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Sun, 08.26.1956

The Clinton 12 desegregate Tennessee schools

*On this date in 1956, the Clinton 12 broke the color barrier in K-12 education in the American South.

That day, twelve young Black students walked into history in Clinton, TN. They were the first students to desegregate a state-supported high school in the south.

The Clinton 12 were, Maurice Soles, Anna Theresser Caswell, Alfred Williams, Regina Turner Smith, William R. Latham, Gail Ann Epps Upton, Ronald Gordon "Poochie" Hayden, JoAnn Crozier Allen Boyce, Robert Thacker, Bobby Cain, Minnie Ann Dickey Jones and Alvah McSwain.

Clinton High School holds the honor of having the first Black person to graduate from a public high school in the South; Bobby Cain. It was a great victory for the 20th century American Civil Rights Movement.  The events of that school year and the years that followed are celebrated at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center, which opened on August 26, 2006, the 50th anniversary of their first walk to Clinton High School.

Their courage is commemorated in a life size statue on the grounds of the museum. The students met at Green McAdoo school each day and walked down the hill to Clinton High School, now Clinton Middle School.

Reference:
The Green McAdoo Culture Center

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