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Memphis Schools Desegregated

Oct. 3, 1961 - A century of segregation ended in Memphis, Tenn., today when 13 Negro first-graders were admitted to white schools. Police Commissioner Claude Armour said there were no incidents. Fifty patrolmen, carrying clubs, patrolled the area around each of the four schools involved. Attendance at the schools was reported nearly normal, but some white mothers took their children out of classes. "We will either transfer him or move plumb out of the city," said Mrs. Herman McGregor after removing her 9-year-old son from his fourth-grade class. "We may go back to Mississippi, where they don't let them go to school with whites." "Yeah," said her son, Jerry. "I'd rather be dumb than go to school with them." In all, about 25 white pupils were withdrawn from the four schools.


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