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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 Department of Health, Education and Welfare finds that the Austin ISD is in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because of the existence of eight predominantly black schools. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1970; Austin American- Statesman, “School Hearing Concludes,” January 24, 1970]
Local desegregation facts The Austin ISD School Board votes unanimously to reject Plan C, a desegregation plan that would have classified Mexican American children as white. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1970; The Echo, “East Austin Wins First Round in School Board Fight,” May 19, 1970]
Local desegregation facts The federal government brings suit against the Austin ISD for alleged failure to comply with desegregation guidelines. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1970; Austin American-Statesman, “Integration Suit Filed on Austin,” August 08, 1970]
Local desegregation facts In an effort to meet federal desegregation guidelines, the school board approves a new teacher crossover plan, which will make the faculty makeup in each school comparable to the composition of the student body. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)- 1970; The Austin American, “108 Teachers Will ‘Cross Over&rsquo,” August 13, 1970]
Local desegregation facts Anderson High welcomes Mexican American and Anglo student transfers. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1970s; The Austin American, “Austin Schools Begin Court-Ordered Mixins,” September 01, 1970]
Local desegregation facts Two-way busing as the beginning of a school integration problem is advocated by many of the nearly 100 citizens at a public forum. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1970; The Austin American, “Bus Plan Advocated By Group,” October 09, 1970]
Local desegregation facts The Austin ISD Board adopts a desegregation policy regarding staff assignments, classroom, activities, and future school planning. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1970; The Austin American, “Board Formalizes Integration Policy,” December 15, 1970]