October 5


October 5, 1929 Autherine Juanita Lucy, the first black student to attend the University of Alabama, was born in Shiloh, Alabama. Lucy earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Miles College in 1952 and wanted to attend the University of Alabama as a graduate student. Knowing that the university would reject her application due to her race, the NAACP took her case to court. On October 10, 1955 in Lucy v. Adams the United States Supreme Court upheld a court order preventing the university from rejecting the admission applications of African American students seeking admission. On February 3, 1956, Lucy enrolled as a graduate student in library science. However, on the third day of classes a hostile mob prevented her from attending classes and the university suspended her on the grounds that they could not provide a safe environment. The university overturned her suspension in 1980 and in 1992 Lucy earned a masters degree in elementary education. Today, there is a portrait of Lucy in the student union inscribed “Her initiative and courage won the right for students of all races to attend the university.”


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