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Integration Showdown at University of Alabama

May 21, 1963 - Federal District Judge Hobart H. Grooms told the University of Alabama today that it must admit two Negroes June 10. Governor George C. Wallace asserted immediately that he would defy the court’s order. Thus, the stage was set for the long-threatened showdown between the segregationist Governor and the Kennedy Administration. “I will be present to bar the entrance of any Negro who attempts to enroll at the University of Alabama,” Mr. Wallace told a news conference in Montgomery. “This is legal resistance and legal defiance.” One of the two students affected by the order to the university was Vivian Malone (left), 20, of Mobile. She is to enroll on the main campus in Tuscaloosa. The other is Dave M. McGlathery (right), 26, a mathematician at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center at Huntsville, Ala. Autherine Lucy, a Negro, of Tyler, Tex., attended the university at Tuscaloosa for 3 days in 1956. She was expelled for accusing university officials of complicity in the riots that marked her stay. Alabama is now the only state in the Union with no desegregation in its public education system.


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