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Desegregation in Austin

Five Decades of Social Change: A Timeline

This web project presents an annotated chronology of major events in the desegregation of Austin, Texas, from 1940 to 1980 as they appeared in local newspapers and other materials such as the Austin Files (AF) in the archives at the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. The timeline is intended as a guide to key events necessary for an understanding of this extraordinary time in the city’s history.



Local African American firsts Local African American firsts
University of Texas at Austin (UT) facts University of Texas at Austin (UT) facts
Local desegregation facts Local desegregation facts
Statewide desegregation facts Statewide desegregation facts
National desegregation facts National desegregation facts

Note: The Austin American-Statesman newspaper had several name changes over the five decades covered in this timeline. The variations reflect usage for that time—Austin Statesman, The Austin Statesman, The Austin-Statesman, The Austin American, The Austin American-Statesman, American Statesman, The American-Statesman, Austin American-Statesman.

overview | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | all


Local desegregation facts Bergstrom Air Force Base’s “Negro” baseball players are informed that they can not play in an exhibition game against the Austin High School Maroons being held at House Park athletic field. The game is cancelled because of a deed restriction prohibiting African Americans from participating in sports activities there. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1950s; The Austin Statesman, “Baseball Game Off on Account of ‘Color’ Line,” April 06, 1950]
University of Texas at Austin (UT) facts After four and one half years of legal battles, Heman Marion Sweatt registers at The University of Texas at Austin. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (1)-University of Texas; The Austin Statesman, “Sweatt Signed at Law School,” September 19, 1950]