In this WSB newsfilm clip from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia on January 9, 1961, African American lawyers comment on the university's integration; a reporter questions several white students from the University of Georgia about the university's integration; and African American students Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter integrate the university.
The clip begins with African American attorneys Horace T. Ward and Donald Hollowell standing beside Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes at a press conference. Attorney Hollowell states that they have not requested special protection for Hunter and Holmes as they begin attending the university, believing that the city police with the assistance of appropriate state and federal forces will handle the situation. He continues with his belief that the "the people at the university and around the university are sufficiently fair minded to want to see any Georgia citizen get the best education possible at the facilities which are provided by the state."
Next, as Ward and another African American get into a car parked near the Arch, reporters question the men about the appeal process. The watching white crowd makes comments about the leaving car and the lawyers; one student suggests they have a "nice trip back to Africa."
After the car leaves, a reporter interviews white students about the university's integration. The first student, identified as Ross Butler, feels that if the university is going to integrate, it should be done soon because of the short length of the current quarter. He also believes that the school should be left open even if integrated so all students can continue their education. Edward Stone, the next student interviewed, views integration as something that is happening throughout the South, although he says he will probably transfer to a different school if the University of Georgia integrates. Stone, who says he is working his way through school, says he is willing to give up his education at the University of Georgia.
Next, the reporter interviews an unidentified young man who is willing to accept "token integration" to preserve his education, although he says he is willing to give up his education if integration occurs on a mass scale. When asked about the court-ordered stay of the integration process, the young man replies that he hopes the state's lawyers are able to reverse the integration order but believes that integration is inevitable.
Student Chris Howes thinks that accepting integration is the only feasible thing to do; he emphasizes that "violence won't solve a thing." He reports that while other young men in the dormitories have differing opinions, most want to keep the university open. Howes also views the quietness on campus through the African American students' first visit as the result of "a lot of level headed students on the campus." After the interviews, white crowds mill on campus.
Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, the first two African American students at the University of Georgia, walk into Meigs Hall, the psychology building (Holmes' major). Holmes is also seen getting into a car. University officials, including Dean of Men William F. Tate, and students stand on the steps of the library. Finally, a reporter interviews Charlayne Hunter who says that while she has been jeered at, she hasn't had much time to pay attention to the reactions of white students on campus.
African American students 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 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. The students registered for classes on January 9 and attended their first classes January 11.
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.