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Vandiver, S. Ernest (Samuel Ernest)

b. 1918 - d. 2005

Samuel Ernest Vandiver Jr. was governor of Georgia from 1959 to 1963. Although he pledged to maintain segregation during his tenure as governor, he respected the 1961 ruling of a U.S. District Court, allowing the desegregation of the University of Georgia with the admission of Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, two African American students. He also successfully urged the Georgia General Assembly to repeal legislation revoking funding from integrated state institutions. Arguing that closing schools did more harm to children than integrating them, he oversaw the integration of Atlanta public schools. Vandiver is respected for restoring the image of Georgia following scandals of his predecessors. Governor Vandiver received many pleas to provide protection for Dr. King and pardon him of criminal charges.

Associated Archive Content : 5 results

Appeal from Wyatt Tee Walker for Albany Support

Following the arrests of Dr. King and three others who held a prayer vigil at the Albany, Georgia City Hall, Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker issues this appeal for support from those active in the civil rights movement. He calls for telegrams to be sent to federal, state, and local officials, prayer vigils, and the wearing of black armbands.

Letter from John Dempsey to S. Ernest Vandiver

Connecticut governor John Dempsey writes to Georgia governor S. Earnest Vandiver expressing his concern for the safety of Dr. King and his associates.


This memorandum, sent to Dr. King, expresses the need for a convocation between Negro and white Southern leaders. Recent developments, such as peaceful integration of lunch counters and schools, show that whites are respecting equal rights of Negro citizens more.

Telegram from Charles Webber to MLK

Charles Webber, the AFL-CIO's representative for religious relations, sends this telegram of support to Dr. King during his incarceration.

Telegram from Wyatt Tee Walker

Walker sends out this telegram to inform its recipients that Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy have been unjustly arrested in Albany, Georgia.