50 years ago today: Birmingham integrates its golf courses

Posted June 29th, 2013 by
Category: History Tags: , , ,

Detail from the front page of the Birmingham (Ala.) Daily News, June 20, 1963Fifty years ago today, on June 29, 1963, the city of Birmingham, Alabama re-opened its municipal golf courses, making them available for the first time to both white and black citizens.

In October 1961, a federal district court had ordered the integration of Birmingham’s public recreation facilities, holding that their  segregation along racial lines was unconstitutional. This plan met with resistance from the city’s commissioner of public safety, Bull Connor, who is best known to history for the use of police dogs and fire hoses against civil rights demonstrators. Connor announced that he intended to close some 67 city parks, 38 playgrounds, 6 swimming pools, and 4 golf courses, and even the city’s football stadium and, if necessary, to sell them all to private citizens rather than accept the court’s integration order.

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Flat Justin receives Birmingham Civil Rights History tour

Posted March 18th, 2010 by
Category: Outreach Tags: , , , ,

Tom DeWolf is a regular guest contributor and the author of Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History. This entry is cross-posted from Tom’s blog, and the opinions expressed are his own.

I had never heard of “Flat Stanley” when my lifelong friend Mike Godfrey wrote and asked if his son could send me his “Flat Justin” to spend some time with me. Mike and I grew up together because our parents were best friends. We went on vacations together and our families jointly owned a cabin in the mountains. We had some serious snowball fights over the years. I’m not sure there is anyone I spent more time with growing up than Mike until I moved to Oregon to attend college almost 40 years ago. I was honored that JJ chose me to send Flat Justin to.

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