JavaScript must be enabled to display this page properly.

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 Austin Chapter of the NAACP criticizes proposed Oak Hill site for a southwest high school. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1975; The Austin Citizen, “Segregation ‘Seeds’ Will Surely Grow,” May 17, 1975]
Local desegregation facts The school district’s new transfer policy sparks a movement by parents to begin registering their children in schools with low enrollments, but it did not result in an exodus from the campuses labeled the “least fundamental” in the city by the Awareness League, an Austin based organization that advocates for a more disciplined and structured school environment. Under the policy, Trustees designated A.N. McCallum High, Lamar and O. Henry Junior High, and 13 elementary schools as “open enrollment schools,” and agreed to accept all student transfers to those facilities, as long as the parents or students provide their own transportation. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1975; The Austin Citizen, “Transfer Rule Gets Response,” May 31, 1975]
Local desegregation facts Austin ISD files an answer to proposed sites for Williams, Sanchez and Houston elementary schools and construction begins. Austin ISD proposes constructing northeast junior high school, but intervenors object. Austin ISD makes plans for a new southwest high school, but intervenor dissatisfaction prompts district to postpone hearing in federal court. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1975; The Austin American-Statesman, “Desegregation in Austin,” August 17, 1975]