Governor George Wallace prevents black students from registering at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa on June 11, 1963. At right, Nicholas Katzenbach, deputy attorney general of the United States listens to Wallace.
Prospective black students Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood tried to register at the university, but Wallace took his infamous “stand in the schoolhouse door” to prevent the integration that was mandated by federal law. During this period, some Southern politicians sought to increase their popularity with white voters by flouting federal court decisions.
In this case, Wallace’s stance was symbolic – the two students enrolled later in the day without incident. But Wallace, despite renouncing his stance later, remained a symbol of racism for years to come. (National Archives)