Jackie Walker’s true 1969 Tennessee story forgotten and unjustly overshadowed by 1970 USC-Alabama folklore

Although no one in the documentary says it, there seems to be a feeling that Southern Cal’s rout of Alabama was the shock that the University and a majority of the fans needed to support integration of the football program. But in fact, that same shock probably came the previous year when the Tennessee Volunteers, the team that Bryant always regarded as the Tide’s most bitter foe, thrashed the Tide 41-14 at Legion Field in Birmingham. (I know—I…

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The Wonders of Michigan State’s expanded worlds under President John Hannah’s leadership

PHOTO: Wonders Hall opened in 1963 as John Hannah's example of a progressive campus before the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Acts were signed. Visit my website homepage, TomShanahan.Report By TOM SHANAHAN Gene Washington escaped the segregated South 60 years ago, boarding Michigan State’s Underground Railroad from La Porte, Texas. His life-altering journey as a freshman football recruit for preseason practice was prior to September classes. The time frame, coincidentally, matched 250,000 Americans traveling to the nation’s capital…

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Part IV: College football integration lore, in the form of traffic, was steered down a fairy tale exit

NOTE: As a Detroit Tigers and Mangum fan, this is my letter to Tom Selleck, admittedly a bit tongue in cheek. The facts vs. fiction I present, though, tell the true story of college football integration’s pioneers in the 1960s. College football integration was fait accompli by 1970, thanks to the price paid by true pioneers. They knocked down the door. Alabama coach Bear Bryant didn’t open the door. He was pointed to it after coaching segregated teams…

Continue ReadingPart IV: College football integration lore, in the form of traffic, was steered down a fairy tale exit