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This Day in Georgia History

January 11, 1961

Holmes Hunter Attended First Day Classes

For more on the integration of UGA, see the Civil Rights Digital Library.

Black students Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes attended their first day of classes at the University of Georgia without any serious incidents. That evening, however, the situation changed. After a Georgia-Georgia Tech basketball game on campus, a large group of students left the coliseum and marched on Myers Hall, where Hunter was staying. By the time they arrived, known Klan members had joined the group. Now, they were an angry mob shouting racial epithets and defiance to integration. Several students displayed a large banner saying “Nigger go home,” while other students started fires or threw bricks at the dorm. Athens and University police tried to break up the demonstration, finally having to resort to tear gas and water hoses. Hunter was not injured, but Myers Hall received extensive damage. Fearing for their safety, University officials decided to temporarily withdraw Hunter and Holmes from school. That night, Georgia state troopers carried the two back to Atlanta. For more information see the Civil Rights Digital Library on the integration of UGA.

Image of Holmes Hunter Attended First Day Classes View large image
Source: National Archives/Southeast Region