Tuscaloosa – US Civil Rights Trail

Gov. Wallace’s Failed “Stand” for Segregation

George C. Wallace, segregationist governor of Alabama, had promised during his campaign not to desegregate the University of Alabama, and on June 11, 1963, he stood in the doorway of Foster Auditorium to physically block two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood, from entering the building and enrolling in the school. President Kennedy intervened, calling in the Alabama National Guard to protect the students and allow them to enter. Gov. Wallace eventually left and returned to the state capital, and Malone and Hood were permitted to enter and register. This event marked a victory for integration, and Kennedy’s intercession sent a powerful message to segregationist officials across the country.


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