Local identification number: Clip number: wsbn42486