The University of Alabama Honors Its First Black Students

On June 11, 1963, George C. Wallace, governor of Alabama, defiantly stood in the doorway of Foster Auditorium on the campus of the University of Alabama in an attempt to stop the registration of African Americans James Hood and Vivian Malone. But U.S. marshals and the federalized Alabama National Guard ordered Wallace to step down and allow the students to register for classes.

This past week the University of Alabama dedicated the Malone-Hood Plaza on campus just outside the renovated Foster Auditorium. Constructed in the new plaza and dedicated in the same ceremony is the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower. In 1956, Lucy was the first black student at the university. But due to campus violence, Lucy was expelled, supposedly for her own safety.