Tuesday, June 11, 2013

George Wallace's Stand in the Schoolhouse Door
June 11, 1963
Attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama, 
Democratic Governor George Wallace stands defiantly at the door 
of the Foster Auditorium while being confronted 
by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenback.

"Today I have stood where Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very heart of the Anglo-Saxon southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generation of forebears before us time and again down through history.

“Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny. And I say: Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”

~ George Wallace, Inaugural Address as Governor of Alabama, 1963

The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door  took place at the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963.

George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, in a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of "Segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation forever" and stop the desegregation of schools, stood at the door of Foster Auditorium to try to block the entry of two black students, Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood.

The incident brought George Wallace into the national spotlight.

Today, 50 years removed from Wallace's protest, the University of Alabama's student body is 13 percent African American, which is only slightly lower than the national average of 14 percent of college students, but is equal to the overall percentage of black people in the United States.

This article originally ran in the June 24, 1963, issue of U.S. News & World Report.

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