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Black History at VT: Black History Timeline First Black Grads Black Women Oral Histories

Timeline | pre 1950 | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

Events

1961

Phillip Price, 1963 Anna Price, 1966
Phillip Price, 1963, and Anna Price, 1966

Blacksburg High School integrated by Phillip Harmon Price (oral history interview transcript available) and Anna Christine Price, the children of Christine and Leonard Price. The transcript of an oral history interview with Christine Price is available.
1966

The first black women students entered Tech in the fall of 1966: Linda Adams, Jacquelyn Butler, Linda Edmonds, Freddie Hairston, Marguerite Harper, and Chiquita Hudson. See the Black Women at Virginia Tech History Project.

General Assembly creates the Extension Division at Virginia Tech. All university Extension activities were consolidated in this new division. (College of the Fields 260)

The Virginia State Extension service merges with the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension service.

1967
Trackman Jerry Gaines (class of 1971) from Chesapeake, Virginia, was the first full-scholarship track freshman in Virginia Tech history. He was the first black scholarship athlete and the first black inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame. Gaines graduated with a degree in foreign languages. He later taught Spanish and coached several sports for Chesapeake public schools and was named PTA Teacher of the Year in 1984 and 1985.
"This week's Athlete of the Week is a 'first' to say the least. Trackman Jerry Gaines is the first Negro athlete at Virginia Tech. He is also the first full-scholarship track freshman in the school's history. Now he also has the distinction of becoming the first freshman to be named 'Athlete of the Week.'
"At the Colonial Relays last weekend, Gaines picked up three medals and a school record in leading the Tech Cindermen to their best showing in the Williamsburg meet. Taking third in the bread jump, Jerry jumped 23' 6 1/2" to break the oldest school record on the books. The old mark of 23' 4" was set forty-three years ago in 1925.
"Gaines' other medals came from the shuttle hurdle relay and the sprint medley. With Gaines running third leg, the shuttle hurdle relay team was two tenths of a second off the University record in their third place finish. Jerry led off Tech's fifth place sprint medley team with a 50.4 quarter mile to complete his achievements.
"Coach Martin Pushkin has been very pleased with the performances of Gaines, but he admits Gaines has presented him with a problem, 'Jerry has so much talent it is difficult to find what he is best at.'
"In his high school days at Churchland High School, Gaines was an all-around athlete starring in football, baseball, and track. As a trackman, he has participated in the sprints, quarter mile, high and low hurdles, broad jump, triple jump, and high jump.
"Gaines, who is majoring in Spanish at Tech, will probably find his best event either the broad jump or intermediate hurdles. Other than setting the Tech record in the broad jump, he won the state bread jump championship indoors this winter. Although untested in the 440-yard hurdles; Gaines ran faster than the existing state 330-yard hurdle record the first time he ran them in practice.
"He is a favorite among his teammates. One member of the track team stated, 'He is a most valuable asset to the team. Other than his scoring ability, Jerry's spirit is contagious.' "Congratulations to a fine performer and person. Jerry Gaines is truly a 'first' at Tech." -- The Virginia Tech, V.P.I., April 17, 1968, page 6
1967-68

Forty-three undergraduate black students and several black graduate students.

Larry Donnell Beale (class of 1971) was a member of the freshman basketball team. He was vice-president and then president of Groove Phi Groove, Human Relations Chairman, and a member of the Black Student Committee. He earned his degree in sociology and political science.

April 4, 1968
Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Student vigil to honor Dr. King.

Linda Edmonds' thoughts on the death of Dr. King.

1968

Groove Phi Groove

Images of the Human Relations Council begin to appear in the Bugle. See oral history interview with Ellison A. Smyth by Michael A. Cooke on the establishment of the Human Relations Council in Blacksburg in the 1950s.

Heidi Ford was the first black person to work in extension at Virginia Tech. She began her employment with the Extension Service in 1948 as a home demonstration agent in Nelson County, Virginia. In 1955 she was promoted to district agent at Virginia State College in Petersburg. She was promoted to extension specialist in 1967 and later relocated to Virginia Tech. Ford served as extension leader of special programs for nine years. She then served as equal employment opportunity officer until her retirement in 1985. A tireless worker behind-the-scenes, Ford was often described as the "conscience of extension.

In the fall of 1968, Jacqueline Desylvia Dandridge was the first black homecoming princess. She graduated in 1971 with a B.S. in Biology.

1968-69
Approximately 75-80 black students.
1969

John Dobbins: First black Freshman footballer.

Overton Johnson became the first black academic faculty member at Tech. He was hired to teach in the College of Agriculture. Black greeks at Tech honor Mr. Johnson with the Overton R. Johnson step dance show every year, in which both fraternities and sororities participate. An essay contest in his name is held every year as well, with scholarship awards.

1969-70
Charlie Lipscomb: First black starter on varsity basketball team

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URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/archives/blackhistory/timeline/1960s.htm
Last Updated on: Wednesday, 18-Jun-2003 10:57:03 EDT

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