UA marks 50th anniversary of “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”

FILE - In this June 11, 1963 file photo, Gov. George Wallace blocks the entrance to the University of Alabama as he turned back a federal officer attempting to enroll two black students at the university campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wallace backed down when President John Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and ordered troops to Tuscaloosa. Wallace's daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, said her family has lived in the shadow of the schoolhouse door ever since. She said her father never told her why he did it and she never asked him before he died in 1998. Since then, she has been involved in civil rights events in Alabama. She wants to give hope to people by showing that families can change. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this June 11, 1963 file photo, Gov. George Wallace blocks the entrance to the University of Alabama as he turned back a federal officer attempting to enroll two black students at the university campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Wallace backed down when President John Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard and ordered troops to Tuscaloosa. Wallace's daughter, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, said her family has lived in the shadow of the schoolhouse door ever since. She said her father never told her why he did it and she never asked him before he died in 1998. Since then, she has been involved in civil rights events in Alabama. She wants to give hope to people by showing that families can change. (AP Photo/File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – It was 50 years ago that then Gov. George Wallace staged his “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” to prevent African-Americans from attending the University of Alabama.

On Tuesday, a racially integrated crowd will gather in Tuscaloosa to remember that landmark event of June 11, 1963.

(WIAT-CBS42)

(Foster Auditorium)

The university will stage a commemoration Tuesday evening at Foster Auditorium, where Wallace faced down federal officials to oppose integration.

The event will honor the courage of Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two students who enrolled despite Wallace’s actions. The program will include talks about the importance of the event and the university’s progress since then.

Today the University of Alabama is about 13% African-American.

A memorial plaza honoring the school’s first minority students is now located at the site of Wallace’s stand.

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