This Day in Black History: June 11, 1963

This Day in Black History: June 11, 1963

This Day in Black History: June 11, 1963

Vivian Malone and James Hood become the first two Black students to register at the University of Alabama.

Published June 11, 2014

(Photo: OFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Escorted by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, Vivian Malone and James Hood attempted to register for classes at the University of Alabama, on June 11, 1963, the first Black students to do so. However, Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a known segregationist, blocked the door. 

"I didn't feel I should sneak in, I didn't feel I should go around the back door. If [Wallace] were standing the door, I had every right in the world to face him and to go to school,” Malone said in a 2003 interview. Several hours later, the students returned, this time escorted by the Alabama National Guard as ordered by President John F. Kennedy, prompting Wallace to finally step  aside. In 1965, Malone became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Alabama.

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Written by Britt Middleton


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