Attempting to block integration at the University of Alabama, Governor of Alabama George Wallace stands at the door of Foster Auditorium while being confronted by US Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach.
“The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door took place at Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963. George Wallace, the Democratic Governor of Alabama, in a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of ‘segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever’ and stop the desegregation of schools, stood at the door of the auditorium to try to block the entry of two African American students, Vivian Malone and James Hood. In response, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 11111, which federalized the Alabama National Guard, and Guard General Henry Graham then commanded Wallace to step aside, saying, ‘Sir, it is my sad duty to ask you to step aside under the orders of the President of the United States.’ Wallace then spoke further, but eventually moved, and Malone and Hood completed their registration. The incident brought Wallace into the national spotlight. … On June 11, Malone and Hood pre-registered in the morning at the Birmingham courthouse. They selected their courses and filled out all their forms there. They arrived at Foster Auditorium to have their course loads reviewed by advisors and pay their fees. They remained in their vehicle as Wallace, attempting to uphold his promise as well as for political show, blocked the entrance to Foster Auditorium with the media watching. Then, flanked by federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach told Wallace to step aside. However, Wallace interrupted Katzenbach and gave a speech on states’ rights. Katzenbach called President John F. Kennedy, who had previously issued a presidential proclamation demanding that Wallace step aside, and told him of Wallace’s actions in ignoring the proclamation as it had no legal force. In response, Kennedy issued Executive Order 11111, which had already been prepared, authorizing the federalization of the Alabama National Guard. Four hours later, Guard General Henry Graham commanded Wallace to step aside, saying, ‘Sir, it is my sad duty to ask you to step aside under the orders of the President of the United States.’ Wallace then spoke further, but eventually moved, and Malone and Hood completed their registration. …”
NY Times: Standing in the Schoolhouse Door (Nov. 5, 2011)
W – George Wallace
W – Vivian Malone Jones
YouTube: A Confrontation for Integration at the University of Alabama, 40th Anniversary:Vivian Malone Jones and the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door