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September 4, 1957 - Dorothy Counts at Harding High School

Dorothy Counts at Harding High School
Event Type: 
Modern Era Begins 1946-1959

The crowd at all-white Harding High School is angry and ready for trouble when 15-year-old Dorothy Counts arrives escorted by Dr. Edwin Thompkins, a family friend. She is greeted by an angry crowd. Even teachers at the school express their displeasure, some with words and some with silence. 

At the end of the day Dr. Reginald Hawkins, a civil rights leader, escorts Dorothy home. During the next few days, tension grows. Names and rocks are hurled. When Dorothy's brother, Herman Jr., comes to pick her up at school, his car window is cracked by a thrown object.

For days Dorothy endures hostility. Finally her father, Rev. H. L. Counts, issues a statement expressing his concern for her safety. After attending Harding for just two weeks, Dorothy and her family decide she will leave and enroll in an integrated school in Philadelphia.