History in the News: 50th Anniversary of the Integration of UK & SEC Football

History Advocate for the Kentucky Historical Society, Stuart Sanders, gives us a brief glimpse into the significance of the 50th anniversary of the integration of the SEC.

Videos ⋅ September 29, 2017

How UK Football Broke the SEC Color Barrier

Today’s Southeastern Conference is a place where student-athletes of all colors and ethnicities are welcome. But in the 1960s, it was a different – many SEC teams refused to play against people of color. The University of Kentucky changed that when it partnered with Gov. Edward Breathitt to challenge the SEC color barrier. The result? The historic day 50 years ago on September 30, 1967, when UK defensive back Nate Northington became the first African American to play in the SEC as the Wildcats took on Ole Miss. Share your memories and personal collections surrounding this monumental event.

Stories ⋅ September 13, 2017

Governor Edward T. Breathitt and Civil Rights in Kentucky

Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt served as Kentucky’s governor from 1963 – 1967. Among his contributions to civil rights

Audio ⋅ September 28, 2017

Nate Northington Signs with UK

Nathaniel “Nate” Northington signs with the University of Kentucky at the president’s office in Lexington, 1965. Standing behind Northington are (L to R) Kentucky governor Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt, UK football coach Charles Bradshaw, Thomas Jefferson High School football coach Jim Gray, and University of Kentucky president John W. Oswald. Courtesy of University of Kentucky

Stories ⋅ September 1, 2017

A Historic Meeting – Kentucky vs. Mississippi – September 30, 1967

September 30, 1967 marks the 50th anniversary of the first integrated football game in the SEC between the University of Kentucky and the University of Mississippi. Following the tragic death of Greg Page on September 29, Nathaniel Northington became the first African American player to play in an SEC football game.

Stories ⋅ September 25, 2017

UK President John W. Oswald and the SEC

John Oswald served as the University of Kentucky’s sixth president from 1963 – 1968. Although a short tenure at the helm of the university, Oswald’s progressive stance on academics and integration steered UK toward the recruitment of African American players. Oswald picked up where his predecessor, former UK president Frank Dickey, left off by guiding

Stories ⋅ September 21, 2017

Greg Page’s Lasting Legacy in UK Football

In 1965, UK recruited Nathaniel Northington to play football for the UK Wildcats – a few weeks later UK football coach Charles Bradshaw signed Greg Page from Middlesboro, Kentucky. Northington and Page pushed for further integration and by the fall of August 1967, other African American players were signed, including Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg.

Stories ⋅ September 21, 2017

Charles Bradshaw, UK Football Coach

Charles Bradshaw, head coach of the University of Kentucky football team from 1962 to 1968. Bradshaw played a

Stories ⋅ September 22, 2017
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