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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 A coalition of Mexican American groups charges Austin ISD with negotiating in bad faith on desegregation and said the issue will have to be settled in court. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Austin Citizen, “AISD Accused of Bad Faith in Desegregation,” May 30, 1979]
Local desegregation facts Austin School officials express disappointment and confusion at the Supreme Court’s decision to let stand a lower court ruling that the AISD intentionally discriminated against Mexican Americans in drawing up its desegregation plans. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Daily Texan, “Supreme Court Rules that AISD was Discriminatory,” July 03, 1979]
Local desegregation facts The first day of the federal district court “remedy trial” begins in Austin desegregation case. The two-fold purpose of the trial is to determine the extent of the Austin ISD’s constitutional violations in segregating blacks and Mexican Americans and to prescribe a remedy in the form of a desegregation plan. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Austin Citizen, “AISD Desegregation ‘Remedy Trial’ Begins,” July 11, 1979]
Local desegregation facts An Austin ISD attorney disputes testimony that school board actions are a significant factor in housing segregation. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Austin Citizen, “District Disputes Its Policies Spurred Housing Segregation,” July 24, 1979]
Local desegregation facts An urban planning expert disputes testimony by school district witnesses that economic factors are overriding causes of segregated housing. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Austin Citizen, “Urban Planner Blames AISD for Segregation,” July 25, 1979]
Local desegregation facts The parties to the Austin desegregation lawsuit prepare to file a consent decree in the federal district court, ending nearly 9 ½ years of litigation. [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Austin Citizen, “15,000 to be Bused; Deseg Agreement Reached; Judge Roberts to Get Proposal,” December 17, 1979]
Local desegregation facts Approximately 300 Anderson High School students storm the Carruth Administration building, waving anti-busing signs, chanting “Hell, no, we won’t go.” [AF-Segregation-Public Schools-S1700 (2)-1979; The Austin Citizen, “300 Storm Carruth Building; Students: We Won’t Go,” December 10, 1979]