ON THIS DAY: September 4

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ON THIS DATE IN TEENAGE HISTORY (1957), fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts withstood constant abuse on integrating Harding High in Charlotte, North Carolina. A swarm of white boys yelled, “Go back where you came from!” and threw rocks and garbage as she entered the school. Inside, she heard chants of “You can have her, we don’t want her, she’s too black for me” during an assembly. Dorothy’s father pulled her out of the school after just four days when administrators and police officials said they couldn’t guarantee her safety. “I thought they’d get adjusted to me but … I just don’t want anything to happen to me physically and I’d die if they hurt my parents,” she told the Associated Press. Counts transferred to a private school in Philadelphia.

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