Tag Archives: Allan Shivers

Today in Texas History – August 30

From the Annals of the Bigots  – In 1956, an angry white mob surrounded Mansfield High School to prevent the enrollment of three African-American students.  Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Texas Federal District Judge Joe Estes ordered the Mansfield ISD to desegregate.  Mansfield was the first Texas school district to be directly affected by the Brown ruling.  The school board approved a measure desegregating Mansfield High School.  Mayor William Arnold “Bud” Halbert and Police Chief C.G. Harwell refused to comply with the school board’s decision and were instrumental in stirring up opposition.

And the opposition came.   The white mob of about 400 people surrounded Mansfield High  to prevent the enrollment of three African American students.  Just in case their intentions were not clear, the good people of Mansfield hanged the three black high school students in effigy.  They also attacked reporters and observers.  Sheriff Harlan Wright attempted to confront the mob but was himself threatened.

Up to this point, African-American high school students in Mansfield were required to ride a bus into nearby Fort Worth and then walk twenty blocks to the all-black I.M. Terrell High School.  Spineless Texas Governor R. Allan Shivers, doing his best imitation of a staunch segregationist, called out the Texas Rangers at Mansfield to prevent any black students from entering the public school.  Shivers openly defied the federal court order for integration and authorized Mansfield ISD to continue to send its black students to Fort Worth.  Mansfield did not integrate its schools until 1965.

Photo from newsone.com

Today in Texas History – October 5

From the Annals of the Governors – In 1907, Allan Shivers was born in Lufkin.   Shivers was the youngest Senator in Texas history when he was elected to the state senate in 1937.  He had been a force in the Texas Senate.  After serving in Europe in World War II, he sought the position of Lt. Governor in 1946.   He became Governor upon the death of Gov. Beauford Jester.  He served as Governor for 7.5 years.  Shivers was initially very popular, but his sway on the public and influence in the Democratic Party declined when he supported Dwight Eisenhower for President.  Texas supporters of Eisenhower were known as Shivercrats.  Shivers did accomplish much in politics including establishing Texas Southern University, putting women on juries for the first time, and creating the Legislative Budget Board.