Tennessee and Kentucky Integration, 1956
Clinton [Tennessee] Intimidation Campaign Indicated
CLINTON, Tenn., Sept. 5 — Segregationists in militia-quieted Clinton were accused today of threatening to dynamite homes of white children attending racially mixed classes—but more pupil# came to school.
Dr. J. Brittain Jr., principal of the high school that integrated last week under federal court order, said two mothers reported "they had received personal calls from people who told them that if their children weren't removed from school, their homes would be dynamited after the National Guard left."
These and other calls, he said, convince him that there is an organized campaign of intimidation by telephone and personal visits.
All 12 Negroes enrolled at Clinton High attended classes today, arriving amid dead silence from white pupils standing around. The white attendance was 312, still 482 short of the registered total but an increase of 55 from yesterday.
Adj. Gen. Joe Henry, commanding the 633-man National Guard contingent here, told a news conference, "We just may do a fadeout one of these days." But he said he does not know when the day will come and gave no indication it is imminent. Earlier he said the guard, ordered here Sunday, will remain until permanent peace seems restored and local citizens have had time to organize a civil defense auxiliary police force to guard against recurrence of anti integration disorders.
Brittain said at a news conference there is a "campaign of fear going on" to keep children away from the high school and that the group conducting it includes "agitators who brought on these demonstrations in Clinton."
Troops Sent To Sturgis, Ky
Guard Unit Pitch Camp Near School
Violence Feared If Negroes Attempt To Attend Classes
STURGIS, Ky., Sept. 5 Four units of the Kentucky National Guard, supported by four tanks, started moving toward this coalmining town tonight, prepared to stay until racial tension caused by Negro students attempting to enter Sturgis High School ends.
Maj. Gen. J. J. B. Williams said the units were en route from Owensboro, Lexington, Livermore and nearby Henderson. The unit from Henderson was the first to arrive and immediately pitched camp on the school grounds.
Williams said the troops, numbering about 210 men, would bivouac on the school grounds and would stand guard around the school tomorrow to quell any disturbance should the Negro students try to enter again.
The Negro youths were turned away Tuesday by an angry mob of farmers and miners. A crowd was on hand again today vowing to keep Negro students from their school.
Williams said the troops were ordered here by Gov. A.B. Chandler to see that "no citizen will be molested by any other citizen."
Williams conferred with Mayor J B. Holeman and Police Chief Ernest Hina shortly after he flew here from Frankfort.
He said, "We're making plans for tomorrow morning. We're well prepared for any eventuality . . . At the moment I believe things are well in hand;"
Integration in this border state began yesterday in most of the state's 221 school districts. School officials had anticipated no trouble.
The flare-up here began when about 300 persons appeared at tne school and turned back the Negro students.
None of the Negroes showed up today. Pickets carried signs saying, "Go home or get hurt."
Gen. Williams said, "Some local people have started a rumor that we would escort the Negro students to class tomorrow at Sturgis High School. That is not our duty. We cannot escort either a Negro or a white child. A child legally entitled to enter school doesn't need an escort."
The state police also moved in 12 units today to keep the street and roads open and to help quell any disturbance.
The Negro youths said "we'll be back" after they were turned away. State police, under the direction of two top officers who flew in from the state capital at Frankfort, maintained order during today's four-hour demonstration.
Used with permission of The Associated Press © 2007 All Rights Reserved.
Printed in the Cumberland News
Established in 1909 and opened in 1912, Tennessee' historically black Agricultural and Industrial State University in Nashville became known as Tennessee State University (TSU) in 1968. The Tennessee State Association of Teachers in Colored Schools had been established in 1923.
Buttons from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein.
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008