The nonprofit Peoples History of Texas has completed its documentary on the stand-ins. To see it, click on their name.
The Texas Observer now has all its issues online, but older issues are searchable only by date. For those searching for material on the University of Texas during the time of the stand-ins and similar activity, here is a guide to some Observer links.
Bombing of the University “Y” and formation of Students for Direct Action: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/02#page=3
Stand-ins begin at the Texas Theater: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/09#page=5
Stand-ins continue and spread to the Varsity Theater, gaining support from University of Texas faculty members and from Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/30#page=1 (Continues on page 2, easy to scroll down)
Description of activities at the stand-ins: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1960/12/30#page=5
More faculty support, and stand-ins coordinated with national Lincoln’s Birthday demonstrations: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/01/14#page=8
Stand-ins reach a peak of 400, with confrontations: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/02/18#page=1 (scroll to continuation on page 3, also note page 3 article about other Lincoln’s Birthday demonstrations in Texas and nationally)
“Y” bombers placed on disciplinary probation: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/02/25#page=3
Demonstrations at theaters in Austin and elsewhere: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/03/04#page=3
A vigil by Booker T. Bonner: http://archives.texasobserver.org/issue/1961/03/18#page=3
Thanks to Manny Solon for the following:
Below is my typed copy of my letter that was published in the “Letters To The Editor” section of the June 6, 1961 edition of Look magazine under the heading “Atlanta’s Battle Continues”. [ It was the lead letter in the section. Their masthead stated ” NOW MORE THAN 6,700,000 CIRCULATION’, so it was my most read publication. :-).
A cousin of mine saw it in California and I or someone in my family saved the magazine. I received four replies addressed to me at the University Religious Council of which I was then president. Two signed letters were positive and supportive, two were “negative” and unsigned. My original was edited and I have no idea if somewhere I have the original which said more about our efforts.
The article I was commenting on was about the efforts of African American students in Atlanta to integrate various institutions including restaurants. There were eight letters published and they were on both sides.
Sorry I just can’t scan it and send it to you.
Atlanta’s Battle Continues
Look is to be congratulated on its
excellent article The Second Battle of
Atlanta [ April 25 ]. I would like to
point out that the “battle” against
segregation is also going on in Austin,
Texas. Here an organization of stu-
dents–Students for Direct Action– in-
situted a “stand-in” in December of
1960 in an effort to desegregate local
The situation here in is significantly
different from that of Atlanta, as it
has been predominantly white stu-
dents ( from the University of Texas )
who have been taking part in these
demonstrations…. In order for us
to live up to our beliefs in American
democracy and our religious teach-
ings, we who believe segregation is
wrong must do our part to end it.
May the students in Atlanta con-
tinue to be an example and inspira-
tion for others, both Negro and white,
throughout the United States.
University Religious Council
University of Texas
P.S. While typing this I noted – I think for the first time- that the six line letter below mine (also edited) Is “signed”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is from the front page of the Dilly Texanne published by the Texas Ranger staff May 17, 1961 (click image to enlarge). Chandler Davidson and the Students for Direct Action, satirized here, were among many civil rights demonstrators of the 1960s who heard the chant, “Two, four, six, eight! We don’t want to integrate!”