1961 April 6

Highlander Center — Labor, Civil Rights Advocate — Loses License Revocation Case

 

The Highlander Folk School, founded in 1932, was an activist organization involved in civil rights, poverty, and organized labor issues. The state of Tennessee attempted to shut it down by revoking its license and seizing its property, alleging that director Miles Horton used the center for private gain, and that intoxicating beverages were being sold on the premises. (Most believe the alcohol was planted.) On this day, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the revocation. Highlander reopened the next day as the Highlander Research and Education Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Highland Center is famous for Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech there on September 2, 1957. Photographs of him at the center were cited by anti-civil rights forces as evidence that he attended a “communist training school.” The Highlander Research and Education Center continues today in New Market, Tennessee.

Visit the Highlander Center web site: http://www.highlandercenter.org

Read about Myles Horton, Highlander Co-Founder: Dale Jacobs, ed., The Myles Horton Reader: Education for Social Change (2003)

Learn more; songs and memories collected by the Highlander staff: Guy and Candie Carawan, Voices From the Mountains [Life and Struggle in the Appalachian South (1982)

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