Clinton Celebrates Civil Rights History

 

The civil rights history of Clinton, Tenn., home of the first integrated public school in Tennessee and one of the first in the South, will be celebrated at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 30, at Asbury United Methodist Church, 405 W. Broad St., Clinton.

Presentations, exhibits and talks on the city’s historical events include:
— Clinton becoming the first Tennessee public high school to integrate on Aug. 26, 1956.

— Gov. Frank Clement ordering 100 state highway patrolmen and 600 National Guardsmen to maintain order in Clinton after public unrest.

— The Rev. Paul Turner, a white Baptist preacher, being attacked and beaten by an angry white mob while taking a group of black children to school.

— Clinton resident Bobby Cain in 1957 becoming the first black graduate of a state supported integrated high school.

— Clinton High School being bombed the morning of Sunday, Oct. 5, 1958.

— The Rev. Billy Graham’s December 1958 speech at Clinton High School gymnasium.
Some of the individuals involved in the city’s desegregation process will participate in the event and be available for interviews.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Clinton Desegregation Project sponsored by the University of Tennessee Community Partnership Center, Knoxville’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and Asbury United Methodist Church.

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