In this WSB newsfilm clip from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia on January 12, 1961, images of campus and downtown Athens are seen; a reporter speaks to Minnie Porter, dormitory mother at Myers Hall, after a riot outside the building; and in Atlanta, senator Carl Sanders addresses the riot. As the clip begins, people stand outside of buildings (possibly the fraternities and sororities located on Milledge Avenue) at night. In downtown Athens, cars drive down the streets. A neon sign advertises Tony's Restaurant, and stores are seen across the street. Next, in the daytime, cars drive past Myers Hall dormitory, and students walk along Lumpkin Street and around campus. Several campus buildings are seen, including the Ilah Dunlap Little Library. The hands of two students are seen passing a note back and forth.
After the campus scenes, a reporter interviews Myers Hall dormitory mother Minnie Porter. She says the young women in her dormitory have accepted the university's integration and the presence of Charlayne Hunter, one of the first African American students on campus, in the dorm. When asked if she and the residents were afraid during the previous night's demonstration, she responds that the young women were tired but not afraid. Porter reports that none of the residents have moved out of the dorm yet, although she believes some will eventually. She also relates that the residents have been "perfectly lovely" to Hunter.
Next, Georgia senator Carl Sanders from Augusta asserts that the opinions of well-behaved students should not be limited. He also praises governor Ernest Vandiver for his reactions to the previous nights' riots since "mob rule is good for no one."
Lights are seen in another night shot, possibly from a burning cross. Finally people inside the Chapel hold papers, some filled with signatures. Several petitions regarding the university's integration were sent to the legislature. Groups of students sent at least two petitions, one in favor of keeping the school open even if integrated and one encouraging the legislature to continue the fight against integration. University faculty also sent a petition to the legislature after the January 11 riot condemning the violence and urging the legislature to keep the school open.
Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes first applied to the University of Georgia in the summer of 1959 but were denied based on lack of space according to the university. After several other unsuccessful applications, lawyers for the two students filed a federal lawsuit against the university. On January 6, 1961 federal judge William A. Bootle ordered the university to admit the students and to stop rejecting applicants solely based on race; Hunter and Holmes began attending classes at the University of Georgia on January 11, ending 176 years of segregation. White students and citizens protesting the integration rioted outside of Myers Hall January 11; Hunter and Holmes were suspended "for their own protection" and sent back to Atlanta that night. Bootle ordered the students readmitted on January 13 and on January 16 they returned to campus.
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.