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Two National Guardsmen remove a street barricade from an entrance to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa as restrictions were lifted, June 13, 1963
Vintage wire photograph on paper
4 11/16 x 7 3/8 in. (11.91 x 18.73 cm)

Creation Place: North America
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg in honor of Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Accession Number: P2021.13.1260

Barricades Come Down: Two National Guardsmen remove a street barricade from an entrance to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa as restrictions were lifted. The campus was sealed off to cars and unauthorized personnel last Saturday, three days before the enrollment of two black students, Vivian Malone and James Alexander Hood.

James Alexander Hood (November 10, 1942 – January 17, 2013) was one of the first blacks to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963 and was made famous when Alabama Governor George Wallace blocked him from enrolling at the all-white university, an incident which became known as the "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door".

Vivian Malone Jones (July 15, 1942 – October 13, 2005) was one of the first two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963, and in 1965 became the university's first black graduate. She was made famous when Alabama Governor George Wallace attempted to block her and James Hood from enrolling at the all-white university. Despite earning high academic achievements from the university, she never received a job offer in Alabama. She later joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and served as a research analyst. She was appointed to a position as the Executive Director of the Voter Education Project and worked towards voter equality for minorities, thus assisting millions of blacks to register to vote. She later became the Director of Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and Director of Environmental Justice for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a position she held until her retirement in 1996.

The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door took place at Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963. George Wallace stood at the door of the auditorium to try to block the entry of Vivian Malone and James Hood. In response, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 11111, which federalized the Alabama National Guard, and Guard General Henry Graham then commanded Wallace to step aside, saying, "Sir, it is my sad duty to ask you to step aside under the orders of the President of the United States."

George Wallace (August 25, 1919 – September 13, 1998) was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Alabama, a position he occupied for four terms, during which he promoted "low-grade industrial development, low taxes, and trade schools". He sought the United States presidency as a Democrat three times, and once as an American Independent Party candidate, unsuccessfully each time, and is best remembered for his staunch opposition to desegregation and his support for "Jim Crow" positions during the Civil Rights Movement, declaring in his 1963 Inaugural Address that he stood for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever". Seeking to stop the racial integration of the University of Alabama, Wallace earned national notoriety by standing in front of the entrance of the University of Alabama, literally blocking the path of black students. Wallace won election to another term as Governor of Alabama in 1970 and ran in the 1972 Democratic presidential primaries, once again campaigning for segregation. His campaign effectively ended when he was shot in Maryland by Arthur Bremer, and Wallace would remain paralyzed below the waist for the rest of his life. In the late 1970s, Wallace announced that he was born again Christian and renounced his past support for segregation; Henry Graham (1916-1999) was a National Guard general who protected black activists during the Civil Rights Movement. He is most famous for asking Alabama Governor George Wallace to step aside and permit black students to register for classes at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1963 during the "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" incident.

Illustrated: Associated Press ID #6306130417

On verso: typewritten label with title and date affixed.

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 4 11/16 x 7 3/8 in. (11.91 x 18.73 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen
  • Sheet Dimensions: 4 7/8 x 8 5/16 in. (12.38 x 21.11 cm) Measured by Hudson, Karen

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