Historic Markers Across Alabama

Desegregation at Auburn

Marker ID:  
Location: between Mary Martin Hall and the north side of Ralph Brown Draughon Library on the University of Auburn Campus.
County: Lee
Coordinates: N 32° 36.213    W 085° 28.967
  32.60355    -85.48278333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMQ0QD


The first African American student entered the library to register at Auburn University at this site. Acting on a court order, Auburn president Ralph Brown Draughon accepted the application of Harold Franklin as the first African American student in 1963. Hoping to avoid conflicts as had occurred during the desegregation of other universities across the South. Draughon scheduled the registration for Saturday, Jan. 4, 1964, and closed the campus to the public. University officials and FBI agents met Franklin at the nearby Auburn Methodist Church to escort him to campus. State troopers sent by Governor George Wallace blocked their access, forcing Franklin to proceed alone and unprotected. Some protesters assembled nearby, but no violence occurred and registration was concluded peacefully. A century of institutional segregation effectively ended that day, clearing the path for other African American students to enroll and attend Auburn University.

Erected to commemorate 50 years of desegregation at Auburn University

Alabama Historical Association 2015

End of Desegregation at Auburn