Nation: That's What'll Happen

Under a federal court order to integrate 67 parks, 38 playgrounds, eight public swimming pools and four golf courses by Jan. 15, Birmingham, Ala. (pop. 340,000), decided instead to close them. The three-member city commission cut off all park funds (except $295,000 for the zoo), sent out dismissal slips for park employees, prepared to seal off sites with no-trespassing signs. At about that point, a lot of Birmingham's citizens, not necessarily integrationists, decided that they liked their public facilities too much to give them up. "Why not keep the parks open," asked the segregationist Birmingham Post Herald, "and give our people...

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