In 1956, the Clinton 12 walked into Clinton High School changing the course of history in the United States. Saturday a few of them were able to come back and celebrate the Green McAdoo Cultural becoming part of the Tennessee State Museum System.
“We were getting along so well here in Clinton,” said Minnie Ann Dickey Jones, one of the Clinton 12. “We didn’t have no idea that they felt that way about us integrating Clinton High School. It was really shocking.”
Minnie Ann Dickey Jones, Bobby Cain and Jo Ann Allen Crozier Boyce rocked the small town of Clinton when they and nine other African-American teenagers walked to Clinton High School.
“We held our heads high and walked down the hill with confidence, thinking that everything would be okay and then bang, everything happened and we were really surprised by the whole thing,” said Boyce.
Sixty-two years after Clinton High School became the public school in the south to desegregate, the story of the Clinton 12 is immortalized at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center.
Jerry Shattuck was the student body president of Clinton High School in 1956.
“We had mob violence that had to be overcome, and it was by local citizens primarily, later on it required the help of the Tennessee State government Marshal Law,” said Shattuck. So, a lot happened and we want to commemorate that history.”
The museum is now part of the Tennessee State Museum System and the U.S. Civil Rights Trail.
“I say it’s an excellent day,” said Cain. “A great day for the Clinton 12 , as well as the students we attended Clinton High School with and for the state of Tennessee and Clinton.”