College: University of Alabama
City: Tuscaloosa, AL
Number of People Involved: ~1,500
When a black student, Autherine Lucy, was allowed by court order to attend the University of Alabama in 1956, she wasn't met kindly by the student body. Lucy was suspended for three days "for her own safety" after a mob broke out as she attended her first classes. Shouts of "Keep 'Bama white" and "To hell with Autherine" were heard during midnight protests; nearly 1,500 turned out for the cross-burning ritual. Really. Despite all the ruckus, Lucy said many of her fellow students inside were friendly, welcoming her to classes and wishing her well along her journey—as everyone should have been.