On July 15, 1942 civil rights activist Vivian Juanita Malone Jones was born in Mobile, Alabama. Vivian Malone and James Hood integrated the University of Alabama in 1963 against the wishes of Alabama Governor George Wallace who initially blocked their entrance into the university, Wallace and other segregationist were adamant about not allowing African Americans to attend this university in the deep south.
President John F. Kennedy gave his famous Civil Rights speech as a result of the National Guard being sent to protect Malone and Hood’s enrollment at the University of Alabama. Kennedy on June 11, 1963 in the speech proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. During the speech he encouraged America to view civil rights not just as a legal issue, but as a moral one. Malone was the first African American graduate of the University of Alabama. She died in Atlanta, Georgia on October 13, 2005 at age 63.