What Will Happen to George Wallace’s “Schoolhouse Door”?

In June 1963 Governor George C. Wallace made his historic “stand in the schoolhouse door” in a show of defiance against a federal court which ordered the racial integration of the University of Alabama.

The Kennedy administration, represented by Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, agreed to permit Wallace to stage his show of defiance to federal authority but only after receiving assurances from the governor that he would not pull out the state highway patrol and leave the city in the hands of racist thugs.

Now, Foster Auditorium, where Wallace made his stand, has been closed after it was learned that asbestos was prevalent throughout the building. A major renovation would cost up to $15 million. The university has pledged to preserve the historic landmark of the civil rights movement but it is in no rush to do so. There is no plan to start renovation for at least three years.

“We have a set of priorities,” said university president Robert Witt. “Foster will have to wait.”

George Wallace making his famous stand in the schoolhouse door
at the University of Alabama on June 11,1963. At far right is
Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. (AP Images.)