Year of Alabama History



June 11, 1963











June 9, 1943









June 11, 1901









June 11, 1949







June 11, 1963













June 11, 1963










June 12, 1832

















June 12, 1933







Stand in School House Door

This Week in Alabama History

June 7 - June 13




Featured Event:

Gov. George C. Wallace makes his famous "stand in the schoolhouse door" to block the admittance of African Americans to the University of Alabama. Vivian Malone and James Hood both registered for classes quietly away from the spotlight to become the first two black students to successfully enroll at the university.

Other Events this Week

The famed “Tuskegee Airmen” are involved in their first air battle with German fighter planes in the skies over North Africa. These flyers from the 99th Fighter Squadron were among those trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field, the center for pilot training of African Americans during World War II.




Gov. William J. Samford dies while in office and is succeeded by the president of the Alabama Senate, William D. Jelks. The Constitutional Convention, then in session, would recreate the office of Lieutenant Governor in the 1901 Constitution. Originally created in the 1868 constitution, the office of Lieutenant Governor had been dropped from the 1875 version.


Country music legend Hank Williams debuts on Grand Ole Opry. He performs "Lovesick Blues" and "Mind Your Own Business."




Robert Muckel, a 29-year-old white high school teacher from Nebraska, unintentionally becomes the first student to successfully integrate a public educational institution in Alabama. Shortly before Gov. George Wallace made his "stand in the schoolhouse door" at the University of Alabama, Muckel sat down for his first class at Alabama A&M College, an all-black institution. Attending a summer science institute, Muckel did not realize when he applied that A&M was a segregated school.



Dr. James Hardy, a native of Shelby County, Alabama, and chief of surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, performs the world's first human lung transplant. The patient lived for three weeks before dying of chronic kidney disease. The next year Hardy transplanted a chimpanzee's heart into another patient, marking the first transplant of a heart into a human.


Alabama's first railroad, the Tuscumbia Railway, opens, running the two miles from Tuscumbia Landing at the Tennessee River to Tuscumbia. The railway was the first phase of a planned railroad to Decatur, forty-three miles to the east. That railroad was needed in order for river traffic to avoid the dangerous and often unnavigable Muscle Shoals of the Tennessee River.


Listen: Click the play button below to hear Archives Staff discuss this event on Alabama Public Radio.


Actor and singer Jim Nabors is born in Sylacauga. Nabors began acting while a student at the University of Alabama, and is best known for his Gomer Pyle character, who appeared on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1960 to 1964, and later on his own series, "Gomer Pyle, USMC." Nabors has also appeared in several feature films, but has concentrated his later career in music.