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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

An Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers at State Supported Colleges and Universities

Civil right demonstrations rocked the South in the spring of 1963. North Carolina was no exception as demonstrations sprang up throughout the state. In Raleigh, demonstrators picketed many segregated establishments including the Sir Walter Hotel, where many state legislators stayed during the legislative session. On June 25, 1963, the North Carolina General Assembly passed "An Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers at State Supported Colleges and Universities," otherwise known as the Speaker Ban Law. 

The law prohibited the use of any state-supported college or university facilities by anyone who was a communist, had advocated the overthrow of the United States or North Carolina Constitutions, or had pled the Fifth Amendment when questioned about communist or subversive activities. On the last day of the legislative session, the bill's sponsors in the General Assembly, President of the State Senate T. Clarence Stone, Speaker of the House Clifton Blue, Ned Delamar and Phil Goodwin, succeeded in suspending normal parliamentary procedure and pushed the bill through with very little debate on the last day of the legislative session. 
Although not explicitly named, the campus at Chapel Hill was considered the primary target because of its liberalism and some of the faculty's support of the recent civil rights demonstrations in North Carolina.