Riots break out in Clinton, Tennessee over school integration

September 2

On September 2, 1956, riots erupted in Clinton, Tennessee over school integration. 

The Clinton protests occurred on the heels of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling in 1954. The town of Clinton was transitioning to desegregation until a white man by the name of John Kasper arrived in Tennessee. Shortly after settling in Tennessee, Kasper grew a following of white supremacists who looked to stop the desegregation of white schools. The tension grew as the school year began. On August 29, 1956, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit John Kasper and his followers from disrupting school integration in Tennessee. On August 30, Kasper was sentenced to one year in prison but that didn’t deter his followers. The situation finally came to a head Labor Day weekend on September 1-2, 1956. Violent riots broke out causing Tennessee Governor Frank G. Clement to call the National Guard for assistance.


Sources

The Clinton 12

Clinton Desegregation Crisis

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