September 10

September 10, 1963 – Alabama Schools Desegregated

Segregation 1938b

The discrimination that perpetrated this “Jim Crow” era “Colored Only” drinking fountain in 1938 Halifax, NC still existed throughout the south in the 1960’s during the desegregation of schools.

Twenty brave young African American students began school at previously segregated schools in Alabama on September 10, 1963.  The day before had become a national incident when segregationist Governor George C. Wallace had refused the demands of federal authorities and blocked the attendance of African American students.  Highway patrolmen were ordered by Governor Wallace to block the doors of schools to keep African American students from attending.  However, amidst the standoff between the Governor and the Federal Government, a young Sonnie Hereford, IV and three other students had managed to become the first students to desegregate the state school system when they entered schools in Huntsville, Alabama on September 9, 1963.