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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 The fifth grade is the next level to integrate following a “grade-by-grade downward progression.” [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1960s; The Austin American, “Fifth Graders Desegregated,” September 05, 1962]
University of Texas at Austin (UT) facts Black students at The University of Texas extend an invitation to civil rights leader Martin Luther King to assist them with the full integration of all university facilities, including dormitories and intercollegiate athletics. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (1)-University of Texas; The Dallas Morning News, “Officials at UT Disturbed by Report Dr. King Invited,” October 20, 1962]