‘I held the same Bible… and I was perfectly happy’

“For the first time in the history of Greensboro, N.C. (pop. 73,703), a Negro took office last week as a member of the city council…. Though Greensboro is 23 percent Negro, Dr. William Milford Hampton, 38, got so many white votes that he didn’t even need the large majority he rolled up in the Negro districts. ‘Further tribute to the evolution of interracial relations,’ editorialized the Greensboro Daily News. After the swearing-in, fellow Councilman John Van Lindley said: ‘I held the same Bible with him, and I was perfectly happy.’

“New Jersey-born Councilman Hampton got his medical training at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, moved to Greensboro in 1940. ‘You live better in the South,’ he said.”

— From Time magazine, May 28, 1951

Perhaps a larger factor in Hampton’s victory than white support: single-shot voting in black precincts.