Fifty years ago tomorrow, James Hood and Vivian Malone made history as the first African-Americans to successfully enroll at the University of Alabama. Though initially blocked from entry by Governor George Wallace — during his infamous “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” brought to an end after President Kennedy mobilized the Alabama National Guard — they were allowed to register on June 11, 1963.
Vivian Malone eventually earned a Bachelor’s degree in business management. James Hood did not complete his undergraduate degree at Alabama, but he returned for graduate school in 1997, earning a PhD in interdisciplinary studies.
Among our Digital Collections in Acumen are a number of editions of the Crimson-White, our campus newspaper. Those discussing Hood/Malone registration include
June 9, 1963
covering preparations for the day of entry; see
- history of the case (“Tuesday Will See…”), pg 2
- “Girl ‘Quiet’; Boy ‘Congenial’ Students Say of Negroes,” pg 2
- security measures on campus (“All-Out Peace Effort”), pg 1
- curfew and “Ground Rules” for conduct, pg 1
- a note on appropriate behavior (“In Our Interest”), pg 3
- admonition to accept the court ruling (“Our Own Back”), pg 3
June 13, 1963
covering aftermath of the day of entry, including many photographs (pgs 1-2, 7-8); see especially
- “UA Can Be Model For Nation Hood Says After Peaceful Entry,” pg 1
- “No Easy Life for Troopers on UA Campus,” pg 2
- Editorials page, with letters to the editor in Vox Populi section, pg 4
- report of comments by Wallace prior to the event (“Wallace Tells North…”), pg 6
June 27, 1963
covering continued fallout; see especially
- guest editorial by James Hood, pg 4
- letters to the editor in Vox Populi section, pg 4
- “Letters to the Student Body,” pg 5
July 11, 1963
letters in response to Hood’s guest editorial in Vox Populi section, pgs 4-5
July 18, 1963
letters to the editor in Vox Populi section, pgs 4-5
In the wake of the “Stand,” letters poured in from all over the country — and the world. Some lamented the situation, but the majority printed in the campus newspaper praised UA students for their conduct.
This excerpt from a letter in the June 27 issue is from a southerner now living in the north:
The letter is signed James F. Gould, Philadelphia, Pa.
This letter (also from June 27) is from an Auburn grad living overseas, giving an international perspective:
If you’re looking for more on the integration of southern universities, Acumen contains Crimson-White issues discussing
- the failed entry of Autherine Lucy at UA, 1956: Feb. 7, Feb. 14, and Feb. 21
- the failed entry of James Meredith at Ole Miss, 1962: Sept. 27 editorial in support of Meredith, pg 4; and Oct. 11 follow-up editorial addressing criticism of support, pg 4
Finally, on the eve of the “Stand,” the C-W (9 June 1963) printed a letter from William Faulkner, the late Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author. It was written in 1956, in response to a former student’s inquiry during the failed entry of Autherine Lucy.
The University of Alabama is hosting a series of events surrounding this important anniversary, culminating in a program on June 11, 5:30-7:00 p.m., at Foster Auditorium. See the website Through the Doors for program details and for more history of the Civil Rights Movement at UA.