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April 07, 2010 11:00 AM A Plaza to Remember the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”

By Daniel Luzer

Wallace.jpg

On June 11, 1963 Alabama Governor George Wallace stood at the doors of the Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to attempt to stop two black students from registering for classes at the school. For years there was nothing but a plaque by the doors to acknowledge that event, arguably one of the more significant in the civil rights movement. Well now it looks like there’s going to be a major marker. According to an Associated Press article by Hannah Wolfson:

University officials plan to build a plaza and a clock tower out front to commemorate the events that led to the integration of school in 1963.
The proposal for the Malone Hood Plaza-named for Vivian Malone and James Hood, the two black students whom then-Gov. Wallace tried unsuccessfully to block from entering Foster to register for classes-will go before University of Alabama trustees for approval this week.

The planned plaza is part of the renovation of the auditorium, which was declared an historic landmark in 2005 but was deteriorating. After the renovation, according to the article, Foster will become a building for the school’s women’s basketball and volleyball teams.

Currently, 12 percent of University of Alabama students are black. About 26 percent of Alabama’s total population is black. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer