The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983 Page: 322
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
so, officials cancelled his enrollment and prevented his return to class.
Within nine months the scholarship provision became law.3
Seven years later a second Negro, Heman Marion Sweatt, attempted
to register on the Austin campus. The NAACP sponsored his applica-
tion to the University's law school as part of a carefully conceived attack
on segregated education in the South. After President Theophilus S.
Painter refused to admit Sweatt because of his race, a legal struggle
raged for four and a half years. Determined to maintain segregation
despite extravagant costs, the state did not stop at establishing a sep-
arate law school for Sweatt. It created an entire Negro university. When
the United States Supreme Court decided Sweatt v. Painter in June,
1950, the ruling in effect barred segregation in the nation's law schools.
It also undermined the legality of segregated graduate and professional
education generally, and served as an important precedent for later
cases involving lower educational levels.4 In Texas, Sweatt enabled the
first black graduate and professional students to attend the University.
It also marked the first major setback in a series of defeats for segre-
gated education. One is inclined to speculate how different the state's
educational development and legal history might have been if Univer-
sity officials had allowed George Allen to remain in class in October,
Those who controlled the University had no intention of admitting
black students. Satisfied with the constitutional and statutory prohibi-
tions, the board of regents that selected Homer P. Rainey as president
in 1938 gave little thought to the matter. As the board became increas-
ingly dominated by conservatives in the 1940s, the issue came under
discussion but with an air of defiance. "There is not the slightest dan-
ger of any negro attending the University of Texas," wrote Regent Or-
ville Bullington in January, 1944, "regardless of what Franklin D[.],
Eleanor, or the Supreme Court says, so long as you have a Board of Re-
gents with as much intestinal fortitude as the present one has." When
the board removed Rainey as president, his views on race relations sur-
faced as an issue. The fact that he had addressed interracial audiences
and encouraged the development of Negro educational facilities led
his adversaries to suggest that he favored social equality and a desegre-
3Dallas Express, Oct. 22, 29, 1938; Allen to M. L. G., Feb. 14, 1982, interview. For the
scholarship provision, see House Bill 255 in Texas, Legislature, Special Laws of the State
of Texas Passed by the Regular Session of the Forty-sixth Legislature . . .(n.p., n.d.), 359.
ISweatt v. Painter, 339 U S. 629 (1950); James E. [sic] Nabrit, Jr., "The Negro," [First
Southwide Conference on Discrimination in Higher Education], Dzscrzmination in Hzgher
Education (New Orleans, ), 25.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983, periodical, 1982/1983; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/m1/358/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.